Friend of Graza: Kareem Rahma

Friend of Graza: Kareem Rahma

The NYC-based comedian discusses the correct foods to eat while riding the subway, an oversized suit made out of hot dogs, and his newest talk show endeavor (which feels like a funky dinner party).

Q: How do you describe yourself? 

K: This is the hardest question of all time. I guess it depends on who is asking! I suppose in the context of this interview... I am a New York City-based comedian and entertainer. Sometimes, I am a musician! Other times, I'm what the British call a presenter. How come in the U.K., presenters are called presenters, but in the U.S., they're called hosts? I feel like in the U.K., being a presenter is a well-respected and desirable position, whereas here, it's not as revered. How is that for a damn answer!?!?!?!?! I'm joking, I'm kidding. But seriously, this is a really hard question. 

Q: Finish this sentence, cooking for me is...

K: an act of love! 

Q: What's the best thing to eat on the subway?

K: The best thing to eat on the subway is NOTHING. Do not eat on the subway. Eat while you're walking. Eat in the street on the way from point A to point B. That is the best way to eat. I walk and eat all the time. I guess if you must eat on the subway, you should eat something awful and disturbing and smelly like a tuna melt. 

Q: What's your go-to snack before or after an interview? 

K: Espresso, nicotine, a croissant. I've been into bagels lately. I know everyone is into bagels all the time, but I am currently more into bagels that I usually am. This is not good because I need to lose about 20 lbs. 

Q: Best subway line to ride after grocery shopping?

K: It depends on where you live! I hang out on the subway so much that I usually don't even take it for transportation purposes-- literally, not kidding. I'm usually on a bicycle, in my car, or on my feet. I don't take Ubers because they're too expensive. On the rare occasion that I do need to take an Uber, I splurge and get an XL.

Q: Does your comedy resonate more with drizzle or sizzle energy?

K: I'm definitely a sizzly boy. 

Q: If you had to make an oversized suit out of food, what food would you use?

K: For comfort, I would use lettuce. I feel like that would be a nice material. Or seaweed. That way, I could kill two birds with one stone and potentially get some health benefits out of it. For laughs, I'd use hot dogs because they're so fucking funny. Spaghetti also seems like it could feel quite nice, but the engineering is probably more difficult. 

Q: Favorite NYC kitchen hacks?

K: Find someone who loves you and loves cooking for you, and buy them everything they need. Thank you to my beautiful wife/girlfriend Karina. 

Q: What's one New York staple food that would pair well drizzle or sizzle?

K: I feel like there is a world where you drizzle some olive oil into a pan and then put your bagel face down on it. Do people do that already? If they don't, they should start. I get my bagels toasted. Holy hell, I've talked about bagels a lot in this. Sorry, I am manic today because I am launching my show tomorrow. 

Q: What's on the horizon for you?

K: I just announced a new show called THE LAST STOP with Kareem Rahma. It's a 30-minute talk show where guests from SubwayTakes come on and double down on their takes among a panel of my favorite friends, comedians, and intellectuals. It feels like a dinner party where I'm the host! The first episode features art critic Jerry Saltz, author Brenda Cullerton, and comedians Ian Fidance and Neel Ghosh. You can watch it here