Why see one comedian, when you can see 5?
Attending Best of Comedy Zone Asia is like attending a night market and obtaining a tasting plate with variety of foods from different cultures. Best of Comedy Zone Asia is pretty much the same, except it’s a handful of different comedians from across Asia. For the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the line-up consists of host Fakkah Fuzz from Singapore, Sonali Thakker from India, Sakadiyah Ma’ruf from Indonesia, Anirban Dasgupta from India, and finally, Douglas Lim from Malaysia.
Singaporean Fakkah Fuzz was incredibly funny. The perfect host, Fuzz is so fun and likable, you’d be quick to fall in love with his mischievous smile and equally infectious humour. So much, to the point that when you felt you were just starting to get into his stories, it was time for him to introduce the next act and you didn’t want him to leave the stage!
Indian comedian Sonali Thakker’s style is very frank and dry, but her set became more interesting when she addressed feminism and affectional spoke about the strange relationship she has with her family, but especially her with her doting typical Indian mother.
Anirban Dasgupta also hailing from India, I found to be an excellent storyteller. He’s fantastic from the very beginning with smart and witty jokes about work and life, but he shone the most when speaking about family, being a dad, and his young daughter. While Sakdiyah Ma’ruf of Indonesia is lovely and although I understood her brand, I unfortunately didn’t find any of her content relatable.
Lastly, Malaysia’s Douglas Lim was the final act of the show and he did not disappoint. From tales of trying to survive in Malaysia during Covid to Chinese TV shows, Douglas Lim may have confessed that he felt a bit rusty from coming back to stand-up comedy after not having done so for a few years, but it honestly didn’t feel like he was rusty at all. Lim even managed to get the crowd involved in one of his jokes which made the experience even more fun and the show more enjoyable. Douglas Lim is a master of his craft, comedy is where he belongs, and one can only hope he returns to Melbourne International Comedy Festival next year with his own solo stand-up show again.
A group comedy show is a great concept and it helps patrons to see different comedians while listening to plenty of stories along the way. This can be hit or miss too however, as some comedians may mesh with your tastes and some won’t. For the most part, Best Comedy Zone Asia was a good time. Although, for the final bows, not all the comedians came back to the stage which I found quite odd and displeasing. This was never addressed either or advised beforehand that one of the comedians had somewhere else better to be.
If you want to support Asian comedians, go check out Best of Comedy Zone Asia while its in town. You may just find your next favourite comedian. I know that I want to see solo shows from Singapore’s Fakkah Fuzz and Malaysia’s Douglas Lim when they (hopefully) come back to Melbourne.
Best of Comedy Zone Asia is playing at the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until April 23rd.
For more information and ticketing, visit: