Gad Elmaleh at Joe's Pub (Photo courtesy of Jon Asher)

Gad Elmaleh at Joe’s Pub (Photo courtesy of Jon Asher)

Mentioning Gad Elmaleh’s residency at Joe’s Pub to my American friends was a weird experience. “He’s the most famous comedian in France!” I said, full of jingoistic pride. The embarrassed silence that ensued made me realize that my announcement didn’t quite have the expected effect. So I tried a different approach. “He’s like the French Jerry Seinfeld, you know. They’re actually good friends. He’s even been a guest on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

“Oh… Really?” was the politest answer I could get. But I saw in my interlocutors’ perplexed eyes that they had no clue who the hell I was talking about.

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