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Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  20 January 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 2,858 users   Metascore: 53/100
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To improve its relations with Muslim countries, the United States government sends comedian Albert Brooks to south Asia to write a report on what makes followers of Islam laugh.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Casting Director
Paul Jerome ...
Studio Executive (as Paul Eric Jerome)
Emily Brooks
Fred Dalton Thompson
Barbara Nader
Don Budge
Lynda Berg ...
Margaret Allenton
Steve Kramer ...
Sam Loman
Ben Wallerstein
Avinash Kaur ...
Job Applicant


The American senate, in order to improve it's fast declining global image, asks comedian Albert Brooks to write a 500 page document about what makes Muslims laugh in India and Pakistan. Bidding adieu to his wife and young daughter,and accompanied by two government bureaucrats, Albert opens up an office in New Delhi, hires a pretty Secretary, Maya, and goes around asking people at random as to what makes them laugh. He finds that people generally look at him suspiciously and refuse to answer any questions. He then decides to go public and stage a comedy show, the suggested place for the publicity is old Delhi. Accordingly the four re-locate, book a school auditorium to seat about 400 people, go around the city distributing leaflets, inviting the general public to attend the show. They get a houseful response, however, Albert's comedy act fails to impress. He then decides to try his hand in Pakistan, only to be told that he cannot get a visa for another 14 days. He decides to enter ... Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug content and brief strong language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Albert Brooks Project  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$429,223 (USA) (20 January 2006)


$887,416 (USA) (3 March 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sony Pictures Classics was originally going to distribute the film in the USA but chose not to, citing controversy over the film's title, which they wanted to change. Warner Independent Pictures then picked up the film for US distribution. See more »


The Indian flag shown in the Indian government office is upside down. The correct order of the flag is saffron at the top and green at the bottom. See more »


Albert Brooks: Why is there no Halloween in India?
[pauses for a second]
Albert Brooks: They took away the Gandhi.
See more »


References Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) See more »


There's No Business Like Show Business
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Albert Brooks
See more »

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User Reviews

Deeper comment to understand cultural differences
6 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I liked the movie quite a lot. Being from India, and living in a US for a little while, I deal with cultural differences very often in my own life. While differences in food, garments, language and architecture are easy to feel, they are the tip of a cultural iceberg. And that is what this movie conveys very well. We cannot hope to understand other cultures unless we recognize their deeper aspects and humour is one such. In the movie, Brooks steals into Pakistan to meet the aspiring comedians. But the funny question is, did they laugh with him, or his Pakistani translator?

A couple of things could have been better treated. An Iranian boyfriend for an Indian girl is not as normal as shown. Nor, is the country devoid of comedy shows. Indian TV and films have a special place of honour for comedians. Some of the best on-the-face humour is in Pakistani plays on TV. But I grant that as a literary license to Brooks. After all, the story is not about India or Pakistan, or even its comedians. The story is about American and how much (little) its people understand other cultures. And, its is a very understand story, do not mistake it to be funny or a laugh riot.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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