S'poreans love a good laugh - at themselves

 S'poreans love a good laugh - at themselves
The performers and audience at Stand-up Comedy Night at Blu Jazz Cafe, for e-book project.

SINGAPORE - It's a Wednesday night, yet the club is packed. Drinkers fix their eyes on the animated, clean-shaven man talking a mile a minute on the raised platform in the corner.

It is open-mic, stand-up comedy night at the Blu Jaz Cafe, where comedians - or just anyone with the chutzpah - are invited to take the stage for five to 10 minutes to try and raise laughs.

On stage is local comedian Muhammad Fadzri Abdul Rashid, 27 - better known by his stage name Fakkah Fuzz. He pulls no punches and gets the crowd roaring with a gag about the Little India riot.

The weekly Talk Cock Comedy night has come a long way since it was set up three years ago by Comedy Club Asia.

Though still in its infancy, the local stand-up scene has hit a growth spurt.

Singapore may have just two main comedy venues, but each is seeing more aspiring comedians stepping forward and weekly show nights are often packed.

Comedy Club Asia charges $10 a ticket for Talk Cock Comedy and $50 for bigger shows that include international acts. It reported a $100,000 profit in 2013, almost five times what it took just three years ago, said co-founder Heazry Salim.

Two years ago, Mr Heazry, 39, spotted the "really profitable" niche in local comedy and quit his consulting job to run the club here full-time, plus its branches in Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.

The club began without any seasoned local comedians but it now has 20 regulars, led by Mr Fadzri and up-and-comer Sharul Channa, one of the few women on the local circuit.

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