The Singapore Brand Of Humour

8 Sep

SINGAPORE: If sitcoms are a reflection of our society, how would we define the Singapore brand of humour?

In “Parental Guidance” star Adrian Pang’s unminced words: “Crass, infantile, and reliant on the lamest forms of colloquial linguistic exaggerations. I love it!”

Alaric Tay, who stars in “The Noose”, which is returning for a second season on Tuesday, agreed. “Singapore humour revolves around our language. We like to laugh at the way we sound – whether it’s dialects or minority groups. And there’s slapstick, of course.”

Jade Seah, who plays a nerdy teacher in new sitcom “First Class”, likes the way that our sitcoms generally address “our idiosyncrasies”.

She added: “You can say, ‘Yeah, I’m like that, and it’s quite funny, what.'”

Indeed. But is this what Singaporeans really want on their TV sets? Are we satisfied with seeing repeated parodies of our shallowest attributes?

One of the creative minds who worked on our first and most successful sitcoms – “Under One Roof” and “PCK Pte Ltd” – had a few suggestions as to why our local sitcoms haven’t progressed terribly far since Gurmit Singh hung up his yellow rubber booties.

This person declined to be named because of continuing working relations with MediaCorp, and shall hereafter be referred to as “The Truth Fairy”.

The Truth Fairy offered some constructive criticism. Perhaps we’re over-relying on stereotypical characters, hammy performances, and “a tendency to stick to family sitcoms, which are safe and middle ground”.

Oh, dear. That’s not funny.

Channel News Asia

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