[an error occurred while processing this directive] George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight | Saman Arbabi


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Guest Saman Arbabi

So you go to a bar with a buddy and drink too much Guinness - a couple of things could happen. A) you stumble home and spend the rest of the night searching for a live pterodactyl on eBay, or B) you come up with an idea for a smart, funny and brave satirical news show that pokes fun at the absurdities of life in Iran. And that's just what Samam Arbabi and Kambiz Hosseini did. Both grew up in Iran and immigrated to the U.S. in search of the freedom and opportunity they never knew at home. Arbabi actually left when he was 12 because his folks worried he'd be drafted into the Iran-Iraq war at age 13.

The show they created is called 'Parazit'. It's a weekly Farsi-language TV show operating out of Washington. The show parodies Iranian politics and culture, and asks some tough questions about the existence of gays in Iran (President Ahmadinejad says there are none: pure gold for the show). It also talks about Internet censorship, the hypocrisy of religion, and political repression.

The show has struck a chord in Iran, where it's downloaded, seen on illegal satellite and on bootlegged DVDs. Parazit has faced criticism as well for slamming Iran's government, but not the U.S. government that funds the show. As the show becomes more and more popular, could Parazit play a role in the ongoing Arab awakening?

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