De­liv­er­ing the laughs

Iflix un­veils stand-up com­edy se­ries Oi! Jaga Mu­lut as its first orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Tv - By KEN­NETH CHAW en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

ABOUT two years since iflix’s launch in Malaysia, the sub­scrip­tion video on de­mand (SVOD) ser­vice has just an­nounced its very first orig­i­nal Malaysian se­ries.

Stand-up com­edy se­ries Oi! Jaga Mu­lut was un­veiled at a press event in Kuala Lumpur early this week.

“It’s the first of its kind, it’s edgy, it’s a bit rude, it’s un­cen­sored, it’s a com­bi­na­tion of es­tab­lished co­me­di­ans and fresh tal­ents,” iflix Asia head of mar­ket­ing Ja­son Mon­teiro de­scribes the show.

“Hope­fully, we get to find the next Chris Rock and Kevin Hart of Asia.”

Each episode of Oi! Jaga Mu­lut – hosted by ra­dio per­son­al­ity Han­iff Hamzah – sees three co­me­di­ans tak­ing turns to present their stand-up rou­tine, in­ter­spersed by game seg­ments.

The seven-episode, half-hour se­ries features Malaysian co­me­di­ans such as Joanne Kam, Shamaine Oth­man, Rayza Muk­min and An­drew Netto and co­me­di­ans from around the re­gion in­clud­ing In­done­sia’s Mo Sidik and Sin­ga­pore’s Jinx Yeo.

Asked why the SVOD ser­vice has cho­sen the stand-up com­edy for­mat as its first orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion in­stead of dra­mas, iflix global di­rec­tor of orig­i­nal com­mis­sion­ing Mark Francis re­sponds: “We do in fact have plans to bring pre­mium lo­cal drama to our view­ers in Malaysia, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines very soon.

“Due to drama de­vel­op­ment time­lines be­ing sig­nif­i­cantly longer than stand-up com­edy, Oi! Jaga Mu­lut was ba­si­cally first out the door.”

The Philip­pines and In­done­sia will be get­ting their own ver­sions of the com­edy se­ries soon, ti­tled Huy! Bibig Mo and Oi! Jaga Lambe, re­spec­tively.

One of Oi! Jaga Mu­lut’s sell­ing points is its bold, no-holds-barred ap­proach to com­edy. Francis talks about giv­ing the co­me­di­ans a raw, un­fil­tered voice with­out go­ing over­board.

“The idea of the show isn’t to be de­lib­er­ately provoca­tive or of­fen­sive for the sake of it – it’s ac­tu­ally to be funny. iflix is in a unique po­si­tion to create a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence within the pro­duc­tion ecosys­tem by giv­ing lo­cal tal­ents a new plat­form where they have freer rein in or­der to de­liver those laughs.

“Yes, that does mean you’re go­ing to hear some pretty un­fil­tered com­men­tary and coarse lan­guage, but that’s the na­ture of a lot of stand-up.

“As a gen­eral rule though, if the lan­guage or joke is pretty rude, it had bet­ter be funny and de­liver the laughs, other­wise it’s out.”

One of the co­me­di­ans fea­tured on the show Papi Zak re­calls his ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing a part of the project.

Taped in front of a live stu­dio au­di­ence, Papi says he was given com­plete freedom on stage.

“It’s what­ever you’re com­fort­able with. But they were very spe­cific about tim­ing be­cause ev­ery episode is less than 30 min­utes.

“So, if I go over, it won’t be fair to other co­me­di­ans. They gave us about seven min­utes each,” he says.

The co­me­dian adds Oi! Jaga Mu­lut is a great way to el­e­vate the stand-up com­edy scene in Malaysia.

“This show helps raise the aware­ness of stand-up com­edy in Malaysia. When you men­tion com­edy in Malaysia, it’s usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with slap­stick com­edy.

“I’m not tak­ing any­thing away from that, they’re very funny, but that’s what Malaysian audiences are used to: (com­edy) sketches.

“Stand-up is dif­fer­ent, the co­me­dian is bring­ing you into his or her world and telling you how he or she is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it. There are other forms of com­edy in Malaysia, and stand-up is one of them.” Oi! Jaga Mu­lut is avail­able on iflix to­mor­row.

— SA­MUEL ONG/The Star

Mon­teiro (cen­tre) with the co­me­di­ans fea­tured on Oi! Jaga Mu­lut.

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