Minority Retort 07 Reviews
Minority Retort – 2007 Adelaide Fringe
Rip It Up
“Generally, modern Australia is regarded a reasonably egalitarian society (albeit letting the occasional Pauline Hanson or John Howard through the gaps), but I think at one point or another, most Aussies like to have a bit of a laugh at some of the minority racial groups. Austral-Asian comedian Jason Chong (who was awesome in last Fringe’s Sort Of The Rings) has decided to pick up on those slight racial tendencies to bring us Minority Retort, an hilarious show that has a fun laugh at the small differences of our multicultural society.
No one is left unscathed, from Asians to Wogs (like me!) to Germans to Jews, Jason cleverly turns what is usually a touchy subject into a laugh-fest, complete with audience participation and all (I was lucky enough to become Jason’s model immigrant!). Whether you’re an Asian like Jason, an Aussie with a foreign background, or a good ol’ white Skippy, you’ll get a Bruce Lee style kick out of this one!” – Luke Balzan
“As a performer, Chong’s a livewire with a penchant for cajoling the audience into daft bits of participation, getting them to repeat snatches of Mandarin with silly actions or wave their shoes in the air with abandon.
So far, so jolly. But you can’t help but thinking ‘where’s the beef’ as he runs through all the stereotypes, from eating dogs to bad driving, getting easy laughs all the while.
Then, about halfway through, the substance does arrive, as he describes the shameful ‘white Australia’ policy drawn up by the nation’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, who wanted to stem the ‘tide of inferior and unequal Asians’ into the country. Nice.
This section is hard hitting and informative, though it’s not long until the next bit of nonsense comes along, as Chong recreates the impossibility of the language test imposed on immigrants with an audience volunteer. It’s Playschool, as made by the History Channel.
Despite the mish-mash of styles, Chong, proves himself an energetic guide, light on his feet and able to make merry with the quietest of midweek rooms. When he uses his gregarious charm to make a point, rather than for some knockabout silliness, it’s the perfect match of style and content.” – Steve Bennett
“Jason Chong, a radio presenter for Nova 919, is a Chinese-Australian who has decided to make the most of his mixed heritage, comedy-wise, for his show ‘Minority Retort’. It’s not exactly new ground – Australians love laughing at the ethnics – but Chong’s easy-going style and self-deprecation make for a very enjoyable fifty minutes of comedy.
The main focus of the act is Chong explaining the realities of being half Chinese and half Australian (“Australasian” is the term), which he does through stories about his family, film posters with their supposedly original, racist titles, a quick Australasian general knowledge test, and an explanation of the White Australia Policy, for which my brother Charles was picked from the audience to assist. We should have known the risk in sitting down the front, but Chong was also unaware of the risk of inviting my brother into the spotlight and being upstaged. Luckily, he’s obviously a comedian who enjoys interacting with his audience as much as possible.
This is, in fact, Chong’s biggest strength. While he has a lot of funny material, not every joke hits home, but his extremely likeable on-stage persona gets him through any rough patches. This is especially useful when performing racial comedy, which does have a tendency to make some people a little uncomfortable; Chong is able to get past this, as shown by the audience sing along of his finishing tune, “Am I not Asian enough?” My guess is that with a bit of extra polish and a few more years, Jason Chong could be one of this country’s top comedians.” – Henry Nicholls
“Jason Chong is Eurasian – his dad’s from Singapore and his mum is Australian.
In his own words being a “half-caste” gives him licence to take the mickey out of his own kind.
Some might find Chong’s politically incorrect references offensive, as he makes dozens of jokes about many races including Jews and Asians.
If you think you might be offended, don’t bother seeing Chong’s show, but if you let your racial conscience go for an hour, you’ll be guaranteed a few laughs.
His interactive stand-up session certainly lures the crowd in, as Chong breaks out in a song and dance, singing a revamped version of Kasey Chambers’s song, Am I Not Pretty Enough, and he inserts the words “Am I not Asian enough, are my eyes too open.”
Let Chong say what you sometimes might think.” – Sophie Elsworth
“If you’ve missed hearing him on the radio – on Nova- with Gemma. His new show will provided that welcome back that you need. He makes you think then laugh, then think then laugh. Australia’s new Rod Quontock” – Melissa Y
“I dragged a bunch of friends along for a great cheap night in a good venue not expecting too much. However we were all very surprised and laughed our selves silly at Jason’s real life Australasia situations! Bring on the Asian lollies!” – Robyn
“Really enjoyed the show on Friday night. My friend thought it was very educational too 🙂 Very funny, great venue, time didn’t drag at all!” – Lynn
“Absolutely fabulous. He’s going to go far. Great laughs, very topical and refreshingly new material.” – Annie
“OMG Funny!!!!! I highly recommend this show, I laughed so much and the song at the end- Loved it! Jase Rocks!” – Rachael
“I saw Jas in ‘sort of the rings’ last year…have to say, he’s still funny!!!-go see it.” – Giggle Girl
“This was a funny show – he mentioned so many things that you are always thinking, but too scared to say!! good work mate and loved the song” – Tank
“Great, very funny the whole way through. Makes you laugh when you know you shouldn’t be!” – Alisha