Akmal has no beef with Rocky
HE's the man Rockhampton loves to hate.
But it turns out comedian Akmal Saleh doesn't reciprocate some people's love to loathe him - the Beef Capital is just great fodder for his comedy routine.
It's a sentiment he shared with Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter when Akmal invited him on stage at a Gold Coast convention.
The Australian-Egyptian joker has been at loggerheads with Rockhampton locals ever since he first joked on national television in 2008 that the town should be moved to Afghanistan.
Akmal said Cr Carter was very understanding when he spoke with him and seemed to be a "charming" man.
He said he was warned before his act not to make any Rocky-related jokes because the town's mayor was in the audience, but he couldn't help himself.
Akmal said Cr Carter was kind enough to join him on stage at the event, held a year ago.
"I asked to have the keys to the city and he said 'yeah' and I said 'good, because me and my friends are going to cut the keys and rob you'," he joked.
But Cr Carter said he expressed his disappointment with Akmal's criticism of Rocky and defended the community.
Akmal called The Bully after an article on Wednesday about his most recent taunts, including jokes locals were unevolved monkeys.
The Bully's chief designer, Jen Gourley, was offended by Akmal's jokes about Rocky when she saw him on Stephen Fry's Quite Interesting show in Brisbane.
She said his jokes denigrating Rocky didn't get that many laughs and came out of nowhere.
Akmal said: "I don't know what show she was at ... it was actually the biggest laugh of the night."
He said Fry was joking about Queenslanders and he pitched in about Rocky. "Humour is usually at the expense of a place."
Akmal said Fry thought the jokes were funny. "It was just improvising ... you just take a risk," he said.