Dr Jason Leong Prescribes LOLs For The Masses

Dr Jason Leong
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Medical doctor turned comedian Jason Leong is wondering 'Why Are You Like This?' as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year.

Jason has had a pretty hectic last few years – he recently became the first comedian from Southeast Asia to have two comedy specials on Netflix, plus, he's made appearances on Channel Ten's hugely popular quiz show 'Have You Been Paying Attention?'.

Laughter is said to be the best medicine, and Jason Leong is set to prescribe a whole bunch of it in a series of shows filled with never-before-seen jokes and anecdotes at MICF. He's stamped his name on the world comedy map after selling out the global tour of 'Brain Drain'. . . Not to mention he was the first Malaysian comic to appear at the prestigious invite-only Just For Laughs in Montreal!

We catch up with The Doctor ahead of Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Tell us a bit about what you’ll be presenting as part of the Comedy Festival this year.
I have worked really hard on this year's show. It will be a bit more introspective and anecdotal than usual, and in fancy comedy parlance that really means the show will be more self-indulgent and a form of therapy for the comedian who is too lazy to seek professional help.

What is it about comedy that you love so much?
The money.

On the flip side, what’s its biggest challenge?
Coming up with new material to keep the shows fresh, exciting and engaging. Specific to Australia, the biggest challenge is the exorbitant foreigner withholding taxes, of which I will be complaining about for 45 minutes in my new hour-long show. That comes up to 75 per cent of my show, which is incidentally the amount of taxes I (feel like I) am paying.

It’s a brand-new show. Talk us through your process when crafting new material.
I look at my dwindling bank account and my beautiful four-year-old daughter Aria, then collapse into panic and finally, craft new material out of sheer desperation to keep putting food in her belly.

And how do you formulate a set from it?
There is no set formula. I work on jokes, and when I'm satisfied with the response they get, I file them away. Once I reach an hour, I am good to go.

What’s the biggest misconception about comedians?
That the funniest comics are also the most depressed. The truth is, many of the unfunny ones are also very depressed.

What are you most looking forward to about audiences seeing this show in particular?
I look forward to the part where they buy tickets and their money goes from their bank account to mine. I love you Aria. This is all for you.

Jason Leong plays The Greek – Mezzanine 28 March-14 April and Forum Melbourne – Upstairs 17-21 April (Melbourne International Comedy Festival).

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