19 Sep 2018
Hello folks! I’ve had a fair few people sign up to the list during my Edinburgh Fringe run so if you just joined recently, thanks for coming to see me at Edinburgh and welcome to the list! Edinburgh was really fun. Was great to see so many Asians coming down to watch the show, never knew there were so many Malaysians in Edinburgh! If you want to catch me live some time, I travel all over the UK and have my gig list up at my site.
I have some EXCITING news! I’ll be on Comedy Central’s Standup Central on October 10th. It’s my first TV appearance ever so I’m pretty excited for it to come out. Remember to tune in! Or, more likely, remember to click on the URL that I’ll be posting on all the social media channels. It’s going to be a good one!
Is making a mediocre movie good for Asian representation?
The Asian world (ok, more like just on twitter) is all abuzz right now with the movie Crazy Rich Asians. And I just saw it a few hours ago! Oh man, it was pretty boooring! I guess it’s pretty cool to see a cast of all Asians in a movie, where none of them know kung fu (finally!). But on the other hand it was just a mediocre romantic comedy. It was just rich people doing rich people shit. The whole movie felt like a 2 hour long Singapore tourism ad.
Remember the Rush Hour franchise? Back then no studio PR team was going look at the diversity in this movie. A black guy and a Chinese man working together! Look at the diversity! See how inclusive we are! Shanghai Noon! Chinese guy and Owen Wilson in cowboy hats! Look at the representation.
Yeah it’s a movie about Asians, but they’re not portraying regular Asians either. These are like cartoonishly rich Asians. The movie opens with the mum character getting annoyed at a hotel for not honouring her reservation. She calls her husband, and the husband BUYS THE HOTEL! Oh wow, that’s SUPER relatable. Totally what normal Asian people do. I’ve never been at a Pizza Hut, “Oh you put pineapple on my pizza? I own this place now. Go mop the floor.” If you changed the race of the people in the film, it wouldn’t fly at all. Could you imagine if they made a film called Crazy Rich White People? People would be outraged! Why are we celebrating the 1% in these times? Millenials are struggling to get by because avocado toast is too expensive!
Also, there’s always been lots of Asians in movies, they’re called foreign films, but nobody seems to give a shit about those. But with Crazy Rich Asians it’s like people went, “Finally, a movie with Asians but with no subtitles! Asians who only speak English! I can get behind that!”
I’ve never gotten why subtitles are so hated. Growing up in Malaysia most of the movies I watched had subtitles. Multilingual ones even. Every piece of dialogue has 3 lines of text, one for each language. I think still got the gist of movies! I watched Titanic with trilingual subtitles when I was a kid, and I definitely remember the main plot points - Kate Winslet getting drawn in the nude and something about an iceberg. You never forget the first movie boobs you saw. I was still a child and found it hysterical. Look!! Boooobies! Eww…
I think if subtitles are able to distract you from the film, that’s a SHIT FILM then! There are sounds, images, plots, characters but you’re distracted by a bunch of white text? On the bottom edge of the screen? How boring is that movie?
Anyways, be sure to keep an eye out for the Comedy Central clip I’ll be sharing soon! And skip Crazy Rich Asians. Well if you really want to support our people, buy a ticket, but don’t go watch it. Or do the proper Asian thing and just pirate it. That’s what a Normal, Regular Financial Means Asian wold do.
13 Jul 2018
Hello newsletter people! (I’m going to do a bit of Edinburgh promo up top and then talk about random stuff after.)
I’m doing my show Malaysian Sensation up at the Edinburgh Fringe - it’s a show about Malaysia, and shit white people do wrong in the UK (like buying sushi from Boots). If you’ve seen me before, it’ll have some of the bits you’ve heard, but probably improved and honed and sharpened up a bit. And yes I will be bringing my newly bought Zojirushi rice cooker, like every proper Asian would. Doing Edinburgh is hard enough. I’m not going to make it worst by having to endure Uncle Ben’s instant rice for a month.
7.10pm at City Cafe. For the whole of the Fringe (2-26 August except Wednesdays). It’s a free show, with a bucket collection at the end. Here’s the link to it: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/nigel-ng-malaysian-sensation-work-in-progress
Since I last wrote I also recorded my first ever TV set for Comedy Central! Super exciting! I sent my mum a pic of me on stage and she just told me that I looked fat. And that tweet is now the most liked tweet I’ve got. Thanks, mum. The show’s going to air in the autumn sometime and I’ll make sure to keep you guys posted on that.
I’ve been doing a fair bit of driving on motorways in the UK, and I think this country has a gambling problem. Every UK motorway rest stop has a casino in it. With slot machines and everything. It usually looks like this:
Who’s gambling on the middle of the M4? Is there someone on the road, narrowly avoiding an accident, “Oh shit that was close, I almost hit that truck. Man I must have a hot hand right now! Let me hit up the fruit machine in this rest stop. If I win I’ll buy everything from the WH Smith!” Cause what are you going to spend your lottery winnings on at a rest stop? And the worst thing is, that’s usually the only thing that’s open 24 hours at the rest stop! As someone who drives late on a motorway sometimes, I’d much rather they have a Burger King open. Because with Burger King, you know it’s not a gamble - you’ll always get diarrhoea.
In other news, I’ve been trying to find a good Thai massage place in London recently. I’ve had a few really good ones in Asia but it’s really hard to find a non-sketchy massage place in London. Because they all look kinda seedy. Dingy decor. Those neon signs that say “open” have got to go. There seems to be something about pursuing a massage therapist career that makes you hate interior decorating. Here’s an idea: why don’t we get hipsters to rebrand Thai massages? Do to massage parlours what trendy artistic types did to coffee shops. Have some exposed brick walls. Organic massage oils. Gluten free bread while you wait. Vinyl records spinning in the corner. You’re not gonna ask for a happy ending if your masseuse has a handlebar moustache. If you do, they’ll be as condescending to you as if you asked for (gasp) sugar in your drip coffee. “Er sir, we feel the happy ending overpowers the nuances of the massage. At this massage facility we strongly encourage customers to actually experience the sensations of a massage.”
I think having electronic massage chairs would be nice too. We had those everywhere in Asia. You pop a coin in, and off it goes. I remember killing hours at Seoul Incheon airport getting kneaded by a chair. Why aren’t there any of those here in the UK? Those chairs would be quite nice actually. They’re usually placed out in the open in the middle of a mall or an airport, so we know nobody’s getting a happy ending there. One because everybody can see you, and two because the chair will just crush anything you put in its way.
Anyways, do come to my show in Edinburgh if you venture up there. Would be nice to see some familiar faces! I hear the venue now even has newly installed air-conditioning. AND the rest of the year it’s a karaoke room. What more can I want?