ArmComedy benefit shows, co-hosted by the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) and Armenia Tree Project (ATP), sold out in all three tour locations -- Boston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Incorporating Armenian and American politics, comedians Narek Margaryan and Sergey Sargsyan brought political satire and shared cultures to new audiences in the U.S.
"With the help of our hardworking volunteers and the generosity of our sponsors, the three-city tour was a big success", stated Assembly Board Co-Chair and ATP Board Member Anthony Barsamian. "We applaud Narek Margaryan and Sergey Sargsyan for using comedy to highlight how we can all make Armenia a better place for its citizens".
Thanks to the efforts of the Assembly and ATP, ArmComedy made a guest appearance on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show on TBS, airing on Thursday, May 11. Click here to view. During the filming, the duo was seen trying to take Conan's giant bobble head to Armenia, which has been a goal of Narek and Sergey since 2014 and was brought up again when Conan was featured on an ArmComedy episode. Click here to view. Narek and Sergey interviewed Conan on their own show in Armenia in 2016. Click here to view.
The theme of the tour was to "Make Armenia Green Again", a play on "Make America Great Again". Proceeds from all three shows benefited the Assembly and ATP. Shirts and tote bags with the shows' theme "Make Armenia Green Again" are available on www.aratherat.com.
"We thank everyone who supports the important work of the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenia Tree Project to secure much needed funding for Armenia and creating jobs in rural communities throughout the nation", said Assembly President and ATP Founder Carolyn Mugar.
Special guests attended the performances from coast to coast, including Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations, Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and former guest stars from previous ArmComedy episodes, actor Ken Davitian and Sevag Tankian.
The show in Los Angeles featured a musical performance by composer, conductor, and keyboardist Greg Hosharian, and a special introduction by local comedians Mary Basmadjian and former Armenian Assembly intern Lory Tatoulian. The show in Mountain View, California featured musical performances by Julliard-based piano student, Armen Sarkisian, and jazz vocalist Zara Avoyan.
While in Los Angeles, in addition to meeting up with Conan, Narek and Sergey were given a special tour of The Simpsons Animation Studio, thanks to Character Layout Artist Yelena Geodakyan, where they also met with Supervising Director Mike Anderson and Colorist Modelist Mike Battle. The ArmComedy co-hosts were inspired by the comedic stylings of "The Simpsons" at an early age and discovered that they both had a common sense of humor as one of the few fans of the show in Armenia.
On May 2, Narek and Sergey were granted the keys to the City of Glendale, which was spearheaded by Glendale City Clerk Ardashes "Ardy" Kassakhian, a former Armenian Assembly alumnus. The same day, they were interviewed on PanArmenian TV's "Good Morning Armenians" segment.
In Boston, they attended Red Sox and Celtics games, visited Armenian shops, and met with community members. While visiting Massis Bakery, they were surprised to discover an Armenian American creation of "vegetarian lahmajun". The night before their performance, Narek and Sergey met with over fifty students from the Boston area at Northeastern University, answering questions about how they began their careers in political comedy. They were also interviewed by Public Radio International’s The World. Click here to listen.
During their U.S. tour, Narek and Sergey took the time to explore each of the cities, and future ArmComedy episodes will feature their adventures in Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Click here to view.