HomeBad Ass AsiansComedy Comedy Festival in Los Angeles Wraps Up Fourth Year

Comedy Comedy Festival in Los Angeles Wraps Up Fourth Year

Chris Pang with Voltran

By Jana Monji
AsAmNews Contributor

In its fourth year, the Comedy Comedy Festival in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles offered three days of Asian Pacific Islander views on life and ranged from the rougher stand-up comedy of Asian AF’s The Armando Show to more experienced, polished outings like the festival’s closing show, The Musical Musical Show: A Musical Comedy Show.

Hosted by Bri Pruett, The Armando Show featured Francesca Fiorentini, Ahmed Bharoocha, Teresa Lee and Jake Choi (cast member of ABC’s Single Parents). The group Voltron provided the bill’s ending improvisations rifting off Melbourne-raised Chris Pang (Colin Khoo in Crazy Rich Asians pictured above).

Pruett talked about being a “plus-size hottie” and how it’s unfortunate that her line “drag me out of this dressing room like a United flight” hasn’t dated. Bharoocha noted that because he was raised Catholic with a Muslim twist he was learning what bacon is all about, while other people were experimenting with drugs and sex in college, . Lee lamented the breakup of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson and getting ghosted by the dog walkers she’s dated. She also put a price on friendship ($200) because $4,000 is too much money for a bachelorette party. Fiorentini explained the curse of being both Italian and Chinese–she’s overly direct and overly dramatic–and how she has diary entries from when she was 13 years old that are less insecure than President Donald Trump’s tweets. Choi talked about poop because everyone poops.

The seven-people in Voltron asked Pang to tell some stories which they took and expanded. Some where better than others and a lot was made of the presence of a “Supernatural” actor.

The Armando Show was uneven and even though Pang didn’t mean to be funny, some of his stories were more engaging than the improvs.

Tess Paras
Tess Paras

Better was the musical bill, hosted by Tess Paras and featuring Danny Pudi, Mary Sohn, Parvesh Cheena, AJ Rafael, JR De Guzman, Lana McKissack, Katie Malia, Kevin Yee, SeventhGrade (Chuck Maa and Geo Lee) and musical improv by Jiavani Linayao and Shilpa Das (with Cheena).

Paras decided to “Taylor Swift” her ex-boyfriend with an excellent parody of Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen. McKissack and Rafael took a similar turn as a couple performing a medley of Disney tunes after having just broken up before they got on stage. If you like snipping and some musical snarking (Rafael at one point played the theme for Cruella de Vil), then this almost controlled concert of percolating bitterness is the right drink for you.

The highlights of the evening was the musical improv where Cheena and Linayao portrayed a newly married couple on an airplane who had yet to have sex, but were matched as part of a conversion program, but Linayao found herself attracted to the stewardess (Das).

Kevin Yee
Kevin Yee

The scene-stealer of the night was Yee. He postured, primped and pumped as he educated the audience in the benefits of being gay because “you can’t get pregnant making gay love.” He followed that up with a revenge ballad. What do you do when you discover your boyfriend has strayed, you’re at his door step and you’re all dressed to impress. Obviously you have a furiously explosive fling with his dad.

The Comedy Comedy Festival was held in the cozy Garden Room at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles. You can wander this intimate hidden and gated garden before the show. The two shows I attended hit both universals (break ups) to distinctly Asian American tribulations and cross-cultural confusions. For information about future shows, you can subscribe to the JACCC email list at JACCC.org.

James Irvine Japanese Garden
James Irvine Japanese Garden

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