Punchline or gut punch – Straddling fine line between comedy and crass

Without getting into ‘that video’, I would like to say I spent most of my free time during my recent Gawai-break watching YouTube clips of Whose Line Is It Anyway and Mock The Week.

From those clips, one can be led to other performances by some of the ‘stars’ from those shows – people like Milton Jones, Gary Delaney, Stuart Francis, Hugh Dennis, Ed Byrne, Angela Barnes and Jo Brand, to name a few.

Then there is also Frankie Boyle, who goes to dark, dark, places and hits you hard. Again, a bit like that comedian who is the talk of the town.

So, was what she said funny? Some say yes, many others said no.

But was it appropriate?

I did not think so, in addition to her delivery and the whole “I am/Singapore is better than you” vibe of the performance.

Many are still suffering following the disappearance of MH370. There is no closure for the next-of-kin and many Malaysians, as no one knows what happened to the plane.

Some say that jokes are a form of freedom of expression and that we should chill.

But then again, voicing our displeasure is also a right.

I am reminded of a clip of Jimmy Carr making fun of Pete Davidson’s father, a former firefighter, who died following the attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre towers in 2001. Some were upset with it.

However, Davidson, a Saturday Night Live alumni, had previously made many jokes about his father’s death. More importantly, Carr sought Davidson’s permission, and the latter said it was a ‘dope’ joke.

Carr, like Boyle, has a habit of going to dark places and recently got in trouble about a holocaust joke.

Tragedy can sometimes be a source of comedy. However, it must be done right.

AIRCOND PROBLEMS, AGAIN

A few months back, I highlighted issues with my air-conditioner.

The good news is the electric bill is now less than RM350 a month, but the bad news is that the air-conditioner is on the brink again.

The guy who came to service it after the electrician had finished his job warned us that there was a possibility we would face issues with it and that we might need to buy a new one.

He is coming on Tuesday to have a look. Hopefully, he can fix it.

A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN 10 DAYS

In the 10 days we were in Sarawak for Gawai, our usual laundrette closed down, new neighbours moved in, there are now rubber cones dividing the lanes on several streets, and two relatives died.

Life really comes at you fast.

CASHEW CHICKEN

If you fancy a quick and easy dish, here is a cashew chicken recipe that only takes 20 minutes to prepare.

FAREWELL, ASTRUD GILBERTO

Astrud Gilberto, a Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer-songwriter, famous for The Girl From Ipanema, and my favourite, Maria Quiet – featured in the daily Diary on April 1, 2020 – died on Monday. She was 83.

Born Astrud Evangelina Weinert in Bahia, she moved to Rio de Janeiro as a child. She made 16 albums, collaborated with artists as diverse as Quincy Jones and George Michael, and was one of Brazil’s biggest talents in the 1960s and 1970s.

Her rendition of The Girl From Ipanema sold five million copies and contributed to the growth of bossa nova.

To end this week’s Diary, here is Astrud with The Shadow of Your Smile, the love theme from the 1965 movie, The Sandpiper.

The Shadow of Your Smile, written by Johnny Mandel and Paul Francis Webster, won an Oscar and a Grammy.

Until next week, stay safe, folks.

https://youtu.be/VAx0n_1RK2k