There is no doubt that Joanne Kam knows how to bring a house down with her explicit brand of humour. But her La La Lian comedy special proves that she’s more than just laughs.
by Emily Mary Chin, Carrybeans
The show opened with local comedian, Papi Zak, who did an amazing job at warming up the crowd. Not afraid to veer into controversial topics, it is no wonder why Joanne chose him to be part of the show.
Papi Zak opening the show with anecdotes about religion and politics
Last night’s show was a slight departure from the usual routines we’ve come to expect from Joanne Kam Poh Poh. We’ve grown accustomed to more risqué jokes and candid anecdotes. And though her set was not lacking in either, there was an added layer of something extra too.
La La Lian takes the audience on a journey from Joanne’s humble beginnings in Penang, Ipoh and Johor, all the way to present day. She tells tales of childhood trauma with the humour and strength of a woman who has fought hard to overcome adversity.
Joanne Kam is not afraid to go heavy. La La Lian is solid proof of that. In just two hours, Joanne became more than just the comedian with the tetek jokes. In two hours, La La Lian repositioned her as a woman of quiet humility and introspection as well.
But La La Lian has been a long time in the making. It first found life about a decade ago, as a memoir that Joanne had begun writing about her life. 30,000 words and a few years later, the book evolved into a one-woman comedy special instead. With such autobiographical origins, it is no surprise, then, how much she laid bare out on the stage that night.
She shared extremely honest and personal stories about her struggles and weaknesses. That’s not something easy to do, harder still for someone who’s made a whole career out of making people laugh. But instead of bringing the energy down, La La Lian’s more sobering moments highlighted a very uplifting and relatable message instead: life is never free of heartbreak and hardship, but you can always find reasons to laugh.
After all, life’s no fun when you’re taking it too seriously.