“You’re not Chris Rock. So figure out your title"
Chieng’s stand-up special, Asian Comedian Destroys America!, hits Netflix on 17 December and will explore the Malaysian comedian’s journey to America.
Initially Chieng wanted to call his tour Tone Issues but Netflix encouraged him to change the title due to nobody knowing who he is.
“I was going to call it the name of the tour [Tone Issues], but Netflix was like, “Hey, you need something that people will actually click on, because nobody knows who you are.” I was like, “Yo, Chris Rock calls [his special] Tamborine,” and they’re like, “You’re not Chris Rock. So figure out your title.”” Chieng revealed.
Chieng thereby decided to make his tour title more “clickbaity”.
“So what’s more American than coming up with a controversial title to make money? And so I was like, “Okay, if we’re going to make some clickbait title, let’s just go all the way. What’s the most clickbaity, YouTube-style title we can come up with?” That’s how we do it here, as the president has proven,” he said.
“Being controversial is probably more profitable than not. The title is satirical, because the idea that anyone can destroy anything by releasing a video — that kind of evisceration culture — it’s making fun of that.”
For Chieng, his journey to America was a positive one, so his stand-up is a tribute to that.
“It’s about me coming into America and liking it here, and coming here because I wanted to come here. So the special’s intended to be like a love letter to America,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to travel around doing comedy, so I get to see all the different cities and meet different people. It was pretty obvious to me, and sometimes you need an outsider’s eye to notice the most obvious thing.”
In related news, Chieng recently said that “Singaporean and Malaysian comedians are amazing”.