By Firouzeh Nabavi

The famous Iranian-American standup comedian, actor and producer, Max Amini, has been in the news recently after his candid, sit-down interview with Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s Crown Prince. “The Unseen Prince Documentary” was released on YouTube on April 1st.

Amini is primarily known as a world-touring stand-up comedian and has appeared on such shows as NBC’s “Heroes,” Netflix’s “Real Rob with Rob Schneider,” and Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia.” He was named as one of the top comedians to watch by Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of Spike’s Car Radio Podcast in early 2020.

Amini has just completed a European tour where he performed in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Munich, and Frankfurt. His “Power of Comedy Tour” will now be taking him to Dubai on April 24, Seattle on May 18, Vancouver on May 19, Ottawa on July 6, Richmond Hill on July 7, Toronto on July 8, Montreal on July 9, Houston on July 15, and Austin on July 16.

Just before his conversation with Reza Pahlavi was released, he explained why he had conducted the interview with the Crown Prince.

“I believe that in the current times, it is crucial for us to acquaint ourselves with our community and its influential members,” he said on Instagram on March 30. “I had the pleasure of sitting down with Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, gaining a deeper understanding of his life story and character.”

“In this two-part documentary, we gain an unprecedented insight into his personality, his philosophy on life, and his unwavering commitment to his motherland, Iran,” he added. “Personally, I found his kind and unpretentious nature appealing and gained a fresh perspective on his profound passion and desire to help his country.”


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Prior to “The Unseen Prince Documentary,” Amini conducted an exclusive interview with Ali Karimi, the former captain of Iran’s national soccer team and one of the greatest Iranian players of all time. Karimi has been charged in absentia by the Iranian authorities for his support for anti-government protesters.  “Ali Karimi: Uncensored” was released on YouTube in November last year.

Podcast host and comedian Spike Feresten told Amini during “Episode 143: Comedian Max Amini” of the Spike’s Car Radio Podcast in early 2020 that Seinfeld was a fan of his work.

“We were having coffee with Jerry two weeks ago on the porch and he was talking about this next generation of comedians and he goes, you know who you need to have on, he said you.”

“He said that he saw your act, he said that you have a giant following, that you are booking theaters all over the place and he just thought your standup  was up there with the best.”

Max Amini was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1981 to Iranian parents who were students at the University of Arizona at the time, and later moved to Washington D.C., where his father finished his Ph.D. at George Washington University before going into the real-estate business.

Young Max showed a keen interest in acting and comedy straight out of high school. Thanks to a supportive father, who suggested that he major in something he truly loved, he took classes and fell in love with acting. He told his father that he wanted to become an actor, went into acting and started taking standup comedy workshops on the side as well as doing standup work himself.

Max then moved to Los Angeles, California to study at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. To get into UCLA film school is very hard, as out of thousands of applicants, only 100 are accepted each year.

“This was even harder for a kid who hardly ever studied,” said Amini in the podcast. “What made me really want to go to the best school was my dad’s blessing. It was a big deal for a Persian parent to approve of that.”

Max said it was difficult for immigrant families “who come to this country fighting for their lives to be here, and finally get here and work hard to raise a family” to accept that their child is going to become a “druggy” and waste his life. “So they always encourage you to become an engineer,  doctor, or lawyer. That encouragement and that love made me go: ‘you know what, I’m going to surprise them and go to the best school.’”

“I studied my ass off,” he continued. “I went to two years of community college and really killed myself to bring up my grades and then I started applying.” After applying two years in a row, he got accepted the second time with better grades, a good interview and a good audition.

Amini launched his career as a stand-up comedian in 2002, while still at university, and rapidly established a reputation as a rising star on the comedy circuit. After graduating from UCLA in 2004, he landed a residency at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory in 2006, embarking on his first comedy tour “Exotic Imports,” shortly thereafter.

Amini has since taken his tours across the globe to Canada, the UK, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. He established his own production company “Abstraction Media Inc.” in 2010, producing numerous TV shows. In 2018, he directed his first feature film “James the Second.” His YouTube channel has garnered over 10 million views as of 2022.

“I really think the best part of this story is for parents to allow their kids to follow their dreams. Everyday no matter what background you’re from, parents make their kids’ lives so difficult by thinking they own these people and they control their destiny which is not true. You can’t control anybody’s destiny.”

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