Jennifer Wong – Laughable: The One-Liner Show

By Alanta Colley

The demure and delightful Jennifer Wong presents the picture of an entirely unlikely comedian. Shy, introverted, and softly spoken, Wong endears us almost instantly with her particular brand of improvised punning. In Laughable Wong walks us through the day in the life of a ‘Puntrovert’; puns at absolutely every turn. As Wong explains, the puntrovert thrives on groans, so the audience’s loud responses to her incessant word play only makes her stronger and eggs her on.

Wong displays the unique talent of a punner on the run; working with whatever material the audience provides she improvises puns on the most unlikely subject matter. Every night I imagine will be a unique masterpiece of this perpetual play on words.

This is gentle and genial comedy. Wong employs each of us as characters she meets along the way on her day of punning about town. On this particular night we saw what Wong could cook up with a librarian, a psychologist, fish and chips, and various bakery items. Her interactions with the audience are delicate and respectful and as such she gets the very best from people happy to contribute to this collaborative tale being woven.

Wong plays with the stereotypes surrounding her Chinese heritage. As well as our expectations that she’ll play with the stereotypes of her Chinese heritage. She manipulates meta comedy for her own purposes. Wong proves she’s a bilingual punner; capable of punning in Cantonese as well as English. Luckily, she’s also happy to translate for us.

Punning and improvisation are unlikely bedfellows making this show something quite special. Even if puns aren’t your preferred form of comedy you can’t help but be impressed by their sheer multitude in this performance. We can almost hear the whirring of Wong’s mind as she revisits episodes throughout our narrative towards the end with a fresh batch of puns out of the oven. It’s not quite clear how she managed to concoct them while the show powered along.

Intelligent, engaging and unashamedly uncool comedy from a deeply endearing up-and-coming comic. A pleasant addition to your Comedy festival experience.

Laughable: The One-Liner Show is on at the Forum Theatre – Ladies’ Lounge until April 20