Review: Dr Jason Leong – You Stupid or What?!

Thuy On

The engaging and amiable Leong's material ranges from cultural comparisons to wince-inducing medical humour.
Review: Dr Jason Leong – You Stupid or What?!

From the “rectum” of the Malthouse’s Merlyn Theatre (really, an adjoined room towards the back of the plushy main theatre), Malaysian stand-up comedian Dr Jason Leong holds forth on a number of topics, some with excruciating details that explain why he’s earned the moniker Dr in his title. (The audience snorted appreciatively when he elucidated he’s actually a life-saving medical doctor, not one of those PhD doctors).

But first things first, Leong makes generic and fairly innocuous comparisons between his beloved homeland and her arch-rival, Singapore. There’s plenty of culture/ethnic-based humour, whether it’s the traffic in India or the racism encountered in New Zealand (watch out for an extended – probably unnecessarily so – set piece about defecation in a hotel room there that may be considered offensive should you be a touring Chinese national).

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Not surprisingly due to his background, Leong’s strongest material is based around his medical experience, including his attempts to explain once and for all why being kicked in the balls is infinitely less painful than giving birth (warning graphic, wincing imagery employed!). There’s also a hilarious bit where he shows how the casual draping of a stethoscope around his neck is enough to save him from traffic fines.

Leong is an engaging, amiable chap. He looks like he is enjoying himself and his ease on stage makes it easy for the audience to respond to his patter. Whether it’s having a righteous go at the vain folly of those who post Instagram pics of themselves flying Business Class (#blessed), taking the mickey out of traditional Chinese healers, or revealing the deeply unrelaxing manoeuvres of a Thai masseuse, the Dr fills the hour-long show with plenty of observational and personal experience-based humour (even his poor wife gets several mentions). Dr Jason Leong is certainly not stupid, but often very funny.

★★★★

Dr Jason Leong – You Stupid or What?!
The Coopers Malthouse, Southbank
Until 22 April

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
28 March – 22 April 2018
www.comedyfestival.com.au

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Thuy On is a freelance literary journalist and critic and the books editor of The Big Issue.

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