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World’s funniest man shares his style of comedy

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Sepang
– Popular comedian Harith Iskandar, who recently won the Funniest Person in the World title at Laugh Factory’s global competition in Finland, shares his style of comedy to unite people in laughter around the world.

Harith, who has been a stand-up comedian for 26 years, said he often shared funny anecdotes about life in Malaysia but never touched on sensitive issues such as religion, political or sexual content related topics.

“In stand-up comedy, we need to uphold our cultural values and moral norms and make the audience laugh at your jokes.

“Many comedians who participated in competition were amazed to see I don’t use sexual or political jokes in my stand-up comedy,” he told reporters after arriving from Finland at the KL International Airport, here yesterday.

Harith, who was accompanied by his wife-cum-manager Dr Jezamine Lim Iskander was welcomed by Tourism Malaysia’s Director-General Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab and senior officials, with a flower bouquet and a congratulatory banner.

As the winner of the coveted title, he bagged US$100,000 and a year-long comedy tour of the United States as well as worldwide media coverage.

“With this opportunity to go to the US about 10 times for comedy tour, I want to put Malaysian stand-up comedy on the world map. During the tour, which will be before Christmas, I want to build my name and Malaysian stand-up comedy to the international sphere.

“Malaysian stand up comedy is very well recognised in South East Asia and Asia, and now it is time for me, to bring Malaysia’s comedy industry to the global level,” he said.

Harith explained that stand-up comedy was not an ‘overnight success’ and it was not just getting on the stage in front of audiences, instead a comedian must spend many hours or months to master the art and skill of reading to gather knowledge.

“I always prepare my jokes and it is not spontaneous jokes. Whenever I need to do stand-up comedy, I will plan two months ahead and study on my audiences.

Although sometimes, there were occasions where I had changed the joke style, but the materials are not spontaneous,” he said.

Asked on his challenges, Harith said: “Preparing the best jokes for the international audience to laugh was the toughest challenge he faced in Finland, besides the minus 12 super cold weather.

“Of course, the pressure of being nervous is always in me each time I take the stage. Although I get nervous all the time, this time there was much pressure when I know my Malaysian fans, supporters and well-wishers are waiting for my performance and wanting for me to grab the title.”

Those days before internet came, he used to convey to his friends who travelled to US to bring back records and books on stand-up comedy so he could learn from the best.

On another note, Harith, who will be training newcomer comedians who are interested to participate in the next edition of competition in 2018, advised them to brush their skills, art and be themselves on the stage.

He said he also spoke to founder and president of the Laugh Factory Jamie Masada for Malaysia to host the 2018 Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the World competition.

Harith said Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had lent his support with sponsoring travel and accommodation, while Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak gave moral support and motivational words for him. — Bernama