2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival:
• Jennifer Wong is Spineless

Posted on 04 April 2013

Comedy can be hard. You are having to speak in front of a room full of people AND make them laugh. You have to reveal yourself warts, insecurities, vulnerabilites and all, because that’s where most of the funny is. People don’t get what a deeply personal art comedy can be.

Jennifer Wong is an exceptionally talented comedian. She was a writer on the series return of Good News Week (2008), web editor of RoveDaily (2009), and researcher on Can of Worms (2011). She tells people at her festival show Spineless that she used to do only one-liners, because she was terrified of trying anything more personal.

In this case I would say cowardice paid off. Her one-liners are brilliant. It’s no wonder she has all this TV work. Any television presenter would want to use her material to make themselves look witty and fun. She has an endearing sense of goofiness.

However, the moment she brings herself to the show, revealing her thoughts, feelings, and stories, the audience is treated to something special. Very few comedians are quite so present with their audience. Very few draw forth as many smiles as well as laughs. Her interactions with people in teaching them how to speak Chinese were delightful. I just wish she gave everyone a chance to say “Ni hao!” back.

Her translation of a wedding speech in “at home” Chinese was a riot. It bears some comparison with Rowan Atkinson’s wedding speech, but whereas his speech is acerbic, hers is cheerful and cringe-worthy hilarious.

If you like to be charmed, if you like books, and witty wordplay, Jenny Wong in Spineless is a lovely way to spend the evening.


Jenny Wong

Peace and kindness,


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