If you thought this weekend’s Saturday Night Live sketch about a college-aged daughter joining ISIS crossed some lines, then just wait until you see what satirical publication The Final Edition already has produced in a new video called “Secret Diaries of a Terrorist.”
The almost 8-minute sketch, which doubles as a pilot presentation, stars Egyptian-American stand-up comedian Ahmed Ahmed as the titular terrorist, Mustafa, in a broad family sitcom setting and an over-the-top laugh track. Qurrat Ann Kadwani plays “7th Wife,” Jenn Dodd and Liana Afuni play “Daughters 49 and 48,” Ryan Jackson plays “Legitimate Son,” and J. Lemish plays “Illegitimate Son,” with J.J. Phillips as “Co-Worker.”
“The continuing misadventures of a misogynistic, sadistic, and violent terrorist… who can’t catch a break from his nagging wives, sass-talking children, and wacky neighbors. Oh, the dysfunction!”
The terrorist family’s home is even numbered 227 — a subtle homage to the family-friendly NBC sitcom of the late 1980s.
Former Two and A Half Men writer Leslie Schapira created and wrote the sketch, executive-producing it with The Final Edition‘s editor-in-chief Tony Hendra (formerly of The National Lampoon and Spy) and managing editor Jeff Kreisler. The Final Edition has been publishing pieces online for the past few years and also has a radio presence, but this is the organization’s biggest push yet into video.
Kreisler said of SNL’s fake ad for ISIS: “The only controversy is that it’s fairly tame, not that funny, and doesn’t have a real point of view.”
Secret Diaries of a Terrorist, on the other hand, is “our attempt to thread the needle between ridiculing terrorists (who need to be ridiculed) and ridiculing Islam (which does not),” Kreisler said.
“Lost in the chatter about whether or not ISIS is a group of “violent extremists” or “radical Islamists” or “misguided cross-dressers” is the fact that it doesn’t matter: They are terrorists, plain and simple. Future episodes to include terrorist neighbors: White supremacists, European nationalists, and the inventor of Clamshell packaging,” he added.
“As for the laugh track,” Kreisler said, “we want this to be very over the top, very obviously a cartoonish take. Were South Park to pull back the bells and whistles and pull their punches, it wouldn’t be as funny…frankly, it’d be offensive. We feel the same way. Being tepid and letting some of the stronger lines just lay there would leave them open to projection and misinterpretation. The laughs make pretty clear what we think about them.”
Roll the clip!