I attended the premier of Happy Ever Laughter on the 20th of June

    I got an invitation from Wilber to attend Happy Ever Laughter. The company received two complimentary tickets from the organisers of the event. My initial reaction was, “What is that?”

    I am not immersed in the local drama scene and hence much less so in the local comedy scene. I just learned that Channel 5 is still in existence and to me, it is unbelievable that with online video streaming platforms like YouTube and Netflix, Channel 8 drama shows still have an avid following. I mean how much time must you have on your hands to clear all the excellent drama series on Netflix before you move on to the mediocre ones on Channel 8? Suffice to say, I was less than enthusiastic about attending a local production.

    I had been enthusiastic about the arts when I was in my schooling days. I was a literature student in my ‘o’ and ‘a’-levels, was a member of the English Language Drama and Debate Society and even took a theatre studies module when I was at NUS. I remembered classic local productions like Under One Roof, Phua Chu Kang and Growing Up. I religiously followed every episode and ensured that I completed my school work so that I could watch television just to catch the latest episode. I have this inkling feeling that this carrot and stick method was the reason I completed my all my school work… Think about it, you are 14 years old and are told that completing your school work would pave you a brighter future or if you complete your school work you can watch television. Which statement would motivate you to complete your school work?

    The local arts scene has been foreign to me for the good part of almost two decades. I have not watched local television or watched too many local live productions. I had to see whether Happy Ever Laughter was worth my time on a Thursday evening. Cue the research and I found out that there were 12 stand-up comedians in one production.

    This was no local production. A simple search about Happy Ever Laughter showed me that it was run by Dream Academy. Dream Academy was founded by Selena Tan. Hey, I do know who is Selina Tan! She played Anita from Under One Roof! For those of you who do not know what Under One Roof is, it was a Singaporean sitcom back when Singaporean television shows were of a respectable standard. It seems like Singapore football and Singapore television followed a similar trajectory over the years. On top of that, Dr Jason Leong, a Malaysian comedian who I followed briefly on YouTube and Netflix, is also one of the acts. Oh, and there was Rishi Budhrani. I did not know his name. I only knew him from a video I saw on YouTube.

    Word has it that he is still waiting for the East Coast plan.

    Spoiler alert, Heng Swee Kiat is not Singapore’s future PM. We already have a new PM. As for the plan, if you live in East Coast and have been informed about the plan, please share it with Rishi.

    The tickets were complimentary, Dr. Jason Leong was performing and it would be interesting to see what Selena Tan was up to. I am in! Ok Wilber, let’s go for the premier!

    Wilber had a caveat for me. He was reviewing the Honor Magic6 Pro. Honor had provided him with phones to review and I had to help him with that. Oh, and I had to write the review for the show. Being someone who is always looking to do things as efficiently as possible, I will be taking photos with my iPhone 13 Pro Max and Wilber will take photos with the Honor Magic6 Pro. His photos will bear a watermark stating that it was taken with the Honor Magic6 Pro. If there is no watermark, then it was taken with an Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max. He only told me that I had to help him with his review. He did not expand on how my help was to be rendered.

    Since it was a pleasant Thursday evening and Capital Theatre was a 20-minute walk from our office, we decided that we would choose the environmentally friendly option and strolled over.

    We make beautiful cities. Sorry for the flex Dr Leong…

    The last time I was at Capital Theatre, it was to watch a local play and I cannot remember when that was.

    I cannot see Wilber clearly behind that huge LED screen. If only my iPhone 13 Pro Max had better high dynamic range…

    The tickets we received were really good. They were on the ground level and close to the stage.

    Wilber’s favourite comedian of the night was Xixi Lim. Mine was Dr Leong. Another spoiler alert: Dr Leong was very funny and entertaining but he was not the funniest and most entertaining, to me at least.

    This is Wilber. He was so enthusiastic about attending Happy Ever Laughter. He took some time styling his hair in the office. He is single and available by the way!

    This was how close we were to the stage. We were about the 6th from the front.

    Might I add that the event was supposed to start at 730 pm and even at 745 pm, the theatre was rather empty. It took up to 8 pm for the theatre to fill up to a respectable level. Some things do not change even after decades.

    We were so bored that we decided to take some selfies. I must say, under low light, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s front-facing camera is very lacklustre!

    Now it would not be right for me to review the jokes as that would be a major spoiler. However, I would say that the flow from one stand-up to the next was extremely smooth and they even made references to each others’ jokes and remarks.

    Hossan Leong kicked off the show. He is in his mid-50s. He does not look his age. It was nice to see him on stage and in person. I have not seen him on television for some time. Maybe because I do not watch television series. I watched him back in the 90s and early 2000s.

    I also learned that Sharul Channa is the wife of Rishi Budhrani. I never knew their names before tonight but they are one funny couple. Funny as in jokes-wise and not as in weird. However, I would not know about the latter.

    Siti Khalijah is an excellent entertainer. She can sing, dance, host and crack some decent jokes.

    This guy will tell you about his life in a boys’ school. I was also from a boys’ school. Most of his anecdotes are reflective of my 10 years in a boys’ school.

    There was no mention of the East Coast plan but there were anecdotes about politics. Both locally and across the causeway. I mean, who could leave the topic of Najib out of a comedy show?

    The final act was Dr Jason Leong. To my Malaysian friends, you have a funny doctor. I cannot imagine walking into a clinic and being greeted with that face. It is a good thing that he went into comedy.

    And that was a wrap!

    This was my first Happy Ever Laughter. It will not be my last. It was such an enjoyable show. A very nice way to spend an evening after work. I am pleasantly surprised that Singapore’s comedy scene is this good. There is a distinct difference when you watch stand-up comedy on Netflix in the comfort of your own home and when you watch live stand-up comedy. You laugh a lot harder when there are loads of people around you. That is what a lot of us need—light-hearted moments to punctuate our stressful lives.

    Local acts deserve our support but they cannot demand our support. They still have to put on a good production for audiences. Some may support local acts because we want to support local. I am not asking you to support this local act because it is a local act. I am asking you to support this local act because it is a good act.

    Click here to get the tickets!


    Yours sincerely,


    p.s. our tickets (Wilber’s and mine) to the event were complimentary. However, the views in this article are my own and this article was not curated by any party before I posted it.

    Daryl Lum
    Daryl Lum
    Gamer at heart, football fan, health enthusiast, loves to read, write, cycle, travel. Always interested in the latest that technology has to offer. Currently entrenched in the Apple ecosystem with little to no chance of escaping. Action movie fan. Thinks that midi-chlorians are littered around the universe. May the force be with you all...

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