Close
Exit

IN the United States, comedians like Kevin Hart often tour college campuses around the country, performing stand-up routines that pay big bucks. In fact, college comedy events are so popular that Comedy Central even has a full-scale college tour!

In Malaysia, this whole scenario just doesn’t exist. Until now, that is. Local stand-up comedian Dr Jason Leong (he’s a fully qualified real-life doctor) has put together the first ever homegrown college comedy tour called Comedians of the Colleges.

Leong was inspired to organise it after realising that comedians and colleges share a deeply-embedded mutual attraction.

“There’s a huge culture of comedy in colleges in the US and I wanted to bring that here. I think students are the perfect vessels to receive comedy,” he said.

Leong and fellow comedians Brian Tan, Prakash Daniel, Keren Bala Devan, Gajen Nad, Thenesh Skip and Aw Yuong Tuck will tour colleges like Sunway, HELP, IMU and KDU, between Oct 1 and 22 on a mission to elicit laughter at every stop.

Comedians of the Colleges is the first ever college comedy tour in Malaysia and runs from Sept 30 to Oct 22 at various local colleges.

Comedians of the Colleges is the first ever college comedy tour in Malaysia and runs from Sept 30 to Oct 22 at various local colleges.

According to Leong, recruiting the local comedians was a process that literally took all of five minutes. The next step was the rather gargantuan task of persuading universities to let him and his friends perform.

Although getting in touch with the right people proved difficult – “phone calls, Facebook messages, then email, email, email” – everything after that was smooth sailing.

“Colleges are always cracking their heads trying to think of events to give to students, and then we came and said ‘hey this is an idea, all you have to do is give us a venue’,” said Leong.

In putting the tour together, Leong sought out comedians who were either young or didn’t have as much experience in the comedy circuit. This was a deliberate move to ensure the comedians could relate to the college crowd (themselves young and inexperienced).

In fact, the two youngest comedians in the bunch – Aw and Thenesh – are only 23 and 24 respectively. Aw hasn’t even graduated from university while Thenesh is fresh out of college, having graduated late last year.

Both are eager and excited to take on the college tour, particularly Thenesh, who is hoping to make comedy his career.

Leong (right) roped in a number of local comedians, including Thenesh (left) and Aw (middle) for the Comedians of the Colleges tour. - RAYMOND OOI/ The Star

Leong (right) roped in a number of local comedians, including Thenesh (left) and Aw (middle) for the Comedians of the Colleges tour. – RAYMOND OOI/ The Star

“I’ve been looking for jobs but most of the good parts are in comedy. Looking at Jason, I think he shows that you can survive in comedy. Things are changing, so you can actually do comedy full-time now,” he said.

Aw thinks the college tour will give his career a boost, but admits he is nervous about performing in front of his peers.

“I find it harder. I mean, not like super hard, but I think they tend to judge me because I’m younger,” he said.

While Leong thinks performance reactions fluctuate depending on the crowd at each show, he does agree that some concessions have to be made when addressing a college crowd, like omitting profanities and weeding out irrelevant material. But he says there are some themes like relationship blues and exam pressure that will definitely go down well with students.

“I have one about how my mum is a very confusing parent. When I was studying for the SPM, she wanted to motivate me but didn’t want to put too much pressure, so this is what she said to me: ‘Jason, my son, as long as you try your best and work your hardest, Mama will still love you, no matter what kind of A1 you get!’”

While these are the sorts of jokes bound to have audiences of any age doubled over in laughter, Leong has a larger goal in mind for the tour.

Ultimately, he hopes Comedians of the Colleges will encourage Malaysian students to think outside the box.

“I’m not sure about Malaysian colleges but in colleges overseas, students are taught to be critical thinkers,” he said.

“And that’s what comedians do, because we have to come up with our own original observations and thoughts and make it funny. So these two are natural allies, because young people will be like, ‘Oh, that’s a good way to think of that!’”

To Leong, encouraging young people to think beyond what’s right in front of them is key to developing a whole new generation of young creatives.

“When college students graduate, they’re gonna be the managers, the CEOs and the executives of the next generation. So these are the people we want to ask to come and watch these comedy shows. It’s about planting the seed a little bit earlier,” he said.

Tell us what you think!

BTW…

Championing children’s education

Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim speaks on the importance of empathy-based education, the challenges of adapting education policies in light of the Covid-19 situation, and her “dream” education system.

Read more Like this post3

I lost my mother to the Japanese war

 Whenever Allied planes bombed Sandakan town as part of its campaign to liberate Borneo, Daniel Chin Tung Foh’s grandfather would rush the whole family into a bomb shelter behind their house.  During its heyday, the British North Borneo Company had developed Sandakan into a major commercial and trading hub for timber, as well as […]

Read more Like this post1

A witness to the Double Tenth revolt

 Chua Hock Yong was born in Singapore, but his grandfather moved the family to British North Borneo (now Sabah) to establish their business in 1939 when he was a year old.  The Japanese invaded Borneo shortly after, but the family continued living in their shophouse in Gaya Street, Jesselton, now known as Kota Kinabalu.  […]

Read more Like this post3

An encounter with victims of the Sandakan Death Marches

 When the Second World War came to Borneo, Pelabiu Akai’s mother moved the family back to their village in Nalapak, Ranau.  Although the Japanese were known to be ruthless and brutal conquerors, they left the villagers to their own devices and Pelabiu had a largely uneventful life – until she came across gaunt-looking Allied […]

Read more Like this post4

Sarawak’s only living child prisoner of war

 Jeli Abdullah’s mother died from labour complications after giving birth to him and his twin brother. To his Bisaya tribe, this was seen as a bad omen, and his father did not know what to do with the twins.  Fortunately, an Australian missionary couple decided to adopt the newborns. But misfortunate fell upon the […]

Read more Like this post3

Lest we forget

AFIO Rudi, 21, had never thought much about his grandfather Jeli Abdullah’s life story until an Australian TV programme interviewed the 79-year-old about being Sarawak’s last surviving World War II child prisoner of war (POW). The engineering student then realised that despite living in Sarawak all his life, he also didn’t know very much of […]

Read more Like this post6

A native uprising against Japanese forces

 Basar Paru, 95, was only a teenager when his village in the central highlands of Borneo was invaded by the Japanese Imperial army.  “The Japanese told us not to help the British. They said Asians should help each other because we have the same skin, same hair,” Basar recalled. “But we, the Lun Bawang […]

Read more Like this post2

Left behind in wartime chaos

 Kadazan native Anthony Labangka was 10 years old when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Borneo during World War II.  Sitting in the verandah of a modern kampung house on a hot afternoon in Kampung Penampang Proper, where he has lived his whole life, Anthony recalls the hardships of the Japanese Occupation.  The villagers were […]

Read more Like this post2
Kajai R.AGE Wan Ifra Journalism Documentaries Digital Media Awards

R.AGE Audience Survey 2019 + Office Tour contest

Want to be in the running to meet R.AGE producers and journalists? Take part in our R.AGE Audience Survey 2019 by Feb 17, 2019!

Read more Like this post2

BRATs Goes to Genting!

The final BRATs camp of the year promises to be the coolest – literally!

Read more Like this post0

The Hidden Cut

Female circumcision is a very common practice in Malaysia, but the procedure is still almost completely unregulated.

Read more Like this post2

#TeamSatpal: Turtle-y in Trouble

The 21st century brings unseen threats to local turtle conservation efforts.

Read more Like this post0
Go top