Singapore does have a sense of humour.
With a record that includes banning chewing gum and censoring slapstick comedies like Borat, it’s fair to say that Singapore is not known for its sense of humour. But that doesn’t mean Singaporeans don’t enjoy a good laugh. To see the city-state at its silliest and most politically incorrect, check out Comedy Masala night every Tuesday at Home Club.
Any other night of the week Home Club is an underground nightclub, but on Tuesdays it’s the stage for Singapore’s aspiring stand up comedians. Comedy Masala was started in 2010 by Umar Rana, banker by day and comedian by night, who also serves as the hilarious emcee. Comedy Masala is a true open mike night and anyone can take the stage (contact Umar in advance to reserve your slot): the line-up includes Singaporeans, expats and the occasional professional comedian passing through town.
The show starts around 21:00 and a typical night will feature about 10 comedians. Each amateur comedian is limited to five minutes so even if they bomb (which does occasionally happen) the suffering doesn’t last too long. Professional funny people, like recent headlining UK comedian Bentley with his catchy song about discovering his girlfriend was a ladyboy, are given more time. Since Comedy Masala takes place in a bar all audience members are 18+ and the jokes can get quite raunchy.
Comedy Masala is a bargain at S$10 for admission including one drink (S$6 if you’re a college student). After that, it’s happy hour all night long with mixed drinks and beer costing S$12 for two. It’s rightfully popular and if you have any hope of getting a table you’ll need to make a reservation. Otherwise, people crowd in along the sides of the bar and sit down on the floor to watch the comedians. You can get a taste of Comedy Masala on YouTube.
Tanya Procyshyn is a freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea.
Our top 10 places to eat and drink around Downtown Singapore