Written by: Lavanya Balakrishnan
Edited by: Fajar
Photo credit: PunchLain organising committee
PunchLain was a charitable stand up comedy event which was held on the 19th of October 2018 at JC2) of Sunway University from 7.30pm to 10.00pm. The event consisted of five budding stand up comedians in Malaysia, a music performance by a member of the Department of Communication and Liberal Arts (DCLA) alumni, and an interactive game involving the audience. The event proceeds were distributed to Shelter Home, Home for Children Malaysia to benefit underprivileged children. The aim of PunchLain was to offer and cherish the audience with laughter, provide the comedians with a platform to gain more exposure and donate to Shelter Home with the proceeds from the event.
PunchLain was organised by the DCLA third year students of BA (Hons) Communication who are specialising in the Public Relations Project Management major. PunchLain was organised as part of their coursework for the subject, COM3174 (Events Management) to ensure students obtain practical insights in planning and executing Public Relations campaign. The concept of ‘embracing yourself through laughter’ helped to show Sunway students and staff as well as the public how to appreciate oneselves with an array of life elements (laugh off the stress, love yourself, etc).
Emcee for the night, Ruwan started the event with a warm welcome to everyone that was present, excited to make the event a meaningful one. He then introduced the event and announced the presence of the VIPs, the five comedians, and lecturers from Business School (SUBS). Ruwan also thanked the students, media, and others for being participative towards the event. Ruwan claimed that the organising committee were professional and he added that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and the remedy is from PunchLain event. Ruwan concluded that the DCLA students wished to achieve the objectives of the event by promoting laughter through comedy to eliminate stress. Ruwan uttered the importance of addressing the issue since most of us are loaded with stress these days.
Ms Padma Pillai, the Programme Leader started her speech with a welcome and she thanked the organising committee of COM3174 for PunchLain. Ms Padma appreciated the presence of the VIPs, the management personnels from Shelter Home, and also the comedians and performers for making PunchLain happen. In the spirit of comedy and laughter, Ms Padma ended her brief speech by uttering the quote, ‘It’s best to leave your audience before they leave you.’ with a note of thanks.
The event continued with the first comedy performance by Gajen Nad, better known for his stage name. He is the first ‘Chindian’ comedian in Malaysia. He began his comedy showcase with a warm welcome to all that was present on the day. He started with a joke about his mixed race. Since he was a Chindian, he cracked the audience by claiming he is both stingy (Chinese) and cheap (Indian). Comically, he explained how he is often mistook to be a foreigner. International people think Gajen Nad is a Bangladeshi. There are also people who ask him for parking tickets at the mall. Even Gajen’s girlfriend told him that he looks like a security guard. Gajen then presented several fun facts. Many fashion models and comedians today are Chindian and he is proud of that identity.
The comedian also made a mockery on how names are given to people today. He gave an example whereby the person’s full name was Bathmanadhan but was shortened to Batman. People were also named after weather and month. Gajen made the audience laugh when he said he knew two girls with the name, Agility Fun and Cyclone. He also added that people were named after gems. Audiences were really entertained when Gajen made a comparison on how to identify Tamil and Hindi songs in a movie. He said to only observe the dance in order to distinguish between them. A Hindi song will bring the actors to dance around a coconut tree while a Tamil song will break the coconut tree, he laughingly said. Gajen Nad also demonstrated some dance moves to illustrate the distinction.
Next up was Ayim Razak who made his name at Gegar Lawak. He thanked the crowd for their attendance and apologised that he would recite his jokes in Bahasa Malaysia. He began with a joke asking a beggar on the road why does he need 2 bowls to beg. The beggar replied he has profited a lot from begging so he opened a second outlet (second bowl).
The comedian was a budding performer and one day on social media, he received 46 comments asking who he was. Ayim cracked the crowd saying this is the distinction between an artist and non artist. He also mentioned that two years ago, he was only a salesman and he believed things should be difficult first and easy after. He thanked Sunway for the opportunity through comedy, a sincere cause to make people laugh off their troubles away. He made a few more self-depracating gags, berating his bad luck with girls. The audience laughed non stop when Ayim ended his set with the stupidity of the Dora the Explorer series where the girl character already knows about everything that is happening around her. Ayim concluded that this is how girls are in reality.
An interactive game involving the audience took place. The game was to recite any joke that is funny. The first audience member, Cowen presented a joke. He claimed an English man, Scottish man, and a Bear went to the bar to drink. The English man said English ladies were the best. The Scottish man said Scottish ladies were the best. The Bear said all lady bears are the best. The audiences laughed at all the volunteers who participated in the game.
The next performer was Chrisy Wu who has a niche for Asian nagging mom style. She welcomed the audience with a big heart. She started by talking about her university life. She was very carefree and she had 4 best friends. Chrisy Wu proceeded by asking herself why she was always single. She replied to herself while entertaining the crowd by saying it’s not her fault for being single and her looks were underrated. She had a boyfriend before and she was extremely heartbroken with him. The boyfriend asked if Chrisy was doing fine. Chrisy replied with anguish by asking why did the boyfriend removed Chrisy from her Maxis account which she needs to watch Netflix. Chrisy Wu definitely needed that more than her boyfriend.
