Doctor-turned-stand up comedian Dr. Jason Leong has appeared on Comedy Central and has been awarded the title "Comedian of the Month" in August, sold out multiple shows all over Malaysia and Singapore, and has a stand-up clip that has gone viral (yes, that funny bit about idiots on Whatsapp). And now, he's back with a brand new show Ambitious, with even more laughter in store for us. We got a chance to ask him a couple of questions before he performs his new show in Kuala Lumpur from 29 June until 1 July 2018.
ESQUIRE: Tell us a bit about how you discovered your passion for stand-up and why you chose to pursue it.
JASON LEONG: I was always the class clown in school. And I loved to hear my own voice, so I emceed a lot of school events, joined the debating team and entered public speaking competitions. So when I heard there was a monthly open mic comedy show, I signed up, hopped on, and the rest is history.
ESQ: From winning various comedy competitions to performing in some of the biggest comedy clubs in the world, your stand-up career has certainly taken off. Did you ever think that you would become such a big hit in the stand-up industry?
JL: I am by nature very ambitious, so I definitely wanted to be the best I can be. Having said that, I haven’t scratched the surface yet. A lot more can be done. I have only just begun.
ESQ: We hear that every stand-up comedian has a specific point of view, such as the ironic political commentator or the self-deprecating comedian that thrives on being #relatable. What do you think your point of view is?
JL: I am an agnostic, scientific, evidence based, progressive and pro-comedy kinda guy. I call out BS, make fun of myself, take the mickey out of politicians, I joke about everything.
ESQ: What were some of the obstacles you faced/still face during your journey of becoming a professional stand-up comedian?
JL: The biggest obstacle I would say is my self. My own self doubt, my own hesitations and laziness. The rest are all just distractions.
ESQ: Where do you draw your ideas and inspiration for your show from?
JL: Everything! And of course, post-GE14, there is some new bits on our current political landscape.
ESQ: Besides laughter, what can we expect from your new stand-up comedy show ‘Ambitious’?
JL: I have been touring this show from Melbourne to Sydney to India and then several cities across Malaysia. I have ‘practiced’ this show for almost 40 times, so they can expect the very best of me. I have never worked this hard on a show :)
ESQ: Who is your all-time favourite stand-up comedian?
JL: Deceased: George Carlin. He is the best ever.
Internationally: Paul Ogata (USA). Funniest man I have ever seen live.
Regionally: GB Labrador (Phillippines). Every comedian’s favourite comedian
Locally : Rizal van Geyzel (Malaysia). Raw talent met passion, had sex and gave birth to Rizal.
ESQ: What are your future plans and hopes for your stand-up career?
JL: I want to be on Netflix, tour the US, get into Just For Laughs and have my own show in Hollywood.
ESQ: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring stand-up comedians?
JL: Gotta work hard. Talent won’t just cut it.
ESQ: Could you leave us with a one-liner joke?
JL: You have to come to my show. 29th June to 1st July. Tickets at www.jasonleong.my :)
Get tickets to AMBITIOUS happening 29th June to 1st July at Temple of Fine Arts, KL here.