August 7, 2013
For Shandon’s birthday yesterday, I thought we’d do something different and so I suggested checking out Comedy Masala at Home Club.
Everyone loves some laughs right?
Comedy Masala is a weekly “Standup Comedy Open Mic” night and gives anyone a chance to learn and perform standup comedy to a live audience, for three to five minutes every Tuesday.
It’s held in a small, pared down venue; dark, old and a little grimy, apparently a weekend hipster hangout, but I liked it because of it’s authenticity that reminded me of my NYC adventures, and it being wholly different from the slicked-up poseur clubs that have come to dot Singapore’s nightscape.
Anyhow. I went with full knowledge that the brave men putting themselves up for potential ridicule were amateurs, hence one’s standards must not be too lofty. That’s the fun of it too, I suppose — the “it’s so bad that it’s good” entertainment. The question of the night for us was – what to expect from Singaporean comedians?
Firstly, they’re not all Singaporean. A good majority of the performers were foreigners and expats. Secondly, I was none too impressed. At many points I would have walked out or put in some ear plugs if I could.
You see, in my opinion, this is the litmus test of a truly gifted comic:
1. He has no need to resort to using the word “f***” or other vulgarities repeatedly to be funny.
2. He has no need to resort to crude sexual jokes or use sexual innuendos to be funny.
3. He has no need to persistently keep shrieking and screaming loudly like a hyena on drugs to be funny. (the mic is working, you have our attention, and thank you very much for the splitting headache)
Unfortunately, besides one or two exceptions, such talent was SORELY LACKING at Comedy Masala, and some might say in the stand-up comedy world today. Cheap comedy is using cheap low brow tactics to garner cheap laughs. And worse when it falls flat on a silent audience, as it did ever so often during the show. If you were one of the performers and you plead guilty to the above charges, repent redraft & improve. Keep trying!
I leave you with an example of one very unique stand-up legend and also my personal favourite: Mitch Hedberg.
Brilliant understated wit. ROFL