Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Malaysian comedians have come a long way though not as far as the comedians in other parts of the world. Even in America, the richest celebrity is not a comedian. Forbes Celebrity 100 list gave a list of Best Paid Actors for 2004. There is no category for comedians although Jim Carrey (see pic below), who is also a comedian managed to get the Number 15 spot with an income of USD 66 million. Another popular TV comedian, Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) is at Number 39 with USD44 million. At Number 1 is actor Mel Gibson. Mr.Gibson earned USD210 million but you would not call him a comedian even though he made us laugh in a couple of pictures.

We see Malaysian comedians on TV and on stage. Some make good money being a comedian. Some that I know, like Yussof Chong, have day jobs. I am sure you would know of other comedians with day jobs. I guessed the Senario guys might be the exceptions at the moment but I really can't think of any full-time comedians in
Malaysia before them. I know very little about comedians from Instant Cafe Theatre or other art groups. I am a darat fellow. Do they have day jobs too?

Making Malaysians laugh is hard. Trying to make a living out of it is harder. Since this is no laughing matter, we should think hard about this.

I grew up listening to people like Mat Kambing, Ismail Bontak and few others on radio. They were popular but they weren't rich. In Kuala Terengganu, the most popular comedian on stage was Berahim Kelako. He made a living as a book distributor. Now we have Mat Over. He was the guy with the Terengganu dialect and Hindustani songs in "Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu" series. I was surprised when he told me that he was my student in Kuala Berang. He must have been a very quiet boy back then. Nope, I didnt teach him to be funny.

When I was working in Kuala Terengganu, I got to know Wak Sir and Pok Ya. Our Entertainment producers like Basharuddin Ahmad Osman (also my fishing kaki) used to invite Wak Sir (Nasir), Pok Ya and another gentleman to take part in our audience shows. Wak Sir seemed easy-going but was enterprising. He probably still is. Among other things, he rented out P.A. System, drove a teksi sapu and electrified fish. I really don't know what Pok Ya did. I didn't ask him even though I had the chance when he took me around Kota Bharu a few times. The last time I asked the RTM friends in Kota Bharu, they told me Pok Ya had a maid agency. Pok Ya had a wife, Habsah, who is a very good asli singer.

Wak Sir and Pok Ya had this riddle:

Wok Sir: Godio hok kecik sekali dale dunio nih?

(What is the tiniest thing in this world?)

Pok Ya: Kume?


Wok Sir:Dok!


Pok Ya: Anok kume?

(A small germ?)

Wok Sir: Dok! Ado lagi hok kecik pado tu.

(No! There is a smaller thing than that)

Pok Ya: Godio? Acu ghoyat.

(What? Tell.)

Wok Sir: Anok kume kuruh.

(A skinny small germ)

Read the Forbes article here. I got the pic there.

| 12:01 AM :: ::
30 CommentsOldStyle:
  • You're not a comedian Pok Ku but you always made us laugh with your words! You're a rare gem. :)
    ps: cucu & cicit kuman hok kuruh lagi kecik. :p

    By Blogger Honeytar, at 12:21 AM  
  • Aww i missed 12.01am deadline...

    but still Anok Kume Kuruh still caused me to practically cry....with Joy. Laughing is a simpler then. True comidians they are... Not just relying on slap sticks, or gimmicky catch phrase. Just normal conversation, that just plain funny... Ahh the good old days (Bah! You are only 28 la...chit poodah)

    Anyone remember accappan? Or that chap jumping off a tree into a speeding car in Madu Tiga. Still chuckles when remembering that scene

    By Blogger Sham, at 12:46 AM  
  • The other guy was Mahmoud Rail. Dia ni Cikgu tapi loni dah pencen. Wok Sir, Pok Ya Asmara & Mahmoud Rail mace "three stooges" kelate la.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:48 AM  
  • indi nadarajah (comedy court) is a lawyer. but i am not sure if allen perera is. their sketches always expose the typical characteristics from all races in malaysia (in satirical ways). the parts we can laugh at. they label malaysia as a multi racist country.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 AM  
  • I think the Malaysian Entertainment industry is a thriving, but not a lucrative business, especially with all the piracy going on. An 'Artist' have no choice but to delve into all sorts of things, i.e. acting AND singing AND Modelling.. and some of them go into producing and directing and writing.
    In terms of comedy, I think the Malaysian audience are quiet a sophisticated lot, expecting more than just slapstick and funny noises to tickle their funny bones. They need you to tickle your brain first. I think that's why Saiful Apek (the one in Senario who's thin. long haired and looks nothing like a chinese) got voted as 'the most popular actor' last year.

