Humour: From drag queen to Grammar Queen

Humour: From drag queen to Grammar Queen
Kumar, local comedian, acted as Grammar Queen in a skit during the launch of the Speak Good English Movement 2014 at The Arts House.

SINGAPORE - Is this what they mean by the Queen's English?

Last week, the Speak Good English Movement launched a new campaign with a series of videos starring comedian Kumar as the "Queen of Grammar".

Wait, you say. Isn't Kumar a man? Shouldn't it be the "King of Grammar".

That is hardly very good English.

Well, Kumar is dressed like a woman in the videos, specifically a queen with a tiara and all that.

So the Grammar Queen is also a drag queen.

Wait, you say. Why is a national campaign using a drag queen to teach us good English?

A drag queen is hardly a very good role model, especially for children.

Well, at least it's not Phua Chu Kang.

But have you seen Kumar's stage act? Not exactly what I would call family-friendly.

The thing is that there are two Kumars - the M18-rated stage version and the G-rated TV version.

This is how the comedian has reigned since the early 90s.

I first worked with Her Highness 20 years ago on a variety TV show on Channel 5 called Live On 5.

I was the research writer on the show although I did very little writing and even less research.

The weekly show had a movie review segment, for which I had to book a guest to review the movie.

One week, the movie was the Mel Brooks comedy Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

I thought who better to review a movie about men in tights than Kumar, who was then already famous for performing in drag at The Boom Boom Room in Bugis.

But my boss expressed reservations.

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