It was a first for Ahmed Ahmed.
Deputies from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office showed up at Naples, Florida, comedy club Off the Hook on Sunday before the standup comic’s show to have a chat with him.
According to a video montage posted on the club’s Facebook page, an anonymous caller who had been in the audience at Ahmed’s Saturday night set had some issues with his brand of comedy and called 911.
The male caller said he was perturbed at the way Ahmed was making fun of Muslims, stereotyping them as terrorists.
The actual Off the Hook show was not captured on video, but in a clip of him — filmed at another venue, The Improv, doing a similar set — Ahmed says, “Any other Arabs [here]? Clap if you’re from the Middle East.”
After applause and cheers, the Egyptian-born, California-raised entertainer says, “We got a handful of us in in here. But, hey, it only takes one of us.”
Then after a long pause: “To tell a joke.”
After more laughs, Ahmed then jokingly tells the audience to “lock the doors.”
In the video, which also includes the 911 call, the man told the operator that he and his wife were made “uncomfortable” by Ahmed’s comments, such as reportedly asking who was Muslim in the venue so they could “organize our own little terrorist organization.”
“I understand that in this environment,” said the dispatcher, who then says she would send out officers to talk to him.
In the last part of the montage, the comedy club shows video of the responding officers outside the venue talking to Ahmed, while he shoots footage from his cellphone.
The conversation is lighthearted and the deputies can be seen smiling. Ahmed even ends up inviting them to his show that evening.
“Someone was nervous for their lives based on some of my material and you guys had to come check me out,” the comic says into the camera. “You can’t write this stuff.”
Most commenters sided with Ahmed.
“The one joke was distasteful but I don’t feel like he’s going to blow up his local 711,” posted one. “You don’t have to like his jokes but calling 911 was way overreacting.”
“Anyone who found his routine offensive should just go jump off a cliff,” wrote another.
“Nothing offensive or threatening was said in his show! He is funny and I would definitely go back to see him again.”