In the case of Singaporean comedian Jocelyn Chia, comedy is no laughing matter. Chia’s sharp barbs and jokes directed towards Malaysians and the MH370 tragedy have left a bitter taste in the mouths of Malaysians with netizens hitting back against the comedian online. The flame war against her has even drawn the attention of Malaysian law enforcement authorities, specifically the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), who is now working with the global police agency Interpol to acquire more information on her. In this case, it seems that Malaysians are going all out to make known their anger and displeasure at the Singaporean comedian. It goes without saying that she is officially CANCELLED in Malaysia. Pissing off an entire country is a sort of impressive feat in a way, no?
Well, she’s not the only funny person to have flown too close to the sun. We’re running down some of the most controversial comedians who have drawn fire from celebrities, communities and whole nations!
1. Nigel Ng / Uncle Roger
Oh Uncle Roger, what can be said about you that hasn’t already been typed out furiously in the comment section? The UK-based Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng has been making waves for years with his heavily accented “uncle” persona. He’s taken shots at white people, vegans, celebrity chefs (namely Jamie Oliver) and reality TV shows. However, during “The HAIYAA Special”, he made a joke that perhaps crossed the border from innocuous ribbing into violating Chinese airspace.
The issue of the sovereignty of Taiwan has been one of the most sensitive issues for the Chinese government. While most of the world acknowledges Taiwan as its own independent country, China claims historical ownership over the land. During his special, he not only joked that China was actively spying on people through Huawei phones but went on to make light of Taiwan’s independence and joked that the island should reunite to form “One China”. This has led to a ban on his account on Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo and Bilibili. Well, that’s the second character in orange that President Xi Jinping has banned…
2. Louis C.K.
He’s officially out of the doghouse since 2018 but for a while comedian Louis C.K. was one of the most infamous names in comedy. The thing about Louis was, he always found a way to push the boundary without ever getting himself caught in controversy. He has said everything from the N-word to the homosexual slur of the F-word. And yet, he managed to couch the use of vulgarity and taboo subjects in such a brilliantly insightful way that you honestly couldn’t make a case against him.
The man managed to make a whole ass joke about how molesting kids must be worth the risk if paedophiles could potentially destroy their whole lives for doing so! As abhorrent as that sounds, we dare you not to laugh. So at the end of the day, what got him cancelled? A string of complaints from female colleagues who reported Louis masturbating in front of them in the same room. The oddest part was the fact that he asked them politely before doing so. Regardless if you think he’s a creep, you can’t deny the man’s got manners.
3. Dave Chapelle
Comedian Dave Chapelle has long been a lightning rod for controversy in comedy. In his younger days, “Chapelle’s Show”, a comedy sketch TV show starring the titular comedian was nothing short of legendary. Chapelle’s humour was sharp and often tackled serious societal issues plaguing members of the African American community. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and go after folks of all stripes and colours, as long as he knew he had a solid punchline to land.
In his recent years though, he’s found himself in conflict with members of the transgender community. In spite of the pressure mounted against him online and off-screen, Chapelle has never recanted or apologised for a single joke made at the trans community’s expense. The controversy reached a fever pitch on his Netflix comedy special, “Closer”, where he recounted the story of a friend of his who was a transgender comedian, Daphne Dorman. Dorman came to Chapelle’s defence when he was facing heat on Twitter. Sadly, Dorman had committed suicide and Chapelle had vaguely implied that the woke mob might have played a part in it. Until further notice, it seems Chapelle is hereby cancelled by the LGBT community.
4. Hasan Minhaj
The comedian and host of the Netflix comedy political show “Patriot Act”, Hasan Minhaj, not unlike Uncle Roger, caught the ire of a national government. In this case, he along with Netflix became the target of the Saudi government led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). In the second episode of the “Patriot Act”, Minhaj pulled no punches in his breakdown of the murder of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
In his segment, he went straight for the jugular, accusing MBS of personally being responsible for the death of Khashoggi. He also went on to criticise the rest of MBS’ character and rule for being oppressive against critics. Minhaj even brought up how the Crown Prince treated his mother! Now that’s personal. After much pressure from the Saudi government, Netflix removed this episode from their streaming services in Saudi Arabia. That being said…Netflix posted the full segment on one of their YouTube channels, so we guess Minhaj still gets the last laugh.
5. Sam Hyde
Samuel “Sam” Whitcomb Hyde (also known as the Candy Man). Where do we even start with this madman? Hyde ran the extremely offensive and outlandish comedy show called “Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace” on the Adult Swim TV network. On the show, he had sketches that often involved insane violence against women, strange racial stereotypes and hyper-surrealist humour that will leave you wondering if your water supply was spiked.
The man’s show was apparently cancelled, according to him, for his very vocal support of Donald Trump in 2016. Then in 2017, he gave 5,000 USD to Andrew Anglin, a man who ran the neo-Nazi website “The Daily Stormer”, for his defence fund in a lawsuit. To be fair, whether or not he is himself a white supremacist is not wholly known. This could be some version of a sick joke. Regardless of whether you hate or love him, when it comes to internet troll culture, Hyde is a legend.