Singaporean stand-up comedian Jocelyn Chia joked that Malaysians couldn’t visit Singapore because their planes “can’t fly or land.”
Humour is subjective because what’s considered funny to someone may not be funny to another person. While it’s not to say we can’t enjoy dark comedy, a line has to be drawn for certain topics.
Singaporean stand-up comedian Jocelyn Chia recently got into trouble for making a joke about the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 flight during her performance at Comedy Cellar in the United States.
In the viral video, Chia started fine by making fun of the typical rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia.
I am a HUGE supporter of standup comedians, especially from this region. IDC that this S’porean said FU Malaysians bcs we make fun of them on stage too.— Kudsia Kahar 🇲🇾, Malaysian First (@Kudsia_Kahar) June 6, 2023
But I draw the line at turning MH370 into a joke. Not acceptable. A good standup never turns tragedy and deaths into a joke. pic.twitter.com/i8U7LILyeS
However, things got a little off-tangent when she touched upon MH370.
While still pitting Malaysia and Singapore against each other, Chia joked that Malaysians can’t visit Singapore because Malaysian planes “cannot fly” and implied that the plane “cannot land.”
What? Malaysia Airlines going missing not funny huh? Some jokes don’t land. This joke kills in Singapore.Jocelyn Chia at Comedy Cellar
Someone in the audience said she would get a bad Yelp review for her joke. Chia said, “It’s ok. They don’t have internet.”
Netizens find that part of her joke unfunny and unacceptable for making fun of a tragedy which involved multiple deaths.
According to netizens, Chia was punching down and her usage of vulgar words didn’t sit well with them.
They also compared her to other comedians such as Kumar who managed to make fun of everyone without hurting feelings.
Another netizen also explained that stand-up comedy is not a Western import, but there’s a way to execute wholesome comedy routines.
When confronted about her crass joke, Chia said on her Instagram, “Tragedy plus time=comedy. It’s been long enough man.”
I'm lowkey into dark jokes but this is just not it. Something about her delivery is also annoying lmao dark joke shouldn't be treated as a way of being a complete jerk. Welp, maybe this is the result of having to live around bad food 😮💨— CJ69 (@theartsbycat) June 7, 2023
A friend shared the video as well. I am in agreement with your view. Tragedies are not meant to be ridiculed! Well, her mere usage of vulgar words is far off & don’t come close to the likes of Russel Peter or George Carlin! 🙏— Mikaimran@اتمران (@Mikaimran6) June 6, 2023
Not funny la. Kumar makes jokes about Malays all the time but he makes sure he kenakan all the races so it's fair and square. And he is so terribly funny.— nasiheart (@shafikismail) June 7, 2023
This woman is plain annoying.
She's a plain "tryhard" SU comedian. Other SU comedians like Russell and Kumar pon make fun of other countries or races but their jokes are funny and eventually ada punch line. But that's not a joke coming from her, she's a joke.— nmk (@nmk_lol) June 7, 2023
We have stand up for decades. It’s not a western import. Jamali Shadat old monologues from the 70s were wholesome. They are the descendants of court jesters and bards. I have no problem with comedy. You punch down. This lady is not even funny that’s the crime.— Effi Saharudin (@1Obefiend) June 6, 2023
Who is Jocelyn Chia?
According to her official website, Chia was a lawyer before she ventured into standup comedy.
She’s also a regular at New York City comedy clubs such as Comedy Cellar and Gotham Comedy Club.
She was also voted as one of Singapore’s top comedians by Buro, Best in Singapore, and Simibest.