Saudi music legend Abdu’s new video rakes up a storm

Updated 28 August 2013
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Saudi music legend Abdu’s new video rakes up a storm

A new video clip released on the first day of Eid by “The Artist of Arabs” Mohammed Abdu has disappointed his fans, who say the song, in which the singer is wearing a Western attire and includes dance scenes, does not suit his grand status and age.
The song is called ‘Wahda be Wahda,’ Arabic for ‘one for one,’ and is directed by Kuwaiti director Yaqoub Al-Muhanna. Abdu’s fans criticized his new video on social media platforms, where they vented their embarrassment. Many of them say the Saudi singer did a huge mistake by agreeing to do the video because it was more suitable for a young singer and not for an legend of the Arab world.
“When I first saw it I thought it was a prank because Mohammed Abdu is always singing the national anthem and the lyrics for his songs are usually written by Saudi royalty,” tweeted Amal Al-Qahtani.
“Imagine the late opera singer Pavarotti appearing in a video clip for Snoop Dogg. This action doesn’t suit giants, because every artist has his own style, which he built over the years. The video clip it is a setback, not an evolution,” said Raja Sayer Al-Mutairi, editor of the entertainment page in Al-Riyadh daily newspaper.
“This video clip is acceptable from a younger singer like Lebanese singer Meriam Fares or Egyptian singer Saad Elsoghayar because it is more of their style but Mohammad Abdo has never filmed anything like that during his long singing career. I find the Kuwaiti director, Yaqoub Al-Muhanna, quite daring to film this kind of a song. I hold Yaaqoub responsible for distorting the image of Mohammed Abdu, for he chose a style that doesn’t suit the age of the artist and his status, not to mention the fact that the filming isn’t compatible with the lyrics of the song. I don’t know why he chose to film the video clip in a club when the song is all about a man addressing his beloved,” he said.
Another tweep Ammar Ashour said Abdu ruined his reputation with the amateur video clip. “I don’t know what he was thinking and what he was trying to proof. He is already a legend and he does not need improvement. He lost many fans because of this song,” he said.
The director should have studied the audience before working on the clip, said tweep Najlaa Al-Mutairi.
“When working with a legend such as Mohammed Abdu, one should always do their homework and know who they are dealing with,” she said. “Now I’m sure Al-Muhanna’s market value has gone down and many artists are going to refuse to work with him after he ruined Abdu’s reputation,” she added.
Journalist Salah Makhareesh tweeted: “The idea of filming a video clip doesn’t suit the artistic history of this legend; I wish he didn’t broadcast the whole thing.”
Fahad Zaidan, art editor in Al-Madinah daily, said: “Mohammad Abdu surprised everyone with this clip that doesn’t go with his status. He made a big mistake and distorted his reputation. He would have deplored other singers if they did the same. It will be best for Abdu to quit singing and maintain his dignity, because staying will stain his reputation even more.”
Managing editor of Al-Nadi newspaper Naeem Tamem Al-Hakim said that Arab artistic and music history is replete with emotional and nationalistic songs. “These songs and the songs of the late artist Talal Maddah enriched the Saudi music history.”
“This song was not only a failure but it was like falling into the swamp of youth songs that contradict Abdu’s long artistic history, which is filled with creativity and innovation,” said Al-Hakim.
“He should quit now on demand to maintain his reputation,” he added.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

Updated 22 October 2018
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

  • Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett

WASHINGTON: After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television characters to her name — Elaine Benes of “Seinfeld” and foul-mouthed Vice President Selina Meyer — Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy.
On Sunday night at Washington’s Kennedy Center, the 57-year-old actress received a stream of testimonials from celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey, touching on the multiple aspects of her career.
“We both started comedy in Chicago,” said Fey, paying tribute by tracking the similarities between their lives.
“We both moved on to ‘Saturday Night Live.’ We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall,” referring to Louis-Dreyfus’ husband and former SNL cast mate, sitting next to the honoree. Fey praised the “secret precision” of her comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.
“Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer,” Fey said. “Julia’s never been afraid to be unlikable — not on screen and not in person.”
Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby, the winner in 2009, had his award rescinded earlier this year after he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
During last year’s ceremony to honor David Letterman, Cosby’s name was never mentioned. But this year, two of the performers felt comfortable making Cosby jokes. Late night host Stephen Colbert displayed a sign proclaiming, “167 days since the last Un-Twaining.”
With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, “I think you’ll be OK.”
Later Keegan-Michael Key come onstage, dressed as Mark Twain himself and proceeded to roast many of the previous award recipients. When a picture of Cosby was briefly shown, Michael-Key quickly moved things along and said, “It’s OK, he’s not watching,” then added that he doubted PBS was a popular channel “in the penitentiary.”
Seinfeld, while on the red carpet before the ceremony, recalled first meeting Louis-Dreyfus during an informal audition. His iconic sitcom, “Seinfeld,” was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on “Saturday Night Live.”
“We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together,” Seinfeld said. “As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one.”
Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called “a very male show.”
That confidence was evident very early for Louis-Dreyfus, who said she knew as a young child that she had a gift for comedy.
“The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn’t come out!” Louis-Dreyfus said before the ceremony.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of “Seinfeld” until he immigrated to the USas an adult.
“But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here,” he said.
The co-writer of the movie “The Big Sick” recalled her iconic, slightly convulsive “Elaine Benes dance” on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus’ gift for physical comedy.
“There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them,” he said. “But she was just fearless and ego-less.”
At the end of the night, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life’s ambition to be a respected dramatic actress_stopping in mid-speech to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.”
A native of the Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms school, alma mater of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assault.
Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford’s testimony_framing it around her performance in high school of the play “Serendipity.”
“I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it,” she said, to a round of laughter and applause. “But I can’t remember who drove me there or who drove me home.”
Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago’s famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” After her nine-year run on “Seinfeld,” her turn as Vice President Selina Meyer on “Veep” earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.
The upcoming seventh and final season of “Veep” was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer. That season is currently in production.
PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.