#AA Abnormal Asian By Jinx Yeo poster
Where: Garden at The Producers
How Much: Full Price $17 to $20, Concession $15 to $17, Cheap Tuesday $15, Fringe Member $13 to $15
When: 7th to 12th March, 14th to 19th March
Asian stand-up comedians are a rare breed. What’s even rarer is when they hit all the right notes. Fortunately, this was the case at Jinx Yeo’s hugely enjoyable Adelaide Fringe comedy show, Abnormal Asian.
A Chinese-Singaporean native, Jinx is well aware of the flak the Chinese get for their shortcomings, such as their never ending quest for excellence and wealth, and their constant use of Confucius-type aphorisms, even if the quote doesn’t quite suit the context. An example he uses is a clever play on the line, “money can’t buy you happiness”, which is reversed to “happiness can’t buy you money” which he insists is a mantra the money-obsessed Chinese regularly use at any given moment.
A keen observer of various cultures, Jinx targets almost every facet of society. Marriage and romance take up a sizeable portion of his set, and for good reason. Jinx obliterates the sacred sanctity of marriage comparing it to North Korea and prison, stating that at least the latter two have “some rights”. The romantic notion of fate in finding your soulmate is also upended and ridiculed as Jinx compares spontaneous amorous encounters to “skilful stalking”.
Heavier themes such as politics and the religion are given a humorous and light flourish. For instance, when mentioning George W. Bush’s ‘War on Terror’, Jinx comments that declaring Osama Bin Laden a Pokemon would have ended the war a lot sooner as he would have been easier to catch. On the subject of religion, Jinx claims to respect other people’s faiths, but ultimately refers to the bible as a “magical, horror book”. Clearly, no one is spared in his cheeky put-downs, not even the almighty Catholic Church.
The only criticism I have is his clichéd coverage of feminists. Recalling an exchange with a self-confessed radical feminist who insisted on referring to “history” as “her-story” (an anecdote we’ve all heard before), Jinx retorts with how she should be drinking a “clit-tail” and not a “cocktail”. This smart arsed reply came across as irksome and unoriginal.
Jinx’s subdued delivery and witty one-liners bring to mind the comedic stylings of American comic, Joe Mande. Similar to Mande, Jinx is like an anthropologist and makes it his mission to know every fad, trend and stereotype under the sun, not only to better understand human behaviour, but also to reflect a mirror at them and show how absurd they truly are.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars