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Comic's joke about Middle Easterners leads a man to call police

Posted: 8:25 PM, May 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-15 20:25:40-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — An audience member at a North Naples comedy club called the Collier County Sheriff's Office, claiming one comic's routine supported terrorism, according to a a recording provided by CCSO.

"He said, 'we could start our own little terrorist organization,'" the anonymous caller told the dispatcher, after seeing Ahmed Ahmed's stand-up routine Saturday night at the Off The Hook Comedy Club.

"I never used the word 'terrorism,' never used the word 'terrorist,'" Ahmed said Wednesday.

"What I did say was, 'how many Middle Eastern people are in the room?'" he added. "A few people did clap, and I said 'great, there's a small group of us, but hey, it only takes one of us.' There was awkward laughter in the audience, and I followed up with, 'to tell a joke.'"

Ahmed said that he spoke with fans and posed for pictures with them after his show Saturday.

"I'm out there shaking hands," he said. "Terrorists aren't yelling 'death to America,' then 'let's take a selfie.' Trust me, they're not doing meet-and-greets."

Ahmed said when deputies showed up at the club to talk to him, they seemed a little embarrassed to be there, but asked him some questions and left after a few minutes.

Club owner Brien Spina said he's asked Ahmed to return for a show on Wednesday, March 22.

"It's not an act that would offend people," Spina said.

Ahmed said that he's actually thankful that the man called police after his show over the weekend.

"This is the most press I've ever gotten in a short amount of time," he said. "It's been kind of funny and overwhelming at the same time."

Ahmed said he plans to work the incident into his routine.