Stepping into the Shoes of a Stand-up Comedian

March 28, 2017 / by / 0 Comment

I love John Oliver. I dream of working on a LastWeekTonight Show episode someday. Comedy was lifetime away, until I joined a stand-up comedy Open Mic night at HKU.

The University of Hong Kong’s General Education Unit invited Hong Kong-based comedian Vivek Mahbubani to deliver a workshop in the month of February. HKU students were then invited to join an Open Mic Night to share their jokes, hosted by Vivek himself.

IMG_2768 (1)

The night began with a warm welcome as Vivek shared many stories of his funny encounters as a bilingual comedian in Hong Kong. People then began sharing few stories.

Brian from the General Education Unit started off with his experience at work – and the kind of excuses students give for not attending events organized by his unit. “You guys have got to be creative. Professors know when it’s fake.” He said

“I think a great excuse for not doing homework is saying your computer was stolen. Bet the professor would give you a month off. Saying you’re sick, maybe few days.” He added

One of the students shared his experience at Star Hall and the surprisingly sensitive fire alarms in the building. He recalls a night the alarm rang because a student was cooking dumplings and she didn’t pay attention to little bits of smoke coming out from the dish.

“I actually know that student. Every year, we give her dumplings and a fire extinguisher for her birthday.” he said.

Another student tried out his typical bar scene, with an Australian and Singaporean Accent. He then brought the audience back to the reality of bar scenes he’d faced.

One more student shared a funny story of her dad being scared off by her green-coloured facial mask in the middle of the night. “He punched me, guys.” she joked

As for my public speaking experience, my heart began beating as my turn came closer. I’ve done a lot of debate and public speaking. I could do comedy, right?

I told a story about my recent trip to Thailand, with stories of funny encounters with Thai locals and how I had to communicate being a vegetarian. Another funny story was my experience getting an intense Thai massage.

Planting space for punchlines and laughter, I planned out a semi-impromptu speech. I admit – not all my jokes turned out as funny – but it certainly was an inspiring learning experience.

“The whole idea of Open Mic Night is to try out your jokes. There’s no need to worry if one joke isn’t laughed at, we’re all here to learn from our experiences and have the night of a lifetime!” said Vivek as he concluded the night

IMG_2793 (1)



Born and raised in Hong Kong. Passionate about journalism and public speaking. Loves travel, dance and talk shows!