Don’t miss Gus Tate and Chris Musni Live at the Fringe Club, May 13th & 14th – 8pm Showtime. Tickets available from HKTicketing.com. Article by Dannie Higginbotham
If you’re a supermodel, being tall and skinny is fantastic. If you’re just a dude trying to live his life in Hong Kong, it can bring a lot of pressure.
“If I go out to the club, I’m always the tallest person in the room,” said comedian Gus Tate. “I’m the one that stands out. If people see you’re not having a good time, then they don’t want to have a good time. I’ve got to be good times incarnite.”
Fellow comedian Chris Musni has his own tale of hardship.
Musni and Tate will join comedy forces this weekend for their show “2 Tall 2 Skinny” at the Fringe Club. Together they will explore their relationships, life in Hong Kong and the pursuit of being funny.
Tate is still a new arrival to Hong Kong, having moved here a year-and-a-half ago. Previously, he spent three-and-a-half years living in Beijing, where he attended grad school and helped establish a start up for air purifiers. It was in Beijing that he did comedy for the first time at Comedy Club China.
“I liked stand up comedy for a long time, and a friend wanted me to go with him to this improv and open mic night,” Tate said. “I was peer pressured into going the first time and then I just kept going.”
Tate said he tried improv his first night and didn’t like it because of the constant pressure to be funny, but his first stand up set went well.
“I just told a story about my dad pooping in a public restroom in China for the first time,” he said.
Musni has been in Hong Kong a lot longer, having arrived 10 years ago. He started out by doing open mics and workshops at TakeOut Comedy, then eventually helped found Comedy.HK around five years ago. Since then, he’s helped Comedy.HK set up two weekly open mic nights and showcase shows at XXX (at its former location in Sheung Wan), The Hong Kong Brewhouse and Backstage, which was recently forced to close due to rent hikes.
In addition to the pain of being 2 tall and 2 skinny, stand up comedy can have its ups and downs, said Musni.
“Sometimes you just end up feeling shitty and wondering where you’re going with comedy,” he said.
Tate agreed, adding, “I think I’m doing well in comedy but then I have a bad show that makes me start to wonder, ‘Why am I doing this?’ It’s like you think you’re doing well and then you’re hit with something that goes, BAM! You suck! It’s like you’re constantly smacked back.”
No matter how bad the lows feel, there are always the highs to make you remember why you got into comedy in the first place.
“I once did this talk show in Shanghai and I got to do a stand up set,” said Musni. “The audience was super cool and the show happened to have Tom Arnold on as a guest that night. I saw him laughing at my set and it felt really good.”
Tate said that his best comedy memory comes from another performer’s final show in Beijing.
“He wanted champagne to be the drink of the night, so people were popping bottles of champagne the whole show,” Tate said. “He also wanted everyone to do clean sets that night. I remember thinking, ‘Don’t do jokes about my penis.’”
Tate added that he’s very proud when he manages not to joke about his penis.
Tate and Musni, who list Brian Regan, Tig Notaro, Jerry Seinfeld and Louis CK as their favourite comedians, said that the weirdest part about their upcoming show is having their names printed on the tickets. For the first time they’re not just featured acts in a show, but the stars.
“We have a show with a name!” said Musni.
Musni and Tate’s show “2 Tall 2 Skinny: A Stand-Up Comedy Double Header” will be at the Fringe Club in Central at 8pm Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th. The Friday show is already sold out, but tickets for the Saturday show can be bought for HKD 100 at hkticketing.com.
Come laugh, learn, and see if Gus Tate makes any jokes about his penis.
Don’t miss Gus Tate and Chris Musni Live at the Fringe Club, May 13th & 14th – 8pm Showtime. Tickets available from HKTicketing.com