How Tehran Von Ghasri uses laughter to break down barriers
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT Sep. 04, 2023
Comedian Tehran Von Ghasri’s diverse background gives him one of the most unique perspectives when he takes the stage.
His multi-ethnic heritage consists of African American, Persian, Jewish, Muslim and Zoroastrian.
While getting his degrees in politics, economics and law in Washington D.C., Von Ghasri would fly to LA weekly for the chance to learn and perform stand up, knowing that comedy was the path he was meant to be on.
Now he often sells out shows at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, where he uses comedy to take on divisive issues such as race and bigotry.
“That’s actually what the role of comedy is,” he said. “Good comedy makes you laugh. Great comedy makes you think.”
On the latest episode of “LA Stories” with Giselle Fernandez, Von Ghasri shares how he developed a strong sense of who he is at a young age. He describes a situation that happened when he was a young boy.
His father came to pick him up from school, and because his father looked different from him, the teachers would not let Von Ghasri leave with his father.
He remembers feeling embarrassed at first for not looking like his father, but when he saw his father’s sincerity and resilience, he said those uncomfortable feelings washed away.
“I decided then I would never question again,” he said. “I would never have to justify who I was or justify why I was ever again.”
Today, Von Ghasri aims to bring his personal enlightenment to others through comedy. By making jokes out of the many divisive issues we face as a nation, he hopes to break down barriers between people in order for us to see ourselves in the other.
A committed activist, Von Ghasri recently joined a mission to help Ethiopian Jews immigrate to Israel. He said the experience changed him for good and has inspired him to continue his mission to inspire change through comedy.
“I have a message, but unlike a preacher, I reach people. I’m not preaching to people,” he said. “That’s the difference…. I sprinkle in that spoonful of sugar and I add the laughs.”