#3 Comedy in Malaysia today: Same old, same old
"Hey Chi Ho! I was at your show lah last night. Eh, why you tell all your old jokes wan? Cannot make new jokes wan meh?"
"Eh hi! Thanks for coming to my show. By the way, which is your favourite Linkin Park song?"
"Farker, dang old song, right? Ask them to write new song lah. You treat me the very double standard wei."
Yes, we all have double standards when it comes to the treatment of comedians - forcing us to listen to your jokes that we've already heard many times over, not will to date us, among other maltreatment. Most of this negativity is directed to our jokes. Like a good friend once said, "If you go to U2's concert, you want to hear their old songs. Why can't people just listen to (comedians') old jokes?"
Well, perhaps jokes are different from songs. You get a totally different feeling of exhilaration when you hear a joke, as compared to a song. When was the last time you laughed at a chorus and jizzed in your pants. The thrill-factor is much higher in jokes too, hence the exhilaration, though brief, deserts us much more quickly. Like cum.
Speaking of cum, jokes are much like porn movies. Come on, watching the same old porn clip does not work without some extra help from your personal wank-box. I'm talking about your imagination. If a new porn movie takes you to places for the first time, it'll take you there for several more stops before it gets you nowhere, and that new porn movie eventually becomes old. Much like a joke.
Some comedians may write jokes every day, but only some jokes can work on an every day. Though there's a funny side to everything, there are many things to consider when it comes to the formulation of jokes. For instance, should a comedian joke about what happened to Japan? I did but I'm not telling that joke. Why? One man's joke is another man's poison and another woman's perplexity.
I think this assumption that comedians have an arsenal of new material every 24 hours stems from our exposure to comedy, be it from books or the Internet. There are tonnes of jokes, funnies or gags out there, but just because we only like (or know) one (or a handful of) comedians, we assume that that either the hero or the heroine comedian is ever-oozing with new material. It does seem like that in books and the Internet, but have ever you questioned what goes on behind the lives of those few comedians?
They have writers. Lots of them. They have comedy tours. Lots of them. And they don't return to their same spot for almost a year, which gives them time to cook up new funnies. Oh, and for the last 'them', I meant the writers. Of course. So, the next time you hear from this same comedian, "Hey! The dude's got new stuff! Let's download it! How the hell did he came up with shit like this?"
Here in Malaysia. What bloody 'comedy tour' do local comics have? We might travel up north, down south or to some place called Borneo but we're back in the same shit hole (comedy venue) after a month. And within that time, I would say the comics would only have coughed out 5 minutes of new material, depending on how many local scandals unfold within that month and depending on whether they write material or not (Yeah, plagiarism is rampant here.)
Over here, audiences are more used to the anecdotal form of jokes. A long story, followed by a twist then a punchline. Normally, jokes on sex and relationships work best. Somehow, this ritual of telling jokes limits the playing field of local comedians, forcing them through a single chute and in turn, drawing the audience with them. The method and topics become exhaustive and the audience get bored. Another reason to ask for new jokes, I suppose.
But perhaps, we should look into the readiness of our audiences at receiving 'new' jokes. I used to tell one-liners but somehow, I feel that, as a local, you're not allowed to sound smarter than you look. But when some white guy does the same, he's automatically brilliant. At least it explains why we don't look highly at our leaders. Seems to me that we're restricted to our own stereotypes - Chinese guys have small dicks, Malay girls are easy and Indians are just plain problematic.So, how can new jokes creep up from this endless and constrained cycle of rhetoric?
So, before you open that pie hole of yours and complain about local comedians repeat their old material, perhaps one should ask oneself first, "Am I ready for new jokes?" At the end of the day, when a new sex position does not work, don't we all return to a more familiar position to get the job done? Then, aren't we all okay with the same old, same old? So, really, there's double standards on how we treat comedians and jokes.
Damn. I could have written some new material by now.