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Mideast Minute: Pardis Parker lampoons U.S. propaganda efforts in Middle East

Canadian writer-comedian Pardis Parker’s current project is Mideast Minute, a weekly short that satirizes the U.S. government’s long-running propaganda efforts in the Middle East.

Speaking about the joy of being a comedian, Pardis Parker mentions the gratification that comes from pointing a finger at the funny things that everyone else has noticed but never verbalized. "There's a satisfaction in knowing that you were the one who identified the universal experience," says Parker, a California-based Canadian. The trouble with the wackiness happening in Washington now, however, is that there are no small absurdities to expose and amplify. It's all over the top.

"It's a big elephant charging directly at us, and everybody can see it," says Parker from Los Angeles. "The normal formula is take something and make it more extreme, but we're living in a time where it's difficult to take things further."

Parker's current project is Mideast Minute, a weekly short that satirizes the U.S. government's long-running propaganda efforts in the Middle East. The show is available to Canadians via Comedy Central's Snapchat Discover channel, with new episodes forthcoming. Past episodes can be seen at eachvideo.com.

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Parker plays news anchor Jamsheed al-Jamsheedi on Mideast Minute, which lampoons Alhurra, a Congress-funded television network established in 2004 to promote an American point of view in the region. "Alhurra is horribly mismanaged," says the writer-actor, who previously produced The Week in Review with Pardis Parker, a weekly stand-up show at the Hollywood Improv. "It's really funny. And by funny, I mean horrifying."

There's a lot of that going around.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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