mo' mo is a good thing
Runaway Netflix star Mo Amer returns to Houston for big homecoming show — and gets his own day
Here in Houston, getting a ceremonial “day” is a rite of passage for local notable names, and a Houstonian rising national star is about the join that list.
Acclaimed comedian, writer, and blossoming celeb Mo Amer will headline a homecoming performance at Bayou Music Center on Saturday, September 16. As a nod to the show, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared September 16 as “Mo Amer Day in Houston” on Thursday, July 13 — 713 Day in Houston.
Tickets for Amer's show, sure to be a big draw, are on sale now at LiveNation.com. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Hastings High Theatre program and band — Amer is a Hastings alum — as well as other Houston charities.
“Houston means so much to me,” Amer noted in a statement. “I am thrilled to kick off ‘Mo Day’ at Bayou Music Center with the people that mean the most to me. I look forward to celebrating with H-Town and to give back to the community that nurtured me.”
Fans can expect other surprise guests for the night, to be announced later, according to press materials.
Amer is the creator and star of runaway Netflix hit Mo, which debuted last August to rave reviews, scoring a 100-percent critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. His show won a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series (Under 40 Minutes). Amer has also been nominated for the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards, in the category of best lead performance in a new scripted series.
Based and shot in Houston and a love letter to the city, Mo finds Amer playing Mo Najjar, a Palestinian refugee looking to gain asylum in Houston. As CultureMap's Craig Lindsey notes, the shows follows Mo's bumbles across town (he gets fired from a pretty basic cell phone store job), Mo hustles for gigs as his family waits for the government hearing and process. Charming and warm at times, the show weaves relatable family elements (Mo is especially protective of his brother who is on the autism spectrum), postcard shots of Houston and cameos (Bun B and Paul Wall), and the existential burden immigrants and refugees face every day.
It's an autobiographical tale: Amer — born Mohammed Amer — came to the U.S. when he was nine years old when his family fled Kuwait just before the start of the Gulf War. A teacher at Hastings High School, one Mrs. Broderick, offered him a chance to perform Shakespeare in front of his class, as noted by Andrew Dansby of the Houston Chronicle.
It was a pivotal moment. Amer honed his comedy chops in Houston clubs before rising to national acclaim and rubbing elbows with entertainment moguls in Hollywood. He just starred alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson — stole scenes, really — in the superhero film Black Adam, which scored more than $393 million at the box office.
Followers can catch his two Netflix comedy specials: Mo Amer: The Vagabond and Mo Amer: Mohammed in Texas — and of course at his big Mo Day show.