Ronny Chieng is one of the heavy hitters of the Melbourne comedy scene – he’s performed with local and international acts, been on TV, hosted radio and podcasts, and now he’s been interviewed for Pop Culture-y, so he’s pretty much done it all.
You’re absolutely smashing comedy, with a completely sold out 22 show run at last year’s Comedy Festival. What’s in store for this year?
I have a new brand new stand up comedy tour in 2015 which I’m taking to bigger venues than in 2014, and in more countries.
This year I’m bringing the show back to all the capital cities in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as New Zealand, Edinburgh, London and Montreal.
Your new show is called You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About. What do you think people are most ignorant and vocal about?
I think people can be pretty ignorant when it comes to talking about other people. It’s easy to criticize, and sometimes that criticism can be objectively valid. But most of the time I think people comment about others without empathy or sufficient knowledge about a situation.
You’ve opened for some comedic icons – Dave Chappelle, Bob Saget, Bill Burr – who would you like to open for next?
I don’t really see it as a check list of people! It’s been an honor to meet and perform with my comedy heroes.
If you had your pick of the Melbourne comedy scene, who would you like to open for you?
Traditionally the opening act is more junior than the main act, so you wouldn’t ask someone more senior than you to open for you.
I do have some names of up-and-comers I’d love to work with any day. But I think listing them as such is a little presumptuous. They have better things to do than to open for me!
If you weren’t doing comedy, would you be a food writer? No? What would you be doing?
No probably not! I find food blogging to be a little pretentious. Making food – that’s a real skill. I don’t see a lot of value in merely going around judging other people’s work.
I’d probably be working for IKEA or in management consulting, or in the basketball industry (not as a player).
If you were to host a panel show, what would it be about?
I think I’d have to go for something I could talk intelligently about, so it’ll be about sports or technology.
You’ve even got your own podcast – The Ron Effect. How would you describe what goes on in it? Which is a good episode to start with for first time listeners?
I basically do whatever I feel inspired by that week in my podcast. Sometimes I bust medical myths with my sister who is a doctor, and sometimes I make fun of movies with other comedians.
Ronny Chieng’s show You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About is at the Forum Theatre from the 26th and 27th March (previews) until the 19th April. Tickets start from $22. Get tickets from the MICF website, call Ticketmaster on 1300 660 013 or at the door.