Friday 24 August 2012

Lessons I’ve learned from “Jangan Ketawa”

If you’ve lived through the 90’s and have seen our local comedy sketch “Jangan Ketawa” ; I say you are indeed awesome. Whether you loved it or hated it, you cannot deny that it was part of our Malaysian culture growing up.  Now these were the days where supposedly our tanah air is going through a phase of rapid modernization and our rakyat is getting a butt load of cultural influences from the East and West (Actually all around). So why such a big deal about this show?

For those still pondering what I’m talking about, “Jangan Ketawa” (means Don’t Laugh in Bahasa Melayu) was a local comedy sketch aired during the early 90’s. Considered ahead of its time, the comedy sketch is probably the one show that showcases comedian cross-dressers, smoking on TV and poking fun at religion. But all is done tastefully in a good hearted manner and with a positive message. Talk about cultural modernization!

Caught Khalwat? Or is it? 

Now the actors were really muhibbah (diverse). You have standouts like Rambo, Botak and even a very slim, handsome Harith Iskandar (who also serves as co-director).  But I always considered Dee & Moon the dynamic duo. Always the highlight of the show, these 2 actors (often cross dressing) were unforgettable as their alter-egos, Cik Timah and Cik Bedah. Their kampong skits were the best!

Dee & Moon on the famous 50s & 90s sketch.
Because of this, I always say colour as "Ka-rer" for the extra zing!

Moon in the infamous "Stewardess Interview". After this was shown, there was a huge debate on where is this Kedai Rambut Mei Lan and we never looked at stewardess the same way again.

Why is it the BEST Malaysian TV show? Well, you have versatile cast members and production crew; regardless of age, race & religion. Now tell me which local variety TV show you see today has such diversity.  Think harder. None, right? OK, there was Kopitiam and Baba & Nyonya (which I also loved).

Believe it or not, I “mastered” my Bahasa Melayu  from watching the show. Even mom is a fan.  I guess it has affected me profoundly the way I speak Malay, until my Malay friends commented that I speak like Cik Bedah.I quote an ex-colleague: “Belajar Bahasa is one thing; but the way u EXECUTE the cara cakap is memang terror!”. Let me stress she emphasised EXECUTE very strongly. Thanks for the compliment but I won’t be “executing” anything. Sayur boleh!

Despite its popularity, rumours has it the censorship board (who are these people?!) can’t take it anymore with the nonsensical antics the show put out. Homophobia was the biggest concern. It’s really sad that the controversy began with certain homophobics can’t differentiate between personal choice and entertainment value.

 However, the show does have a cult following. The show was revived briefly as re-runs on local cable and somewhat given a jump start again for actor Dee after a long acting hiatus. Harith is still an active comedian and actor but I personally think he should just stick with directing. Unfortunately, the late Rambo and Moon is no longer with us.  But their memories will always remain with the power of Youtube. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a good laugh with them once in a blue moody moon.

 Ini susu manyak bayi!

So what are the lessons I’ve learned after all this rambling? What prompted me to write this? Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of stress from work and to add on, friends also complaining about theirs. So in general; semua olang stresssss......  Well, who doesn’t?

Jangan Ketawa has always been one of my go to stress relievers and it got me pondering. Why stress out the small stuff? Stress already then what? Will anything change? No, right? Moon passed away suddenly without knowing the post success of the show. Rambo came after. Given to me, I cannot live without some laughter before I go. What I’m basically saying is that we often give in to the negativity of life that we forget to actually LIVE life itself. Laughter is the best medicine and it’s free; so take some dosage daily.

It’s such a cliché to say but life is really short. Share on a laugh than spend on hate.
So go, have a laugh.... J

Ps: Unfortunately the famous "Kereta Lembu" & "Kisah Pemain Muzik Kasim Selamat" has been deleted due to copyright reasons. Anyone seen it?


  1. this was a good family sitcom to watch together! we roflol-ed all the time! =))

    1. A good one at that too! I miss the show. :)

  2. Good post. I stumbled on your site via some "googling" after watching Jangan Ketawa with my kids last night via iflix.

    Indeed, even after over 20 years, the jokes are still relevant and more importantly, still FUNNY! It just shows us how good these guys are.

    Thank you again for writing this post all those years ago - your message at the end really resonated with me.

    I can't wait to binge watch Jangan Ketawa at home later.


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