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A Gay, Jewish-Palestinian Married Couple, Made a Hilarious Cartoon Series

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Meet Jess & Eman, The El Salomons

The gay, Jewish-Palestinian married standup duo brought to life their endless real-life comedic content through a new cartoon series illustrated by Jesse Brown.  I have to say the couple’s cartoons are simply delightful, and they nearly made me shoot coffee out of my nose while reading them one morning.  Equally satisfying are the comedy couple’s story and standup, meet Jess & Eman of the El Salomons, comedians you should know…

Where are you two from?

Eman: Palestinian born in Kuwait and moved to Canada when I was 10.
Jess: Montreal. Home of the poutine and me!

How did you meet?

Jess: Our families introduced us.
Eman: Haha. We met on the standup circuit in Montreal. I thought she was a Mossad agent hired by Israel to sabotage my career.

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Where were your first set(s), and how did they go?

Eman: Absolutely terrible. And I invited everyone I knew to make it official in front of everyone that I have made a huge mistake. How I continued doing stand up is a mystery.

Jess: My very first set was in Amsterdam at an open mic I wasn’t planning to go up at. I stood next to the spotlight because it was hot and I couldn’t see the audience under it. No one laughed but in my defense the Dutch are not known for their sense of humour.

Where do you perform regularly?

Eman: All over NY. Cool BK bars, old school Manhattan comedy clubs, anyone who’d have me I’m there. I also go back to Canada often to headline or perform in comedy festivals. They like me a lot more now that I no longer live in Canada.

Jess: New York Comedy Club is my favorite club in NYC. I’ll be taping my album there on Nov 6th. I also have a show called The Lesbian Agenda at Union Hall that I co-host with Sophie Santos. Otherwise just check my website!

Have you ever performed in Palestine or Israel?

Jess: I haven’t.

Eman: I have I went in 2009 and 2011. How I fell in love with a Jewish woman after being there is the second biggest mystery.

What was your first job job?

Eman: My parents owned a muffin and coffee shop when we first moved to Canada. I was running the place by 12 years old. It was a horrible time for my parents. They had big jobs in the middle east and they agreed to partner up with my aunt and uncle but my parents got stuck doing all the work. My mom was there all day, every day. My dad’s family is horrible. They’ve screwed him over repeatedly. How he still talks to them is mystery #3.

Jess: I worked at a cookie shop it was also horrible. They made me wear a giant chef hat.


Do you have a favorite 1 liner?

Eman: Palestinians are a unique minority group, we get excited when a racist person tells us to go back to our country.

Jess: When I was a kid I once shoplifted a thesaurus but then I felt so guilty, so remorseful, so repentant, so shameful, so contrite, so penitent, so sorry, I returned it.

Does one of you do the illustrations and the other write the dialogue?

Eman: I’m pretty sure I’m the only high schooler who ever lived to have to do extra homework in Art class because I was so bad at drawing. I mean, if you even see my handwriting you’d take the question back. Luckily we have been blessed with our dear talented friend Jesse Brown. He does the illustrations but also adds so much to the jokes we come up with how he draws our facial expressions.

Jess: We write the jokes and Jesse brings them to life.

Jess Salomon, left, and Eman El-Husseini of The El-Salomons.   Photo: JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Who is a performer you’re embarrassed to like?

Eman: Are politicians performers? In America for sure they are. I find Mitt Romney so hot. If you never want to talk to me again I’ll understand.

Jess: I know I’m supposed to be embarrassed that I was a big Phish head but I will not bow to society’s shaming. Also, I can’t stop listening to Dojo Cat’s “Mooo”.

Funniest thing on TV/streaming right now?

Eman: I think Will & Grace was and still is the funniest show ever!!

Jess: I’m way into the Good Place. Also, Baroness Von Sketch Show! (full disclosure I wrote on an upcoming season but it hasn’t aired yet so this isn’t bias)

Who are some funny people you think are going to be big one day?

Eman: Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini, obvi. In all seriousness though I don’t know if whoever makes it is necessarily funny or always deserving. Comedy isn’t just about being funny anymore. Having a good amount of followers on-line is supreme. And now that I’m done being resentful NY has so many incredible comics and I don’t even enjoy watching stand up that much, it’s work you know. But the one person who’s made me fold over cry laughing is Jessica Kirson, she’s been in the game a while and I don’t understand how she’s not a mega celebrity comedian. She’s incredible. I can’t imagine anyone funny enough to follow her.

Jess: Everything Eman said. And I’d like to add Sam Jay. I think she’s going to be the next Chappelle.

Next Show:

NYCF Presents: Jess Salomon Album Taping

November 6th

New York Comedy Club, 7pm & 9:15pm




Eman: @emanifique

Jess: @jess_salomon

Together: @TheElSalomons

Websites: /

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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