Jul 15 2011

Having a laugh in Kuala Lumpur

Published by at 5:05 am under Bars & nightlife

Up until two or three years ago, the state of live comedy in Kuala Lumpur was no laughing matter; a doctor would have found virtually no life at all in the city’s collective funny bone. While the local comedy scene is hardly in rude health these days, its condition has at least seen a marked improvement. Much of this is down to Comedy Club KL, a season of stand-up comedy nights at various venues, organised by Laugh Out Loud Events.

The second season of Comedy Club KL finished in June, but a third one is due to start in December 2011. In the meantime, several special events will be held under the Comedy club KL umbrella over the next few months. The first of these — Laugh off Asia — brings together performers from Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong, for the comedy equivalent of a “battle of the bands”.

In the blue corner MALAYSIA, in the red corner SINGAPORE.

Laugh Off Asia kicks off in KL on July 21 (Twentyone Tables and Terrace, 20:30) and July 22 (Bedroom, 20:30), with a match-up between LOL Entourage from Malaysia, and Comedy Masala from Singapore. Each show will last two hours, and comprise of three rounds of “laugh offs”. Tickets cost 53 ringgit each and are available from Ticketpro.

Subsequent contests will see Malaysian comics travel to Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Jong. KL will also host future Laugh Off Asia bouts against the Philippines and Hong Kong in late 2011 and early 2012. Other events over forthcoming months include Mega Comedy Shows and The Kings and Queens of Comedy Asia.

A very phoony man.

Apart from Comedy Club KL, a sprinkling of venues host regular stand-up performances, such as the Italian restaurant Nerofico. It generally holds stand-up nights on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The performances start at 21:00 and tickets cost 20 ringgit. It’s also worth checking out the Actors Studio and the KL Performance Arts Centre for comedy, although generally these come in the form of sketches or improvisation, rather than straight stand-up.

Bear in mind that however liberal and open-minded KL may appear to be, comedians do have to tread carefully in their material. This is a Muslim-majority country after all. So you are highly unlikely to hear the kind of no holds barred humour common in places like London and New York. But so long as the gags keep coming, and the punters keep laughing, who’s to say that’s necessarily a bad thing?

Twentyone Tables and Terrace
T1, 3rd Floor, 285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Buki Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2287 0021

Lot 1.03 & 1.04, Level 6, The Pavilion, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2141 9620

T: (03) 7880 7999

The Actors Studio @ Lot 10
The Rooftop, Level 8A, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, 50 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2142 2009 (box office)

Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre
Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 4047 0910 (enquiries); (03) 4047 0900 (box office)

Ground Floor, Wisma Perintis, 47 Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2089 5312

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