OzAsia Festival Review: The Special Comedy Comedy Special

This year’s SCCS played to a full house at the Dunstan Playhouse, with ten Asian Australian comedians (counting MC Sami Shah) making sure that nothing was too taboo or PC right from the word go.

With three-man swing jazz outfit Trio Sepia playing in the pre-show half-hour or so, as the punters took their seats (and offering a sweet take on Star Wars’ Creature Cantina), this kicked off with Shah getting in some sharp jokes about coming through Melbourne Airport security that very morning. He then popped up to announce each of the funny people as they came on for ten-or-so minutes each, while the Trio offered variations on Mr. Sandman, Stayin’ Alive and more.

Jenny Tien was first up, and immediately got into some coolly foul-mouthed jokes about One Nation and silencing haters online, and then AJ Lamarque told a hilarious story set in a Bourke Street Mall public loo. Adelaide’s Jason Chong was a highlight too, knocking off snarky gags about his wife and baby daughter, and then redeeming himself with a supposedly-sign-language performance of Unchained Melody, which he messed up slightly. And it made the whole thing better too.

Another Adelaidean, Jennifer Wong, went against the grain a little with a traumatically amusing story (apparently read off her phone) of the night in the ‘80s when, as a kid, she sang George Michael’s Careless Whisper in a Sydney Chinese restaurant, before triple j’s Michael Hing capped everything off by recounting the bizarre time he was forced to dress up as a leprechaun onstage.

The Special Comedy Comedy Special is now a regular thing, and let’s hope it continues for many years to come, because there really isn’t anything else at OzAsia where you can see the cream of the country’s comic community discuss graphic sex, IBS, terrorism, laser hair removal, being mistaken for refugees, and traditional, true-blue Aussie racism.


The Special Comedy Conedy Special was a one-night-only event

OzAsia Festival

until 5 November 2023



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