Ronny Chieng on ‘The Daily Show,’ New Netflix Special ‘Speakeasy’, and Daring Fans Want To ‘Cancel’ Him

SBreakthrough as a reporter on The Daily Show in 2015, Ronny Chieng has continued to prove himself as one of the funniest indie comics in the game. Now, he’s back with a second hour-long special on Netflix called Speakeasy that involves everything from anti-scientific podcasters to the myth of a cancellation culture.

In this episode of The Last Laugh podcast, Chieng talks about pushing an envelope without fear of consequences, describes how Trevor Noah changed his life, knocks down “crazy” Fox News host Jesse Watters, etc.

“I have no illusions,” the Malaysia-born, Singapore-grown comedian told me during our conversation. “Just because you have that special someone on Netflix doesn’t mean everyone knows who you are.”

But now, with a two-hour special on the streaming service — his first, Asian Comedians Destroy America!, is still a timed movie — and with multiple highs at Netflix Is a Joke Fest in Los Angeles this week, Chieng has become an A-list actor in the comedy world. His new special SpeakeasyThe film, in which he performed in white tuxedo in front of an almost stylish crowd in New York’s Chinatown, contains some of his finest and most provocative material to date.

He explained: “I wanted to capture the pandemic moment visually, not explicitly about it. “It is not necessary to wear a mask, but now the thought is that it is illegal to gather in a small room. So I tried to capture that moment when people want to go out to hear comedy, even though it’s risking our lives, literally, in these little rooms.”

Chieng uses that proximity to confront his audience, constantly challenging their preconceptions about his cultural and political views. For example, at the beginning of the new hour, he dared to make it clear that the crowd would “cancel” him.

“Cancel me!” he cried out over and over again. “What are you going to do, cancel me so I have to go back to Malaysia? Where am I a national hero? And the currency advantage is working in my favor? ”

“Free me from this hell!” he added, noting that he has been very busy doing comedies and starring in big budget films like Crazy Rich Asians and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, that he hadn’t seen his mother in two years. “Cancel me so I can see my mom!”

“The point of that is, there is no cancellation culture,” Chieng told me, joking that he has said “bad things” on stage for years and has only just seen his star rise. go up. “If you commit a crime, you go to jail. That’s not cultural abolition, it’s a felony. So when I do that, I’m mocking the Twitter people who ‘wake up’ the people trying to unroot everyone. And then I mocked the right wing, who think the cancel culture is omnipotent. ”

I’m mocking the ‘wake up’ Twitter people who try to undo everyone. And then I mocked the right wing, who think that canceling culture is almighty.

If there is a word bit Speakeasy that could get Chieng “cancelled”, perhaps that’s the length of time he tries to get his audience to scream “worst race” at a count of three. Within minutes, the comedian caused tension by assuring fans that they were in a “safe space,” essentially allowing them permission to openly racist before intentionally. pull the rug away from them. It was a master class on how to work in front of a crowd.

“I went on tour with that money,” he told me. “We’ve done 50 shows around the world with it. The only time it went astray was in New York and someone said a race that feels very personal the way they say it. And I chased them for saying that, I literally said ‘damn’ for saying that. And after the show, I realized, ‘Oh, maybe it’s their own race.’ People scream that their race is only for self-deprecation.

“But I think the end of that joke brought everyone back together,” he continued, without offering any answer. “So I was very confident in doing that. I’m not too worried about things going wrong and turning into something I don’t want.”

There is another challenge that Chieng poses for viewers later in the special. If his fans really want him to use his platform to speak out against the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, he says they should try ending it. of them Netflix specifically with a joke on an inherently unhappy topic.

Then, of course, he just did that, over Speakeasy With a little that I won’t completely disclose here an incident that happened to him during the pandemic. He was walking down the street in Manhattan when “out of nowhere” a woman approached him, grabbed him by the throat and “started squeezing.”

During our conversation, Chieng confirmed that the attack did indeed happen, but admitted that contrary to what he said on stage, he didn’t think it was “race.”

However, he said he remains on guard. “In big American cities, I don’t listen to music while walking on the street,” says Chieng. “I’m tilting my head to a spin, I’m looking around.” As a stand-up comedian, he works mostly at night, which he added brings “an element of danger, more so than before the pandemic and the rise of this hatred of Asia.” “.

Chieng emerges from a relatively peaceful encounter and eventually uses the experience to make a cross-cutting point about how he “respects” that “crazy” woman more than anyone dared to criticize the film. his comedy on social media from their couch.

“She was unhappy about something in her life and she tried and did something about it,” he jokes, proving that even the funniest problem can be amusing – if you have the skills.

Listen to the episode now and subscribe to The Last Laugh above Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitchers, Amazon Musicor wherever you get your podcast and be the first to hear new episodes as they’re released every Tuesday. Ronny Chieng on ‘The Daily Show,’ New Netflix Special ‘Speakeasy’, and Daring Fans Want To ‘Cancel’ Him


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button