No Laughs for Lebanon
French-Jewish comedian cancels Beirut show
He may be one of France’s most popular comedians, but when it comes to Hezbollah, Gad Elmaleh is anything but good-humored. After the terrorist group’s television station began spreading rumors that the Jewish Elmaleh, who was born in Morocco and emigrated to France, had served in the Israel Defense Forces, the comedian canceled an upcoming stand-up gig near Beirut, citing a concern for his safety. Although the comedian’s agent refuted the rumors of Elmaleh’s alleged military stint, Al Manar, the Hezbollah network, insisted on its website that “Elmaleh has long expressed willingness to defend his country Israel whenever needed.” Elmaleh’s schedule, however, is far from devastated by the cancellation: he is currently filming a Steven Spielberg-helmed production of the popular Belgian comic book series Tintin, in which he plays—cue the irony—a villainous Arab opium dealer.