the 3 funniest men in southeast asia

January 18, 2018

words by: Bere Wangge

Meet the three funniest men on this side of the world, at least according to Netflix.

Stand-up comedians Harith Iskander and Kavin Jay from Malaysia as well as Fakkah Fuzz from Singapore may already have been household names in their respective countries, but they’re about to reach a wider audience, thanks to Netflix.

Iskander, Fuzz and Jay are the first Southeast Asian stand-up comedians to have their own Netflix special. Iskander’s show, I Told You So, was aired on January 19, and will be followed by Fuzz’s Almost Banned on the 26th and Jay’s Everybody Calm Down! on February 2. 

While they share a region, each of the three men comes from a different ethnicity; Iskander is of Malay and Scottish descent, Jay is an Indian Malaysian and Fuzz is a Malay Singaporean. In their own unique way, they're telling stories about what it's like living as them in the multicultural society that is Southeast Asia. The stories are sometimes serious, but they will always try to make them funny.

For Harith Iskander, this isn't his first foray into the global comedy scene. In 2016, he was crowned as the Funniest Person in the World after winning an international competition for comedians organized by US-based Laugh Factory. In I Told You So, Iskander covered a range of topics that include family, awkward dating experiences as well as social and cultural issues that are usually encountered by Malaysians and Singaporeans.

Starting his career in 1990, Iskander is today known by his fellow Malaysians as the Godfather of Stand-up Comedy. He is also one of the role models of Kavin Jay. In fact, Jay was initially warming up the audience at the recording of Iskander’s I Told You So when Netflix approached him. 

"It feels like a dream, from watching my heroes on Netflix, to having my own special, right alongside the greats. Someone pinch me!" Jay says in an official statement. 

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Following the wish of his late brother, who always wanted him to become a comedian, Jay started doing stand-up in 2006. The Malaysian Indian has now earned the nickname “Malaysia’s grumpiest comedian” because of his tendency to complain about anything and everything. He promises to bring his own brand of comedy—politically incorrect, intense and filled with his warped sense of love and life—to Everybody Calm Down!

On the other hand, there’s Fakkah Fuzz who has no intention to talk about politics at all. He, after all, was almost banned from entering Malaysia after seemingly comparing the country’s Prime Minister to a thief—which explains the title of his Netflix show, Almost Banned

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But he does have a lot of things to say about race, religion and culture in regards to his experience growing up as a Malay man in Singapore and also Malaysia, where he spent his adolescent years. In an interview, he credited his entire career to his bullies at his high school in Malacca, Malaysia. Expect to see more of Fuzz’s sarcastic yet truthful stories in his Netflix show Hopefully, he won’t be facing ban this time! Watch the trailer here.



Images c/o NetflixKavin Jay & Fakkah Fuzz.