FAIRFIELD — Amir Kamyab, who goes by the name Amir K, didn’t want to be the 40-year-old guy being funny at the office water cooler.
So, when the real estate market took a dive – he lost 70 percent of his business in one month – Amir K decided it was time to say goodbye to business and pursue a career in comedy.
“I’d lost my condo, my car and my girlfriend,” he said.
It was the right choice at the right time, he said.
In 2010, Amir K won the OC’s Best Standup Comedian competition and recently won the Bay Area Comedy Competition held by Tommy T’s. Last year, he was a finalist on NBC’s “Stand Up For Diversity Showcase.”
If he wasn’t doing comedy, Amir K said he probably couldn’t live with himself. After all, he was the class clown, an idea that his parents didn’t grasp, he said.
This weekend he’s making his debut at Pepperbelly’s, even though he jokingly noted that he’s heard the nachos aren’t real tasty.
Born in Iran, Amir K and his family came to the United States in the mid-1980s. He went to the University of California, Los Angeles and went to work in real estate.
Los Angeles is still his home base. Today, he leads a nomadic lifestyle.
“I tour so much, I’m hardly ever home,” he said, noting that he’s usually on the road at least half of the month.
His first show was “horrible.” Two guys in a bar gave him some chuckles, enough to get him hooked, Amir K said.
“I knew then that this is what I wanted to do,” he said.
He grew up watching comics, such as Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Jim Carrey was also an influence.
While much of his comedy routine is character-based, Amir K said he doesn’t feel any subject is off limits but really doesn’t do anything he considers controversial.
“Some may say my act is edgy because it deals with racial issues,” he said. “Comedy is a form of free speech. There’s nothing I wouldn’t touch, unless it’s not conducive to my act. ”
Moviegoers can also see the comic playing a passport official in “Argo.” While he read for a couple of roles, he was happy to get his first feature role in a big movie. Not too bad for someone with no film credits, Amir K said.
“I got a good close-up in the movie,” he said.
In October, he wrapped up filming for another movie, which should come out in June. He was also featured in the premiere of the TBS show “Men at Work” and can be seen on some of MTV’s “Punk’d.”
But his heart remains with stand-up.
“It will always be part of my life,” he said.
At the end of month, Amir K begins touring with The Next Generation of Evil Comedy. It’s the successor to the Axis of Evil comedy show.
“We are funny. We’re not ‘death to America’ all the time,” he said, laughing.
Amir K said his audience is a mix of cultures. And that’s the way he wants it.
“Funny is funny. I want to appeal to everyone. The more people I appeal to, the better it is for me,” he said.
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