Everyone knows the fantasy: you step onto that stage for the first time, grab the microphone, and let loose the floodgates of your unique perspective to the thunderous laughter and applause of the adoring audience. Unfortunately, if you ask anyone who’s ever tried stand up, they’ll tell you that’s not really how it goes down. Except when it is. Dina Hashem was living the dream when she first attempted stand-up by auditioning for the New Jersey Comedy Festival in 2010.
Dina signed up for the festival her junior year of college, in part because a boy she had a crush on had signed up as well. The festival was set up as a competition, and after nailing the audition she went on to win the whole shebang. Dina has since commented on the occasion, “Winning that competition was the most money I made doing stand up for the next seven years.” For better or worse, rich or poor, she’s been telling jokes ever since.
Dina performs with a reserved demeanour that reminds you of the shy girl from middle school. This sets the audience up perfectly to be shocked when they hear that shaky voice discuss things such as what men have said to her in bed and the quality of customer service in sex shops. Her video posted on the Comedy Central Stand-Up YouTube channel has amassed over 2.5 million views, at least a dozen of which from yours truly. She had me hooked from the very first line: “I can’t tell if I’m getting uglier, or more men are becoming feminists… but it’s getting quiet out there.”
Hashem has earned some impressive credits for herself since her abrupt eruption a decade ago. Her first appearance on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle once again ended in victory. She has been named one of Team Coco’s “Comics to Watch” at the New York Comedy Festival as well as making her late-night debut with a set on Conan. She was also a semi-finalist in the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival and the She-Devil Comedy Festival and her writing has been featured on Comedy Central’s Indecision Forever, Nickelodeon, and TV Land. Currently, pandemic permitting, Dinah Hashem can be seen performing regularly at The Stand and the Comedy Cellar in New York.
Dina found herself in some hot water in 2018 after a joke she made about rapper Xxxtentacion’s death went viral. Hashem said on stage, “He was shot, he was on his way to buy a car with $50K in cash and somebody shot him and took the money. Which is very tragic but I think also it would be a very good Venmo commercial. That’s the first thing I thought when I heard that.” She faced aggressive backlash from hip-hop fans on Twitter for making light of the artist’s death, but many comedians came to her defence, including Comedian Mike Drucker who posted on Twitter, “If you’re more comfortable with a violent abuser than you are with a comedian making a joke about a violent abuser, that says more about you than the comedian.”
If you love yourself, check out Dina Hashem’s clips on YouTube or listen to her podcast Dead Quiet. If you don’t love yourself, look her up anyways. Who knows, maybe something will shake loose. Just to recap: regardless of your personal feelings towards yourself, Dina shouldn’t have to suffer for your poor self esteem. Have a laugh, you won’t regret it.
Dina’s Official Site is here.