Shalom Asayag: A Multifaceted Israeli Entertainer
Shalom Asayag, born on July 2, 1969, is a prominent Israeli stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, producer, screenwriter, television host, and recipient of the Israeli Academy Award for Television.
Asayag grew up in Tirat Carmel, a town in Israel, in a traditional family with eight siblings, hailing from a Moroccan background. In 1993, two years after completing his military service, Asayag made his debut at a local comedy club, Kamel Comedy Club. This marked the beginning of his career in stand-up comedy, as he started performing comedy shows all across Israel.
His acts primarily revolved around situations typical of Israelis and the dynamics between men and women. He gained widespread recognition when he appeared in the stand-up comedy segment of the entertainment show "Sofshavua" hosted by Dudu Topaz on Channel 1. Shortly after, he secured a regular comedy slot on the program "Margol" hosted by Margalit Tzan'ani, which aired on Channel 2. This was a turning point in Asayag's career, granting him significant exposure.
Radio and Television Career
In 1995, Asayag hosted a radio show on Reshet Gimmel, a popular Israeli radio network. He then participated in the television program "Kayitz Al HaChof" on Channel 2 in 1996.
In 1997, Asayag was honored with the "Golden Nut" award by ACUM for his show "Asayag LeChochma Shtika" (Asayag for Silent Wisdom), becoming the first and only stand-up comedian to receive this prestigious award.
In the same year, he took on a dramatic role in the TV movie "Chatulot HaRa'am" (Thundercats) and began hosting a regular comedy segment on the current affairs show "Al HaShulchan" (On the Table), hosted by Dan Margalit on Channel 2. In 1998, he portrayed the character of Nemalch Zorkin in the musical "Hasamba."
In 2000, Asayag hosted the entertainment show "Lo Lihiyot Lo" (Being Not Being) on Channel 3, and he also participated in the music video for the song "B.M.W. Shchora" (Black B.M.W.) by the band Ethnix.
The year 2000 also saw the release of his second solo show, "Shalom Im Asayag" (Hello, I'm Asayag).
In the same year, he began voicing the Green Parrot character for Bezeq International, an Israeli telecommunications company, which featured in the company's commercials. He also appeared in the drama series "HaMasait" (The Package), which aired on Channel 2. In 2004, alongside Kobi Maimon, he hosted the special show "HaMivchan Shel Israel" (Israel's Exam).
In 2005, Asayag released his third solo show, "Stand-Up BeMitbo," which received great acclaim and continued to run for several years.
Television Hosting and Appearances
Between 2005 and 2006, Asayag hosted a humorous current affairs segment on Yair Lapid's television show. In 2006, he joined the regular panel of the entertainment program "Mo'adon Layla" (Night Club).
In 2007, he co-hosted the show "Kishron O Kishalon" (Talent or Failure) alongside Tal Berman on Channel 2. During the same year, he also performed in his first comedy stage show as a director, "HaChatz Ve'Onsho" (The Chat and Its Punishment), starring Yigal Adika. Furthermore, he appeared in the films "Bruno Me'ohav" and "Rachamim." In the same year, he portrayed the character Kaskesh HaDachalil (The Nutcracker) in the musical "HaKosem!" (The Magician!).
Starting in 2008, Asayag hosted the comedy program "Tzchok Me'Avoda" (Workplace Laughter) for Reshet, an Israeli television network on Channel 2. The show ran for seven seasons until 2013 and achieved considerable success, helping to launch the careers of young comedians. The format of the program was sold to several countries around the world.
In 2009, Asayag performed a stand-up comedy show at the Caesarea Amphitheater, becoming the first stand-up comedian to perform at this prestigious venue.
Production Company and Recent Projects
In 2011, Shalom Asayag founded his production company, "HaMafkim Gaga" (The Gaga Producers). The company produced various shows, including "Kabelu Otam" (Take Them), two special comedy programs featuring young stand-up comedians for Channel 2, the fitness program "Kulam Alay" (It's All on Me) hosted by Kobi Maimon, two seasons of the comedy show "HaProyekt HaYarok" (The Green Project) for Hot Comedy Central, and "Machar Shabbat" (Tomorrow's Saturday) for Channel 1, hosted by Yaakov Cohen and Shmuel Vilozhny. Additionally, the company, in collaboration with the ynet website, launched an online learning platform called "yschool."
In 2013, Asayag, along with his brother Menny Asayag and screenwriter Lior Fried, created the comedy series "Shnot Ha-80" (The 80s Years), which recounted Shalom's childhood in Tirat Carmel. In the series, Asayag portrayed his father, known as "Prosper," while his son, Daniel Asayag, played a younger version of him.
The series premiered on October 10, 2013, on Channel 2 and was later picked up by Reshet (Channel 13). It returned for a second season in 2015, a third season in 2017, a fourth season in 2018, and a fifth season in 2019.
In 2015, Asayag hosted the comedy program "Milchemet HaMinim" (The Battle of the Sexes) on Channel 2, alongside Lital Schwartz.
In 2018, he played a key role in the youth series "Kfula" (Double) as the agent of Noa Kirel, a character based on Kirel's real-life agent, Roberto Ben Shushan.
Recognition and Recent Work
In November 2019, Asayag and his brother Morris were investigated by the police as part of a corruption probe in Tirat Carmel. However, in July 2020, the prosecution decided to close the case due to a lack of evidence.
In 2020, he played the lead role in the suspense series "Minayich" (Your Keeper) on Channel 11. His performance in this series earned him the "Academy Award for Television" in the Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series category.
In 2021, Asayag participated in and hosted the comedy program "Stand-Up Nation," which aired on Channel 13.
Shalom Asayag resides in Tel Mond, a town in Israel. He has been married twice and has a son and a daughter. His first marriage produced Daniel Asayag, who followed in his father's footsteps as a stand-up comedian. In 2011, Shalom Asayag became a grandfather at the age of 41.
Among his siblings are screenwriter Menny Asayag and Morris Asayag, who serves as a deputy mayor and deputy head of the Tirat Carmel municipality.
- שלום אסייגhe.wikipedia.org