August 20, 2020

Life as a "Non-Essential" Comedian

We sit down with the fun guys behind Laugh with Discover to see how they've been taking laughs online

Life as a "Non-Essential" Comedian

2020 has been no joke. It's been one disaster after the next but the Discover Team at Circles.Life is here to bring them smiles back. Since Circuit Breaker, the team has organised multiple events featuring everything from virtual workouts to online concerts from local artists like LEW and Joie Tan.

Watch out for more Jam with Discover sessions coming your way! 

But one of their headline events has always been their Laugh with Discover Comedy Shows going on since May. ST polls has since declared artists as "non-essential" (I think this includes our blog 😭) but our CBs (comedy bois) are still up and at it.

We caught up with 2 of our OG comedians, Jacky and Sam, who are reuniting for the latest Laugh with Discover show coming up on 23 August. There were plenty of laughs in what was meant to be a serious interview but first let's get to know them a little better.

Jacky Ng

@jackngcomedy

Find out what's the Singaporean equivalent of Netflix & Chill. Source

26 year old Jacky might be Singapore's youngest professional comedian but he's no greenhorn. He's flexed with comedy giants like Stewart Goldsmith and Hannibal Buress at shows around the region.

Also an experienced event emcee and actor, Jacky's personal stories and wacky charm will leave you ROFL every time.

Sam See

@mrsamsee

Comedy Central Feature siol. Source

Our lovable host Sam See might not be taking center stage in our shows but he's a local legend. He's toured in Melbourne, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Tokyo, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Germany, the Philippines, Italy and Oman.

Sam was also recently featured on Comedy Central Asia's Stand-Up Asia, showcasing the top twelve Asian comedians alongside sketch comedy duo The Benzi Project.

Time for some Funny Business

Now that we know a little bit more about our comedians let's dive right into how they've been keeping busy in this strange new world of social distancing, SafeEntry and other measures that are no laughing matter.

Q1:  Live stand-up comedy shows are still not allowed during Phase 2 of the Circuit Breaker. How have you been keeping busy during this period?

Like Bob Ross, Jacky inspires everyone through the magic of painting. Source

Jacky: Since the circuit breaker began, I started doing a weekly painting show on Instagram live every Sunday that is currently on hiatus but I plan to do bring that back again soon. I have spent the last couple of weeks working on performing and producing some online shows for the upcoming months alongside a weekly news comedy show with Rishi as well as spending more time with my friends and family.

Sam recommends a 5KM run but all I can think about is this. Source

Sam: I’ve been focused on doing live stream shows online, for the first 5 months I’ve been on FB Live, but I’ve just transitioned to Twitch, which should be exciting because now I get to work with fellow gamer nerds and people who like comfortable home set-ups. Outside of shows, I’ve been learning how to cook more western food, to my Asian mother’s chagrin, as well as telling myself every day that I’ll run 5K tomorrow. That’s a great workout, I highly recommend it.

Q2: Since the start of the Circuit Breaker measures, many comedy shows have gone online. How has that experience been for you? Is it strange to perform/create comedy at home without a live audience?

If you thought standup was tough with a live crowd wait till you try doing it online. Source

Jacky: It was  a very daunting change when it first began as the live reaction and atmosphere of a comedy club is a very key component to performing stand up comedy. However, after a couple of performances and some tweaks to the format, I am starting to enjoy performing online too. It is a different medium, different kind of performance and I get a different kind of fun from performing online.

Sam about to go Super Saiyan on this Comedy bit. Source

Sam: It has been unique for sure. I have had a career littered with roadblocks and curveballs, so to me it was just another one, albeit this time one that affected the entire globe. The delivery of the jokes is different, we used to have to pause for laughter (if we were lucky), but now I’ve learnt to just go on like a hamster on a wheel, which means I only stop when I get sleepy and then I fall asleep on camera.

It is definitely strange and different, but it isn’t bad, just unique, and I get annoyed when people say ‘this isn’t what real stand-up is suppose to be’. Stand-up has been around for under 100 years, to quote anime, this isn’t even its final form yet.

Q3.What is one app that you have downloaded and started using since the start of this pandemic?

Jacky: I actually haven’t downloaded any new apps since the beginning of the pandemic but I’ve been using twitter a lot more than I usually do. I spend many hours a day just scrolling on the app. it’s starting to become a problem, don’t send help.

Join Sam on his Tinder escapades by getting your premium membership via the Circles.Life app. Source

Sam: Oh of course I have downloaded and enjoyed the Discover by Circles.Life app, available on all platforms! It has helped me find get deals, shows and I dare say it is one of the best telco apps out there.

(I’m totally lying, I’ve been back on Tinder and it has been a nightmare. The app is all gamified and now I have to play a guessing game to find a secret admirer, which I lose at all the time. I refuse to have true love locked behind $7.99 a month but I STILL KEEP GOING BACK. Anyway, download Discover by Circles.Life, you don’t even need to be on Circles.Life to use it)

Q4. If you had to be quarantined in a room with one of the other comedians performing in Laugh with Discover for 30 days, who would you pick and why?

Jacky: It’s tough because they are all comedians I admire in their own special ways but if I had to pick one, It’d be Rishi.

Here's an episode featuring the handsome devil Rishi himself who will also be performing at the upcoming Comedy Night.

As mentioned above, we work together on his news comedy show, The Rishi Report and I greatly enjoy my time working on that. He is also the first comedian I ever saw performing live and thus a big inspiration for me as a performer.

Over the past 6 years, Rishi has also been a great mentor for me, giving me great advice, brought me along to live events to assist him and provided me with plenty of opportunities and jobs. It might sound like I have a big crush on him, and that’s only because I do. So I’d relish the opportunity to spend 30 days quarantined in a room with him. Please don’t tell his wife.

Here's Ben the man himself, the one and only head of Discover Sam is referring too. Handsome sia

Sam: Benjamin, the guy running the show from the Discover team, because unlike all the other comics, he’d have the resources and intelligence to keep us alive. The comics would just spend the first day trying to write an hour show about being locked in a room for 30 days, and then spend the next 29 days complaining about a lack of gigs to work on it at, hence why they’ll never do the show.


Don't forget to catch Jacky, Sam and the full line-up of all-star comedians this Sunday, 23 Aug, 8pm by getting your tickets here or via the Circles.Life App.  

If you have a funny story to share with us do hit us up at blog@circles.life too 😉