Ronny Chieng: Law’s loss is comedy’s gain
FRESH: Unlike on stage, Ronny Chieng is quite calm off it.Ronny Chieng performsat the Civic Playhouse Theatre on November 1.
IF you turn on the TV or radio anywhere in Australia, it’s hard to avoid Ronny Chieng.
Since the Melburnian first started in stand-up comedy during the final year of his law degree, he’s consistently been named in lists of comics to watch in Australia and around the world.
Chieng’s distinct comedic style, where he (over)analyses situations in everyday life (including providing tech support for his parents or going to the supermarket) will be one familiar to Novocastians after Chieng was featured in the Melbourne International Comedy Roadshow at the Civic Theatre in June.
Since his visit, Chieng’s comedic style has extended to the airwaves with stints on the ABC’s It’s a Date, a recurring role on SBS sketch show Legally Brown, and a recent role co-hosting Triple J radio’s afternoon show.
‘‘Acting is one thing I really like doing, I think I’m getting a little bit better at it,’’ he tells Weekender.
‘‘Stand-up helps you get acting roles and acting helps you get people come to stand-up.’’
Not that Chieng needs any help on the latter front. Solo shows at the Melbourne and Sydney comedy festivals in past years have quickly sold out, and Chieng is guaranteed a packed-out house when he returns to the Playhouse Theatre on November 1.
For his show, Chieng Reaction, he’ll be presenting a longer set of fresh material – a show Chieng says he performs in a similar way regardless of where he is around the world.
‘‘I don’t really see the point of pandering, I guess,’’ Chieng says calmly, his interview style an interesting contrast with his amped-up onstage persona.
‘‘There’s definitely little differences, like I have one little Malaysian reference in my show and it obviously worked better in Malaysia than Australia, because they kind of understood the implications of it a bit better.
‘‘[But] it’s like going to Queensland and saying ‘everyone in Victoria is dumb and stuck-up’. I don’t do stuff like that.’’
So what does he think of Newcastle?
‘‘It’s a pretty big small city,’’ Chieng says.