Ray Badran is an Australian comedian, writer, and actor born in Wollongong on 29 November 1985 to Rose and Ray Badran. He is known for Good News Week (1996), Best of the Fest (2014) and The Cradle of Comedy (2012). He has performed stand up comedy across Australia and the United States. Ray Badran is a Comedy Store favourite. He has written for various TV shows, SBS comedy and other projects. In 2014, he was selected to perform for the Comedy Channel’s ‘Best of the Fest’. In 2015 after a successful run at the Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney comedy festivals, Ray took a debut solo show to the Sydney Comedy Store.
Ray badran sydney comedy festival gala 2014
Ray Badran has a degree in medical science but decided to follow his passion of comedy. Ray has performed two solo shows, Raised and Confused and Junior at Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2015 and 2016. Previously he has been a regular at many comedy rooms across Sydney. Ray Badran performed on the NRL Footy Show in 2012 and premiered on The Comedy channels showcase of Sydney Comedy Festival Cracker night in 2014. Ray has also performed solo shows at Perth Comedy Festival and Fringe World, Brisbane Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival and Fringe World. In 2015, he also recorded his first live hour DVD titled Laughter Time at the Sydney Comedy Story.
Justin Hamilton interviewed Badran for his podcast Can You Take This Photo Please?. The interview shone a new light on a controversy misreported by 'The Age' and 'SMH' newspapers where it stated Ray had objected to a 'silent protest' at one of his gigs. Badran was largely silent after the story blew up although the story became the second highest trending story in the country after the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps. Although his management issued a statement, he declined to be interviewed by the broadcast media. His interview on Can You Take This Photo Please? was the first detailing his side of the story.
A vocal female audience member had been heckling the acts all evening. The material Badran did that night, including the “rape joke”, had been well honed in both the United States and Australia throughout the previous year. He’d recently performed it in Sydney in front of Chris Rock and The Chaser (both of whom praised the offensive gag). Badran estimates approximately 50,000 people had heard the gag before this gig, pointing out that its acceptability and comic value had been decided by consensus: “I’m not going to keep doing material that isn’t working”. The joke isn’t actually about rape but about stereotypes in comedy, and the butt of the joke is him. It’s as follows: “If you’re black you can do jokes about being black, if you’re gay you can do jokes about being gay…so I’m not sure if you can tell just by looking at me but…I can do rape jokes.”
The female audience member who had been objecting throughout the night slid under her table and Badran wasn’t sure what was happening as she’d done it without explanation and yelled “You think rape is funny?!”. Ray Badran responded by apologising, however eventually walked off stage saying 'Fuck off and die'. The next day Badran was being tweeted at by a small number of activists, who’d read an account of the gig posted on reddit. The Age republished a story about the incident. Apart from being subject to a lot of abuse and trolling on Twitter, both Badran and his mother received online threats. And while the controversy was ongoing reportedly someone sent a Facebook message to Badran’s girlfriend claiming she was sleeping with him. Badran found the incident difficult to cope with and he’s since seen a counsellor to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-type symptoms.
The Cruckshank Ray Badran - Melbourne International Comedy Festival (2012)
Raised and Confused - Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brisbane Comedy Festival, Perth Comedy Festival & Sydney Comedy (2015)
Breakout comedy - New Zealand Comedy Festival (2016)
Junior - Melbourne Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Perth Cmedy Festival (2016)
Laughter Time - Sydney Comedy Store - Live Recording (2015)
Hidden Sydney - live theatre - 2016