Comedy refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or to amuse by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film and stand-up comedy. Comedians, the people who make the laughter happens then must possess talent, confidence, and agility to provoke hilarity in the right moment and spot-on timing. Given such high level of aptitude required, we must say comedians are born. Of course experience can mold a better comedian but respect should be given to them as not only they are special, they are also introducing happiness and positivity into our culture and daily life. This list introduces Top 10 most voted comedians, not specifically to a certain type of comedy but surely 10 funny sons of Malaysia we are proud to have.
1) Harith Iskander
Recently named “Asia’s Best Stand-Up Comedian Award” by Top 10 of Asia Award 2014, Harith Iskander is referred to as the Godfather of stand-up comedy in Malaysia. Since 1991 Harith has performed live in front of thousands (if not, millions) of people with his unique and original material. His comedy performances is in great demand and any company function is never complete without Harith inevitably bringing the house down with his routine. Last year Harith embarked on a six-nation comedy tour titled “The Godfather of Malaysian Stand-Up Comedy International Tour” where he performed to audiences in India, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and Indonesia.
2) Douglas Lim
If Harith is the Godfather then Douglas is the favourite son of stand-up comedy. Douglas founded the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians (MACC) with fellow comics Phoon Chi Ho, Jason Leong and Kuah Jenhan in 2009. Douglas’ first taste of the performing arts is when he started out as a singer-songwriter right after high school. During his first two years of matriculation studies, he landed himself a decent role on local production Kopitiam. Douglas Lim is now primarily a stand-up comedian; but beyond comedy, he is also an actor, composer and lyricist.
3) Ahmad Nabil Ahmad
Originating from Negeri Sembilan, Ahmad Nabil started to gain recognition after winning the second season of the comedy talent search reality show, Raja Lawak. Better known as Nabil Raja Lawak by the public, Nabil today is arguably one of the popular stand-up comedians who is profound in our national language, Malay. His career as a comedian eventually earned him his first appearance in a movie called Sifu & Tongga in early 2009, followed by Lu Pikirlah Sendiri de Movie in 2010, an autobiographic film about his journey as an artist. He hosts an entertainment program named MeleTOP and stars in successions of local movies and TV series.
4) Dr. Jason Leong
One of Malaysia’s fastest rising comedians, Dr. Jason loves to entertain audiences with clean, sharp and observational humour. In 2013, Dr. Jason Leong became the first Malaysian to win the Annual International Comedy Competition held in Hong Kong where he was also voted as the Overall Audience Favourite. This gave him the opportunity to perform in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York. Dr. Jason is the resident emcee of Comedy Kao Kao, a monthly comedy show which he started few years ago, and is also part of the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians (MACC) produced by Douglas Lim.
Also known as ‘Malaysia’s First Chindian Comedian’, Gajen started doing comedy in 2009 in university. He then went on to organise Monash University’s first ever comedy show in 2012 and performed in public for the first time at Comedy Kao Kao. Today, Gajen is no stranger to the limelight, having appeared in Monash’s student magazine Monga, interviewed by Capital FM, and NTV7 filmed a documentary about his career as a stand-up comedian. He has also performed in corporate dinners, weddings, charity shows and more than 80 comedy shows, sharing stages with comedians from U.S., U.K., Australia and Hong Kong.
6) Shuib Sepahtu
Shahmira bin Muhamad or Shuib Sephatu has been making a name for himself after Team Sepah clinched the title of Raja Lawak Season 3 in 2009. After Team Sepah was dismissed, Shuib formed Team Sepahtu with his peer Jep Sepahtu and became champion once again in another comedy show called Maharaja Lawak Mega in 2013. Having worked in a factory and then failed at trying his talent as a singer by entering Akademi Fantasia, Shuib eventually found that comedy is what he is destined for. Since he gained recognition from Raja Lawak, Shuib’s career quickly expanded into acting and he has starred in several dramas and movies.
7) Phoon Chi Ho
Equipped with a catalogue of sharp-wit observations, off-the-wall dance moves, and rib-tickling takes on local life, Phoon Chi Ho has made more than a hundred performances around the country since his comedy debut in 2014 when he co-founded the local comedy dance troupe, The ComeBackKings. Together with the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians (MACC), Chi Ho has helped to produce more than 30 sold-out shows. Offstage, Chi Ho is a freelance writer by profession, an actor by ambition, a voice actor by option and channels his passion for comedy as a stand-up comedian.
8) Afdlin Shauki
As a stand-up comedian and improvisational comedic actor, Afdlin, also known as Chief Kodok to his fans, has performed in numerous solo stand-up shows on stage. He regularly performs in Malaysia’s own live version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and also produced the highly popular comedy sketch show, “Ah-Ha”, co-starring Harith Iskander. In addition, Afdlin played a regular character on the highly popular and successful series Phua Chu Kang, produced by Mediacorp Studios, Singapore. He then starred as the lead in a local sitcom, Show Me The Money. He has produced, directed, and performed in live theatre comedy show, Actorlympics, which was aired on NTV7 Malaysia.
9) Kuah Jenhan
Kuah Jenhan exploded into the Malaysian comedy circuit in 2006 at “Free Flow”, an open mic session at The Actors’ Studio in Bangsar before winning Bond’s Stand-Up Comedy Competition the same year. Jenhan has performed at sold-out shows for paying audiences in Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Selling out his last four solo shows, he is a highly sought-after entertainer at corporate events and is also part of the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians (MACC). Jenhan is also a columnist with Esquire magazine, a radio and voice over talent, a script-writer for TV shows, feature films, and in the performing arts.
10) Kavin Jayaram
Kavin Jayaram is known as the grumpiest comedian in Malaysia for his love-hate relationship with his life, love and country. Popular at open mic spots, he has since performed with international acts and countless of other Malaysian stand-up comics. Since his first performance in 2006, Kavin has grown leaps and bounds and is involved in many major comedy shows and projects. He is passionate in developing and paving the way for new talents in the industry with “One Mic Stand”, a weekly comedy open mic night.