19
Sep

Give Peace a Dance: Q&A with Maz Jobrani and Elon Gold

This Q&A was provided by the Ploughshares Fund. Learn more about Maz and Elon’s incredible dance and add your name to their call at givepeaceadance.org.

 

MAZ JOBRANI:


Why do you think this issue is important?

I believe that any time there is a way to solve an issue diplomatically we really need to try our best to do so. Any war will lead to the loss of innocent lives and I would hope that the conflict between Iran, America and Israel could be resolved peacefully.


What inspired you to be a part of this project?

I was contacted by Ploughshares who asked if I would be involved. They advocate nuclear non-proliferation and I support that philosophy. I really hope that we can combat the drumbeats of war with a mass effort towards peace.


What do you hope viewers will gain from watching this video?

Hopefully it will entertain them a little and then inspire them to take a second and sign the petition. The more people are informed and on board the more we can motivate our leaders to work towards a peaceful resolution.


How did you get involved in this?

I was contacted by Ploughshares and asked if I would participate.

Why did you both decide on a “dance for peace”?

Well, we were brainstorming on a way to get our message out peacefully. I think it was in the height of the popularity of Gangnam Style. So we thought, hey, if Psy can do it, why not us? (Of course, ours is more a spoof, but still, we tried!)


What kind of relationship do you have with Maz/Elon? Were you friendly prior to this project?

We’ve been lovers since 1989. Okay, but seriously, we’ve been friends from the Laugh Factory for a while now. We both are standups, we both have been on failed sitcoms and we both have kids – so we have a lot in common. (Although Elon has more kids than me so that makes him better – or at least a more fertile man!)

  

 

ELON GOLD:

 

Why do you think this issue is important?

It’s important to me because while I love doing comedy, there’s nothing I love more than comedy that has a purpose or a message behind it. I don’t get into a leotard for just any cause. But I think world peace is worthy of some humiliation. So many videos out there are just silly for silliness sake and while I’m not that foolish to actually believe that our goofy dance video is going to prevent war, I do see it as an pportunity to express our feelings. As comedians, we don’t want to see any sort of bombing either on stage or on the world stage.

What inspired you to be a part of this project?

What inspired me to do this was the hope that Maz and I could inspire others to champion peace. While I don’t oppose military action when bsolutely necessary, I’d much rather see a peaceful resolution to conflicts that can be resolved through diplomacy. History has taught my people that when we are threatened with extinction, sadly, those threats become reality. The lack of early military intervention during WWII ust gave Hitler more time to slaughter more innocents. I know that all four of my grandparents who came to America before the war, but who’s entire families were murdered by the Nazis, wanted nothing more than for their parents, brothers and sisters to be rescued by the allied forces. That was not the time for a peaceful resolution. This could very well be. So, before threats could ever turn into action, I say eace could use a chance.

What do you hope viewers will gain from watching this video?

I do however hope that it results in some good laughs and some important discussion and action on nuclear non-proliferation.

How did you get involved in this?

I was contacted by Portal A, and while I get many offers to partake in all sorts of online videos, I felt that this one needed to be done. Plus, the minute I heard Maz was involved, I was in! He’s hilarious and he’s an old friend!

Why did you both decide on a “dance for peace”?

Maz and I kept bouncing ideas off each other that made us laugh, but didn’t think would necessarily work as a short video. This is very eavy, real, relevant stuff so it was difficult to decide how to go about it. When Maz came up with “Give peace a dance”, I was immediately on board with that. The internet is all about dancing, or cats, or dancing cats. Plus the only way to approach a subject like this is either completely seriously or utterly ridiculously. We chose the latter.

What kind of relationship do you have with Maz? Were you friendly prior to this project?

Maz and I have known each other for almost a decade. We play all the clubs together, do festivals like Just For Laughs in Montreal and he’s one of the few comedians out there I respect not only for his tremendous talent, but also because he’s a good, family man. We can relate to each other in the sense that we both don’t have too many other comedian-friends who can do the delicate balancing act of father/husband and comedian/actor. So I think there’s a mutual respect that connects us on a level that goes deeper than just us being good comedians and bad dancers.

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