LOL With These Budding Malaysian Stand-Up Comedians You Probably Don’t Know

Asuraajan Sharleh, Shaq the Comedian, Hannan Azlan, Juliana Heng malaysian stand-up comedians

Harith Iskander, Nigel Ng, Ronny Chieng, Joanne Kam, Douglas Lim, and Kavin Jay—these are familiar names for those who have an inkling of the Malaysian stand-up comedy scene in general. Some made it big on the world stage (with Netflix specials of their own to boot), while others are household names locally and across the region. Malaysia is blessed with plenty of funny people and the veterans are paving the way for more personalities to dip their toes into this relatively-young industry. We take a look at some of these up-and-coming Malaysian stand-up comedians who are keeping the local stand-up comedy scene thriving. The more, the funnier! 

7 Up-And-Coming Malaysian Stand-Up Comedians To Watch Out For

No, our politicians do not count.

1.   Asuraajan Sharleh

Asuraajan Sharleh, who goes by his stage name Asu, is one of the most-promising Malaysian stand-up comedians to watch out for. He swept not one, not two, but three gongs (Best Overall Production, Best Newcomer, and Audience Choice Award) at the 15th Short+Sweet Malaysia 2022: Stand Up Comedy category. Before that, Asu also came out tops in the first-ever stand-up comedy competition organised by the Joke Factory which is founded by Harith Iskander.

Joe Hasam, the co-founder and Artistic Director of klpac, described Asu as “probably one of the most talented stand-up individuals I have seen in a long time.”


2.   Shaq Munisamy


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A post shared by Shaq Munisamy (@shaqthecomedian)

Can a reserved and wholly-serious person even make it as a stand-up comedian? Shaq Munisamy is shining proof that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The English teacher first chanced upon the world of stand-up comedy through a writing workshop, and the rest, as they say, is herstory history. The highlights of her budding stand-up career are winning klpac’s Short+Sweet Stand Up Comedy awards and co-founding the comedic group Parti Komedi Rakyat.

Once restricted to doing comedy shows over Zoom during the height of the pandemic, you can now ROFL with Shaq The Comedian who is a regular feature in local stand-up shows.


3.   Shamaine Othman


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A post shared by Shamaine Othman (@iamshamaine)

Shamaine is an active force in the local entertainment industry, having written for multiple TV shows over the years and also theatre/sketch productions. As a stand-up comic, she has been featured in a string of shows which includes standing as the opening act for Ronny Chieng and British comedian Gina Yashere. 

Having performed in the KL and Singapore comedy circuits over the years, one of the few female Malaysian stand-up comedians will finally be staging her debut solo stand-up comedy special this March.

Instagram l Website

4.   Hannan Azlan

You may not have heard of Hannan Azlan, but she has accomplished great things in the international comedy scene. The fast-rising Malaysian stand-up comedian who is only in her mid 20s has been featured on Comedy Central Asia, MTV Asia, Astro, and ABC Australia, on top of winning her fair share of awards. She has also served as an opening act for Ronny Chieng.

Don’t feel deceived by the Ukulele-toting young lass in a miniskirt, she can floor you with her, ahem, self-described naughty and gross brand of humour.

Instagram l Website

5.    Juliana Heng

Autistic and non-binary Malaysian stand-up comedian Juliana Heng burst onto the scene in 2017 and have since performed in many shows and comedy festivals across the globe. They have also supported five international acts including Ahmed Ahmed, Matt Davis, and Mary E. Kennedy. On top of that, they are the founder and comedy show producer of I Laugh KL Comedy Show in addition to being a curator with JokePit The Comedy Box Office. 

Juliana often tackles subjects considered taboo in Asian society by zooming in on autism, being queer, and growing up in a dysfunctional family.

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6.   Riezman Radzlan


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A post shared by Riezman Radzlan (@rieznuts)

Riezman Radzlan had the worst of starts to his stand-up comedian journey when he debuted at just 19, where not a single soul from his audience laughed at his attempted jokes. Instead of letting the demoralising episode put a premature end to his career, it fired up his determination to succeed even more. Now in his mid-20s, Riezman might be having the last laugh. 

The young comedian is a regular in the local comedy circuit, sharing the stage with heavyweights in the industry such as Dr Jason Leong and Kavin Jay. The rookie might still have a long road ahead of him to make it big like his famous peers, but if there’s one thing that can propel him far, it is the same sheer determination that has carried him up to this point.


7.   Marissa Wong

Seeing a Chinese lass doing stand-up is a rarity, which is why Marissa Wong is a breath of fresh air in the local comedy scene. Besides performing stand-up routines, Marissa is also a content creator on Tiktok (@marissawong96) who billed herself as the “first person on Tiktok platform to do toilet reviews” who had “reviewed more than one hundred different toilets around Malaysia and Singapore.” Also known for her “Life As A Half Thai Malaysian” series.

Instagram l TikTok

Catch These Malaysian Stand-Up Comedians Live In Action

A microphone
Credit: Kane Reinholdtsen via Unsplash

Comedy shows and open mic sessions are regularly held for the public. Check out establishments like The Joke Factory in Publika Shopping Gallery, Hush The Theatre KL at Glo Damansara Shopping Mall, and the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) in Sentul Depot if you want some laughter delivered to you live and raw. That’s where most budding Malaysian stand-up comedians hone their skills and for you to have a good time because it’s the best medicine we can give to ourselves.

Related: Malaysian Writers Are Making Waves In The Books Industry. Here Are 9 To Watch Out

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