Houston Matters

Houston Comedian Mo Amer Discusses His Journey Into Comedy And A Plane Ride With Eric Trump

Amer explains how an unusual offer from his high school English teacher propelled him into standup and what he learned from a chance encounter with the President’s son.

Comedian Mo Amer With Eric Trump
Just after the 2016 Presidential election, Houston-raised comedian Mo Amer was seated next to Donald Trump’s son, Eric, on a flight. Amer’s social media posts about the encounter went viral.

Maybe you remember the story from just a few weeks after the 2016 Presidential Election – an Arab-American comedian was upgraded to first class on a flight and ended up sitting next to President Trump’s son, Eric. The story went viral.

Well, that comedian was Mo Amer, who came to Houston when he was nine after his family fled Kuwait during the first Gulf War.

After coming to Texas, Amer’s brother took him to see a standup show by Bill Cosby, who was co-headlining with the band Alabama at the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo. Despite the unusual pairing, the show inspired him to want to try standup.

After his father’s death, a teacher at Houston’s Alief Hastings High School cut him a deal: he could perform some of his standup in class if he stopped skipping school. She let him perform every Friday, and, before he knew it, he was performing at talent shows.

Now, he performs all over the world and has made appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

And he taped his first hour-long comedy special for Netflix on June 28 in Austin.

In his comedy, Amer takes on Islamophobia. And he jokes about adjusting to life in Texas. He says he was put in an ESL class despite speaking English already (but he says the course was valuable nonetheless because he learned Spanish).

In the audio above, he tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about his journey into comedy and that fateful plane ride with Eric Trump.

MORE: Mo Amer Explains How We’re All Eating Hummus Wrong

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