Kumar, Adrian Pang, Hossan Leong, Mark Lee, Selena Tan – all household names to the Singapore stand-up comedy scene. But there’s certainly more to the scene than meets the eye.
Brewing in the backdrop are local stand-up comedy open-mic nights where fresh new faces take to the stage to experiment and showcase their comedic talent. With the likes of Comedy Masala, Talk Cock Comedy, and now Gypsy Comedy, Singapore’s local comedy scene is very much a vibrant one!
We go behind the scenes with Sharul Channa, host of Gypsy Comedy and a stand-up comedian herself, to chat more about a career in comedy and the upcoming Gypsy Comedy gig at Lowercase.
We understand you’re a stand-up comedian yourself, a pretty rare career choice for a Singaporean. What sparked an interest and got you started in it as a career?
My partner, Rishi Budhrani, had jumped up on stage at Comedy Masala to do stand-up 6 months before I did. I used to go every week to watch him perform and I started following the pattern of set-ups and punch lines and I thought it was time I gave it a try. Once you get your first laugh – you get hooked. What attracted me most about stand-up was how a single person brings the audience through a journey of emotions and makes them laugh. If a stand-up comedian can bring the audiences to her/his side – it’s like magic.
Looking back, what’s the one piece of advice you would tell the Sharul Channa of 2011 (when you first began)?
Don’t restrict yourself ever when it comes to writing material for jokes. Every idea has gold hidden in it. Trust your instincts!
We love it that Gypsy Comedy features local talents the likes of Jinx Yeo and Joanna Sio! Could you tell us more about their style of comedy?
Jinx Yeo has a very imaginative and mocking style of humor – he is rather poker faced but can make his audiences laugh with his great story telling.
Joanna Sio is a fantastic writer and word play is her forte – she is one of my favorite comedians in Singapore.
Who else can we expect to see at Gypsy Comedy @ Lowercase?
You’ll be able to see a buffet of stand-up comedy. You’ll see different styles, different kinds of story telling, Singaporean comedians, expat comedians and a wide variety of jokes.
How do you curate stand-up comedians for each show?
Usually – we do have a running theme. For this show – I am just trying to showcase stand-up comedy in Singapore to a new audience. I believe students other than the general public will really enjoy this show.
What are the top three traits you’ll find in a mind-blowingly hilarious stand-up comedian?
Humble, Hard-working, Extremely Funny
Tell us a cold joke, like the coldest joke you’ve ever told.
I sat in the refrigerator once because someone said I wasn’t cool enough. That’s my cold joke.
Quick-witted – we’re sure Sharul will have no problems breaking the ice with whoever she meets.
Catch her and a whole host of comedians at the next Gypsy Comedy held at Lowercase, 17 March, 8.30pm. Get your tickets to a good dose of laughing gas here!
Image credit: Sharul Channa