Comedian Jocelyn Chia says necessary context missing in shortened clip of controversial MH370 joke

There is no malice behind a comedian's joke in a comedy club, she added.

Fasiha Nazren |
June 13, 2023, 11:58 am

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Jocelyn Chia has spoken up after facing an uproar following her viral stand-up set.

The comedian became a hot topic in the past week after a video of her stand-up set referencing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went viral.

S’pore-raised comedian Jocelyn Chia called out by wife of MH370 steward after she jokes about missing flight

Part of the routine also shows her saying “f**k you” to an audience member who said they were Malaysian.

Many Malaysians and Singaporeans have taken offence by her set, including the Malaysian wife of a flight MH370 steward and Singapore’s minister for foreign affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.

Missing context

In an interview with CNN, Jocelyn revealed that she has performed the set “more than a hundred times” for 1.5 years without problems, explaining that it is “common culture” for comedians to roast their audience.

Malaysian audience members would also tell her that they enjoyed her gig, which shows that “they clearly didn’t take offence”, she told CNN.

However, the comedian felt that “some of the necessary context went missing” from the short clip that was edited and uploaded onto social media.

“I do stand by my joke but with some caveat—I stand by it in its entirety, when viewed in a comedy club. Upon reflection I do see that having this as a clip that gets viewed out of a comedy club context was risky.”

Just wants to make people laugh

Despite the testy tone that she displayed as part of her stand-up set, Jocelyn said there is “never spite behind a comedian’s jokes”, adding in another part of the interview that Singapore and Malaysia have always had “friendly rivalry”.

“We all know in the comedy club context that this is the comedian trying to get a laugh, and there is no actual malice behind it.”

Jocelyn’s Instagram and Facebook pages (which are linked to her website) are currently not available.

Only her Twitter, where she recently posted, remains live.

Top image screenshot from Comedy Cellar’s TikTok video.

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