Friday, August 07, 2009

KL's Comedy Scene

In Down To Earth, when Lance Barton’s life was taken a slight too soon by an incompetent angel, Heaven agrees to give Lance another body to continue his life on earth. The body is one of a wealthy but greedy, old white man. The thing is, Lance was played by Chris Rock. And he’s an aspiring comedienne.

One of the first things he did with his newfound wealth is to buy a small comedy club where he can practice his materials every single night. And this is where I thought, why don’t we have anything similar here in KL? Not the rich, old guy thing but the small comedy club scene. And it soon became one of my life’s ambitions to check out one of these establishments myself if I ever get the chance to travel abroad. To this day, the farthest I ever got was to Gold Coast. Not exactly a renowned comedy scene. Plenty of dolphins and koalas but not so much in the form of Russel Peters in sight. Besides, I went there on a family vacation. The wildest night time activity was going doner-kebabing. For take away. From a middle-eastern eatery right across the street opposite the hotel entrance where we were staying. The meat was wicked.

Anyway, not all is lost, because comedy has finally found its way here! Yeay! I should probably wish for a strip joint to be establish here too. Who knows maybe that will also come true. I’m thinking Lorong Haji Taib.

Anyway, back to comedy. Thanks to my new fav local mag, Time Out KL, I was made aware that we do have our own comedy scene right here and it’s been around for more than a year now. My first show was coincidentally their 1st anniversary and I was quite lucky as they were having a special night and they have 8 comediennes to perform that evening (it’s usually 5 or 6 at most). For 10 bucks, that’s one hell of a bargain. Even the likes of Douglas Lim and Harith Iskander were among the attending crowd that night. So you can imagine this is something promising going on here. And that’s why I haven’t missed a show yet. Even if one time it did cost me a photo opportunity with Yuna. But I’ll op for Yuna the next time around.

But, as with any shows, you tend to have a bad one once in a while. Like last night, for instance. It wasn’t really disastrous but it did lack the usual energy. But you have to give them some credit. Most of them are first-timers and amateurs. It really takes some guts to go up on stage and try to make people laugh. Comedy is tough, man. Jerry Seinfeld said that.

I felt sorry for Davina. She’s Miss FHM September 09 and the only female comedienne of the Comedy Thursday scene (apparently, she’s a little loony too). Last time she was on was during the 1st year anniversary and she was quite good that time. She talked about the calendar photo shoot and how fake she looked from the end result (she looks to possess the smoothest arm pit ever!) and it’s always an interesting subject to discuss. Especially when you have a large male crowd. But her horoscope angle last night did not hit off quite as well. But, come one, she’s miss September. She could just stand there just holding the mic doing nothing (which she did for a few times) and still be pleasing to the eye even if only dressed in a pair of sneakers, cargo pants and hoodie.

But there were a few lifesavers yesterday. Notably Jimmy North, a Canadian expat with an American accent and just loves life in KL. He performed his updated version of his ‘I Hate Singapore’ song and got the crowd to sing along the chorus. I mean, come on, how can you not love that?

And the always funny Kavin and his legendary curry-flavored condom story. He found it being sold out of a vending machine at the airport the first time he landed in UK. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Chicken curry or mutton curry? That’s Kavin’s line by the way.

Apart from the TOKL organized show, we have something called the The Comedy Club KL which came up recently. Now this is the more pimped up version of stand-up comedy. No first timers here. Only well established comediennes are invited to perform and, yeah, mostly from abroad. So, no 10 bucks entry charge. More like RM50 plus. But guaranteed laughs. I haven’t tried this yet. But maybe soon enough. Like TOKL’s, their shows are monthly and held towards the end of the month as opposed to TOKL’s early month trend.

Truth be told, KL is still light years behind the likes of London and New York in terms of the comedy scene. But the scene is growing. I can now jot off visiting a comedy club in the states from my life list. Because black and white jokes are so yesterday. As demonstrated by the Young Comediennes of Malaysia, we can take the racism jokes to a whole new level.

Just another thing to do in KL. Oh, by the way, I drove there last night and the show ended at half past eleven.

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