The audience laughed when Chrisy mentioned her mother is another typical person who will always ask Chrisy to watch her weight. Chrisy made a joke of how her mother find facts through forwarded messages on Whatsapp and applies those in real life. Chrisy also feels low because when she is surrounded by her friends, they are all married. She cracked a joke when a friend recommended marathon to stay healthy. Chrisy believed that marathon was just all about money. Chrisy ended with a body positivity statement because when she dated a Singaporean in the past, he asked why Malaysian girls are fat and Chrisy replied proudly by saying she has enough food to eat in Malaysia. The audience enjoyed her message in the end.
Emcee, Ruwan continued elaborating on why PunchLain was held. He said the proceeds will be distributed to Shelter Home for underprivileged children. The children needed full support for a better life and future outlook. Annie, the children’s volunteer of the home said that the life of the children is difficult and they require patience in caregiving. Annie added that the audiences present on the day were very fortunate that they have an education. Jerry Choo, PR Executive of the home said that they admit children at risk either through physical abuse, sexual abuse, the children are orphans or abandoned. Shelter Home believes they are the manufacturing plant for the children and they hope the children will become ‘somebodies’ in the future. Shelter Home has 44 children in 3 homes. The Shelter Home management thanked Sunway for their collaboration and they also thanked the event advisor for a golden opportunity to be a part of PunchLain.
Jayvin Rama, a DCLA Alumni performed for the night a French number and an English song. Jayvin welcomed the crowd with so much excitement on his face. The French song he performed was Waters and the other song he performed was Treasure by Bruno Mars.
Next up was Malaysia’s biggest stand up comedian in size and credibility, Papi Zak. Zak welcomed the crowd by calling himself a Spanish daddy, ‘Papi’ and he was proud that Jennifer Lopez sang 3 songs about Papi. Zak studied abroad because he believes that people from Kuala Lumpur are judgemental. He said they are not open to religious jokes, alcohol, and think that Zak doesn’t trust in God while when Zak pukes at the toilet, he calls ‘Ya Allah’. He made the audience laugh by asking ‘isn’t that godly enough?’
Zak was previously a Radio DJ on Astro (Lite FM). He jokes that his ego is hurt when children asks him if he is really Zak. Zak also made a comparison between the radio stations. On a Friday in Hitz FM, the radio station will play upbeat songs like G6. Meanwhile on Lite FM on a Friday, the radio station will play a rather formal song on Zac and Sara Show, Lionel Richie. Zak joked that he finally had a break from food and lost 20 kilos via workout. However, the Air Asia stewardess would still ask if he needs an extra seat-belt since he still has a big frame.
The final comedian for the day was a man with 12 years of fame on Netflix, Kavin Jay. First he welcomed the crowd. He started his set by imitating people asking why he has an Indian accent when he studied in a UK school. He tells the audience that he is the epitome for parents to discipline their kids on weight management. Kavin expresses how he paid gym fee in advance and decided he won’t go anymore because of the forceful trainor he had who practically at every session smirked at Kavin and said, ‘Come back tomorrow’. He compared that with crazy Indians from Bangsar who would beat people up every inch of their lives and say the same thing in the eye, ‘Come back tomorrow’ when the reality is that the victim will already be admitted in the hospital. He continued with quips on dieting advice he’d been given and stereotypes he faces as an Indian.
Towards the end of the event, COM3174 event director, Shenna Padman gave her heartfelt speech. She was extremely grateful for the opportunity given to her to lead PunchLain and she also thanked the audience for their support. Shenna hoped that it was a great night for everyone and she expressed her thanks to the comedians, Associate Professors, Programme Leader, Jayvin Rama, the sponsors for PunchLain, and others who made the event memorable. On behalf of the organising team, Shenna briefed the crowd the challenges they suffered to produce an outcome like PunchLain. She thanked the advisor for his guidance all the way. The brief but powerful speech by Shenna resumed with token of appreciations given to the VIPs.
The Associate Professors, Hew Gill and Kenneth Alan Feinstein remained onstage with Shenna to give the token of appreciations to the comedians and performers. The last token went to the management of Shelter Home. A donation presentation was presented by Shenna to Shelter Home representative, Mr Ck Yeong. Emcee, Ruwan thanked the audience for attending and a token was given to him as well.
When interviewing Shenna on her thoughts about the event, she said that the event ran very well with positive feedbacks from the audiences as they released stress. Shenna enjoyed all the performances. Audiences felt that the event was very entertaining and amazing. The audiences interviewed preferred the first comedian the most, which is Gajen Nad for his spontaneous act up onstage. The good reception from the crowd and awareness on the issue created full house entry on the day. The event was a memorable one for the team and also the audiences.