Beyond the Nose – stand-up comedy in Bangkok

Until now, the infamous Udom “Nose” Taepanich is the only Thai stand-up comedian who comes close to being a household name. But stand-up comedy in Bangkok is growing.

In 1993, Nose started a live stand-up comedy series, the now legendary “Deaw” sets. He’s known for his brand of social and political satire that appeals to almost everyone. He’s close to a national treasure, and the approved face of stand-up in the kingdom. That’s a pretty big burden for a comedian to carry and remain both funny and cutting-edge. Nose carries it very well. Thirty years is awfully long time to be a satirist in Thailand.

The only problem with Nose is that he’s a Thai comedian being funny to Thai people in their language. There is something of Ricky Gervais about him. And maybe a little Frankie Boyle, in a nice way.

Language barriers aside, there are a growing number of stand-up comedy clubs in Thailand. And while you might not get all the jokes, or find them funny when you do, that’s standard for comedy clubs, isn’t it? We don’t go for the jokes – they are often the price we pay – we go for the atmosphere.

Katanyu Comedy Club is a stand-up venue in Bangkok that opened about six months ago. It’s a community of people who are interested in telling jokes, and a storytelling platform – funny stories. Storytellers, both new and old, perform at this club where the show last about 5-8 minutes per gig. There is a lot of homework for the storyteller to do before coming up to the mic at stand-up comedy in Bangkok.

It’s a down-the-line comedy club where a routine would probably appreciate in any language. Finnish people can be funny too.

Beyond the Nose - stand-up comedy in Bangkok | News by ThaigerThe club is run by Katanyu Swangsri. He says there are plenty of Thai stand-ups looking for a break. Aren’t there everywhere? But most of the people who go to Katanyu’s club, just want to tell their stories and laugh with others and there is nothing wrong with that, is there?

Unless you say something that someone does not like and it goes viral. If that happens, it is everyone for themselves, as Nose would say.


Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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