Saving the World One Joke at a Time - Interview with Joanne Kam

Think Joanne Kam and the first words that come to mind are sassy, bold and funny. The outspoken and lively Joanne holds an air and a presence you will find yourself drawn to at first glance. Her quick wit together with her capability to adapt permits her to hook her audience with the ease of trained professional.

Kam is now a household name. Over the last ten years, she has been pushing the comedy envelope and taking her shows to the next level with her unique brand of humour that has propelled her further into her comfort zone, centrestage and in the spotlight; consequently earning her the status of being one of the funniest women on Malaysian stage.

Malysia's #1 female stand-up comic, Joanne Kam

Besides her performances as stand-up comedienne, Joanne is also sought-after to emcee at corporate events, a lucrative gig that pays in one night what most of us slog over for a whole month, but it is no funny business to be as coveted and successful as she. Still, Joanne confides that most people are under the impression that she is not as busy as she claims.

People who are outside her inner circle of friends are only aware of her public performances, which take place once or twice a year but Joanne is a clear-cut example of performers who although giving the impression of being missing-in-action from the public arena, only too often show up like objects in your rear-view mirror: closer than they appear.

“Most of them realize do not realize that when I’m not performing publicly, I’m still working!” exclaims Joanne, whose day starts before the sun rises, as she prepares for her daily show as resident female presenter on RedFM’s ‘Really, Really Late Breakfast Show‘ alongside Papi Zak and Kavin a.k.a. Grumpy.

Malaysia’s candid radio DJ, Esquire sex-columnist and stand-up comedienne remains unstoppable as she returns centrestage this March with her posse of sexy superheroines who are out to “save the world one joke at a time” in her latest comedy cabaret production, ‘Super Kam & the League of Extraordinary Femmes – the 2nd Kam-ing’, the sequel to 2012’s ‘Super Kam & the League of Extraordinary Femmes’.

Joining in her endeavours to save the world from devious slapsticks are three other women, - TV personality Daphne Iking, who made her stand-up comedy debut in the first instalment of Super Kam & the League of Extraordinary Femmes, fellow stand-up comic, Shamaine Othman and Sharul Channa, who hails from Singapore.

Unlike most stand-up comedy routines, Kam has developed and produced the Super Kam series in a unique fashion. The first instalment of Super Kam showcased a skit followed by individual stand-up comedy performances. However, the second instalment has taken on a new look. The 2nd Kam-ing, produced by Kam’s own ToniQ Creative, is like a cabaret-themed pilot episode of the much anticipated Super Kam web series, directed by former KLPAC Director-in-Residence, Gavin Yap, followed by individual stand-up performances.

“Most of my performances are very thematic, especially since I have a background in cabaret, so instead of the usual let’s-just-set-up-a-microphone-and-tell-jokes template, I prefer to add a personal touch to the show. Combining a short film with a stand-up comedy segment allows me to piece everything together,” she explains.

The highlight of the night will be the outrageous and unabashed humour but for Joanne, the main focus of the Super Kam series is to provide a platform for new and experienced comediennes to showcase their flair for stage comedy, “It’s nice to see there are more young people who are willing to try out stand-up comedy but I do think it’s important for them to learn to find their own voice. With the abundance of videos of comics from around the world available on YouTube, I find there are many young acts who, whether consciously or not, are imitating rather than creating their own persona” said Joanne. 

The show which will be staged at PJ Live Arts, Jaya One runs from 27th to 30th March 2014. Tickets are priced at RM68/RM58 and can be purchased online via www.tix.com.my or at the venue.

This article was published in the Unreserved on March 7, 2014.