From hosting shows at a small comedy club that catered to only 250 people, the co-founders of LOL Asia (formerly known as LOL Events) have been the ones responsible in bringing a little sunshine into Malaysia in the last 10 years.
Things took a turn for the duo when they managed to secure Russell Peters for a big arena show in 2012. That pretty much gave them the responsibility to bring in more international acts for bigger venues; they clocked out 2018 with big international comedians like Kevin Hart and Jimmy Carr, while for the year, Kenny Sebastian, Ronny Chieng and Dylan Moran are set to cap off 2019 with shrill laughter.
“We have managed to propel stand-up comedy into the mainstream culture,” Rizal says. “We’d have to say that’s the biggest achievement: change the culture, the minds and perceptions of the people when it comes to stand-up comedy.”
What would you say is your secret to success?
There is no such thing as a success for every project we take on; that I’d say is one of the secrets to success. There will be ups and downs in everything that we do, it’s a matter of accepting the challenges, and being able to work within the chaos, rather than avoiding them. Over the horizon, there’s always that “big one” waiting, and we just have to keep on moving towards it. It’s always about taking things up a notch; even if one project fails, another may not, and that may be the one leading up to the big one. Just as long as you keep moving forward and upwards, you’ll eventually reach the big one.
After being 10 years in the stand-up comedy circuit, how do you keep things fresh?
Besides rebranding ourselves to “LOL Asia”, there’s a little bit more focus now on the local industry, which we feel is very exciting at this point in time. A few years ago, we can’t exactly say the same thing, but now, after so long, we have a bunch of talents that have matured, and whose art and talents we are able to bring forth to share with the masses. The local and regional acts have peaked, and we’re able to showcase them, rather than just relying on bringing in international comedy acts.
On Rizal: Jacket by Gucci; TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 automatic chronograph in stainless steel with ceramic bezel, blue skeleton dial and stainless steel bracelet; On Jack: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 automatic
chronograph in stainless steel with ceramic bezel and black calf skin strap