Most people wouldn’t imagine it possible to gather comedic material from the Middle East.

The Sultans of Satire, however, have been doing just that to rave reviews since 2005. Boldly going where few can, the troupe features comedians with roots in the region and benefits the Levantine Center’s efforts to promote peace, diversity and understanding.

I’m not from the Middle East, you say, what could I possibly get from a show like this?

Stand up comedian Peter the Persian notes, “Right now everybody’s curious about everybody else and specifically people in America are interested in the Middle East, not only in terms of its political problems and its conflicts, but also in terms of its people. People are more apt to try and consider where they are in the world and where they are in relation to other people rather than knee-jerk hate.”

Still fresh in his mind are reactions toward those of his ethnicity immediately following 9/11.

“[At] the Aladdin Hotel and Casino operating in Las Vegas all of the drunk gamblers in the casino were attacking the Arab-dressed white people that were walking around serving drinks and taking photographs,” Peter remembers. “These people actually thought that the events of 9/11 somehow related to the poor woman serving them drinks.”

Chances are that you’re probably not going to a stand up comedy show for a lecture on politics or history. Peter is quick to point out the true aim of the series.

“Forget about all the political stuff. Forget all of the cultural stuff! How about the fact that it’s funny? People want a new perspective.”

The Improv is located at 8162 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Tickets: $18. For more information, visit