    By Blogger elisataufik, at 8:04 AM  
  • My dad used to buy "Wak Sir Live in Concert" tapes. amazing jokes by the "3 stooges". --md

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:33 AM  
  • Salams Pokku :) Pernoh naik 'Prebet Sapu' Wok Sir ni..maser dok Kota Bahru. My father told me who he is (the famous kelantanese comedian). Actually i'm not even recognized his face. The next day at school..dengan bangganye cite ngan kawan2..smlm sy naik teksi sapu Wok Sir..heheheheh.. Anok kume kuruh..I heard similar joke once..nok pecoh perut dengor..ahaks.. :)

    By Blogger ceklong, at 8:42 AM  
  • I may be too used to the way English jokes are told that the fact is I cannot really comprehend what is so funny about skits by local comedians such as Pi mai pi mai tang tu and scenario. I rarely find them funny. Comedians might have it the hardest in the movie industry, we seldom see them getting best actor awards as people don't consider them 'serious actors', even in Hong Kong people like Chow Sing Chi has eluded recognition for his efforts until recently, he has entertained the masses, gave us something to laugh about and even inspirational at times but never will he be in the running for best actor award.

    By Blogger Kervin, at 9:35 AM  
  • What about the Actor Studio group. I guess the target audience are different..

    By Blogger Lollies, at 10:18 AM  
  • I remembered a show on RTM that I thought was kinda funny - Gado Gado. I think they had Imuda, Jalil Hamid, Sheila Rusly and a couple more funny people.

    The original 2+1 was kinda interesting..

    By Blogger lion3ss, at 10:27 AM  
  • I must say that I love all the posts that you've done. Couldn't stay away now from your blog every single day.

    To comment on this post I must. :D

    The reason why Malaysians comedians can't make a life out of this business (excluding senario and pi mai pi mai tang tu), probably due to the factor of joke ideas that can't be used. As we should know Malaysians are a sensitive bunch that most comedians dare not make jokes out of them. This is unlikely to happen in the States where issues, sensitive or not, would be used as an idea (does David Letterman ring a bell?).

    By Blogger K!dD$teR 23, at 10:43 AM  
  • I must say Pok Ku, This is one of a kind punya riddle...
    I used to have a riddle. This is, I think the stupidest riddle I've ever created.
    "Bakpe sekor gajoh nie dia dak leh makang tebu???"
    and guess what, The answer is,
    "Sebab Gajoh nie die ader Keccing Manih..."


    By Blogger Afiq, at 11:22 AM  
  • Lat is a .......cartoonist, was about to say comedian. but i'm sure he's funny in real life as well.
    so are you mr bustaman

    By Blogger Chief, at 12:02 PM  
  • hehehehe reminds me of another joke.

    "banyak-banyak lembu, lembu apa yang org cari?"

    "lembu yang hilang la"

    -chek na-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:03 PM  
  • hehehehe reminds me of another joke.

    "banyak-banyak lembu, lembu apa yang org cari?"

    "lembu yang hilang la"

    -chek na-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:03 PM  
  • Hello Pokku,

    Malaysian comedians are sometimes funny - I think Afdlin Shauki and Harith Iskandar's TV programme "Ah Ha" was pretty hilarious. Dunno about their day jobs though but I think they're doing pretty well.

    And btw,the anok Kume kuruh joke made me laugh aloud at the office! hehehehe.

    By Blogger Leen Ash Burn, at 12:09 PM  
  • i like Instant Cafe Theater (ICT) because of their politically incorrect satire. it's good to laugh at ourselves ;)

    By Blogger Buaya69, at 12:16 PM  
  • anak kume kuruh .. ahak ahak ahak .. you're really funny in your own quiet ways .. though I do not think you're that quiet ..


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 PM  
  • Agree with Leen, Ah-Ha is a good example of a great Malaysian sitcom. Lepas tu, Kopitiam (the first season) pun best juga. Kenapa komedian tak fofular? I guess Malaysian people are not too easy to be entertained. Apa pun, my favourite all-time comedian would be the bujang lapoks..P Ramlee, Pak Sudin and Pak Ajis Sattar.. :-) Never failed to make me laugh...

