وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Heard it Through the Irvine

photo © NBC
So our girl Nasim Pedrad debuted on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. The season opener featured Megan Fox, so not much airtime with airhead except a live slot to begin the Thursday edition. Nasim takes over for Michaela Watkins, who was axed after only one year.

Pretty sweet to see one of the homegrown bacheha make it to the big stage -- especially for a show not exactly known for its ethnic and racial diversity. And lest folks say she's the first Persian on SNL, don't forget I mentioned Ali Farahnakian was a writer on the show in the late 90s. Nasim's also not the first to be on SNL from Irvine. As the OC Weekly notes, Will Ferrell - arguably the most successful ex-SNLer alive - also hails from the town.

Irvine's becoming a nice lil' pipeline for ethnic comedy, arts and music. And food. That's why I head down the 5 any time I can, especially for eats at Caspian restaurant and America's largest Persian supermarket. Even for alt-rock concerts in Anaheim.

Unlike Vest LA, Irvine is an easy-going mulicultural area without the segregation and social grime. Tidy, simple, with educated residents and named this year as America's Safest City.  Thanks to it being home to a major university like UCI (where Asians are the majority), it's one of the few spots in douche-prone Orange County that's not a bastion for Republicants.

Nasim attended University High School, which is also where the first second Iranian in the NFL went to. I'm pretty sure Uni High almost ranks up there with Beverly Hills High in terms of its concentration of Persian students. But unlike the take-themselves-way-too-seriously Beverly kids, the O.C. folks are a bit more real and down to earth -- which is where the most fertile comedic sensibilities can be cultivated.


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