As much as some of us cannot stand comedian Harith Iskander, one has to give him the deserved credit due for managing to come up with a talkshow that is not only able to reel in big names, but also get the social media talking.
It is obviously very much for the city folks and the educated – that is obvious – what it being in English and being shown on Astro.
However, one can safely say that Harith seems to be ahead of most of the Malaysian audience. He does not seem to realise that his American late-night David Letterman talk show style is not going to last, for some of the jokes are just not clear enough.
In the last episode which featured Tun Musa Hitam, Nurul Izzah Anwar and Alex Yoong, he tried hard to get the audience to laugh when he talked about how Proton has expanded its seven day service centre. He even sang about it – but the audience just did not get the fact that there are only seven days in a week and one cannot expand to more than seven days.
It was quite ‘painful’ to watch him trying to explain the joke.
Obviously, the Malaysian sense of humour is very much more crude, downright obvious – more of the Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin and P Ramlee style.
You have to spell it out, say it out, and tell them that it is a joke.
The Comedy Court of Allan Perera and Indi Nadarajah was once the hit of the town, selling out to full house audiences when they started making fun of everything Malaysian.
Audiences were all educated and city people, but their jokes only went down with those few segments of the society. Drag them out to the city outskirts, no one would have laughed at their jokes, let alone understand them.
One cannot really blame Malaysians when the national TV stations’ ‘comedy’ means slapstick humour and making crass remarks. One of the best Malaysian comedy shows was the ‘Jangan Ketawa’, which died off too soon.
Intelligent jokes are always lost on Malaysian audiences.
Most of us now have opted for the American sitcom joke-styles, but with many issues in Malaysia not to be made a joke of, it is funny to see how we have not learnt how to weave such issues into jokes.
Those who try have only come out with butt-hurts. Case: Namewee and Alvin Tan. And if not butt-hurt, they get themselves twisted with the law – such as the clown on the Prime Minister.
Even our elected representatives in the state assemblies and Parliament try to be funny by either being vulgar or plain crude.
There was once upon a time when TV2 used to play British comedies such as Yes, Prime Minister, Mind Your Language etc but it was always very late into the night. Nowadays, we do not even get that.
There are many intelligent Malaysian comedians out there, striving with sketches in small theatres such as PJ Live Arts or KLPAC, but they are not getting the showtime and the boost they need.
Harith is obviously one who has managed to make it big as a comedian and one can easily say he has managed to push his limits by pulling all the strings he has by getting Air Asia in.
He has also managed to bring in politicians from both sides, as well as royalties and those who can turn heads.
If only he could get the Malaysians to laugh on the right issues, we probably may have a more meaningful talkshow, rather than mere entertainment and big names.