    By Blogger Elf, at 1:50 PM  
  • Assalamualaikum Pok Ku, and I would like to extend salam perkenalan to you. The anok kume kuruh really light up my day..cannot help laughing..I remember when I was in primary school, I watched Wak Sir and Pok Ya performed. It was a night show and they were on stage. Pok Ya was standing near a lamp post, searching for something, then Wak Sir asked him:

    WS:Mung cari gapo tuh? (what are searching for?)

    PY:Cari pitih aku ile (looking for my money.I've lost it)

    WS:Mu ile mano pitih mung? (where did you lost it?)

    PY: Denuh..jarinya menuding ke tempat gelap(overthere as his finger pointed out at dark corner)

    WS: Laaa..doh bakpo mung cari pitih mung sini nyah? Pitih tu ile denuh.(then, why are you searching your money here, it lost overthere)

    PY: Sebak sini ceroh, ado lapu (because it's brighter here)

    By Blogger OneEE, at 2:32 PM  
  • what do mean "I am a darat fellow"? i dont get it. *blur*

    - joe -

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:37 PM  
  • AR Badul pun kadang-kadang lawaknya boleh tahan juga ya Pok Ku

    By Blogger Aku Tak Reti, at 3:12 PM  
  • Honeytar:
    You are too kind, sokmo.

    I remember that "apek" in Madu Tiga: "Hidup pun susah, mati pun susah. Kena pegang bendela"

    Yes, Mahmud Rail somehow dropped out of the group later.

    Opps, I think there is a typo. We are multiracial, never multiracist, I hope.

    We still have a long way to go before we get the like of Carlin, Letterman or Robin William here.

    Aaah yes. Wak sir went into cassette production to.

    I am sure he was nice to you .

    Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang tu was one of the early sitcoms that uses wordplays and distinct characters.

    Lollie S:
    I guess the audience for that group would be those that understood and appreciate English.

    Didn't catch the shows but I know Imuda, Jalil & Sabri (WheresMy Golok) are natural comedians.

    Our Audience will evolve one day, InsyaAllah.

    LOL! Good story.

    I found Lat (Dato'Mohd Noor) a very unassuming and humble man. His cartoons are classics.

    Cek Na:
    LOL! Its good to know that a sense of humour runs in the family.

    Yes, Harith & Afdlin brought something new. Hope they get more fans.

    Buaya69: Yes, they are very good but we have to pay to laugh until Indi got on Ntv7.

    I am quite quiet . Really.

    AHA (I watched a few) is more of a Parody, Haris used his "Jangan Ketawa" experience well.

    Heheh! Good story. It is based on an old English joke.

    "Darat" in Terengganuspeak means "unsophisticated, plebeian, peasant etc"

    Ya, tapi lepas final Bakat TV ("Perak paling ramai orang duduk.. duduk kat dinding, kat parit, kat lumut..") dah tak berapa teratur skripnya.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 4:00 PM  
  • this is totally unrelated with today's entry, but its about 'ganu.


    - joe -

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:06 PM  
  • joe:
    Thanks! Thats a nice piece about nasi dagang. I didnt know that Tan Sri Adam is from Terengganu.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 4:51 PM  
  • to me the best comedian was the late tan sri p. ramlee. (er... actually not only comedian but all round actor and musician, singer, composer - boy, how i love him!).

    how can anyone not forget all his comedy shows like ali baba, laksamana do re mi, madu 3, pak belalang and many others that the names elude me for now.

    By Blogger Lucia Lai, at 11:41 PM  
  • P. Ramlee is a legend and beyond compare. He made all Penangites ( and Malaysians) proud.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 11:51 PM  
  • My previous encounter with our local comedian seems on a different angle. I can see Mr Os and Abun, did make a good living. Driving a new Benz is no joke when most of our mainstream performing artiste still can;t afford to buy a second hand Benz. Rezeki tu hak masing-masing kan?

    Oh yes, and Sallih Yaacob can afford to handle 3 wives.

    Still, my favourite local comedian would be S Shamsudin and M Zain (Sudin and Labu)

    Can I consider Sudin to be the originator of the word 'Sarkis' referring to the word circus.

    By Blogger Amir EtCetera, at 1:27 PM  
  • my husband was called wak sir during his school time. he must have been a comedian at that time. oh ya dia memang oghang ganu - duk duyung. i was his classmate but not ganu 100% - ganu celup je. tengkiu - now i know sape wak sir yg original.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 AM  
  • Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a friend request site. It pretty much covers friend request related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    By Blogger Jessica, at 6:52 AM  
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