Hey, did you hear the one about the Aussie comedian who got rumbled outside Pontoon night club for allegedly smoking a joint* and lost his dough to the cops?
Well it’s no joke – even though there’s a gag involved.
The mysterious incident went down last week when Australian comedian and cunning linguist Jonathon Atherton flew into Phnom Penh to check out the joint** for the upcoming inaugural Comedy Club of Asia gig at Pontoon on December 6.
Atherton, a comedian of standing and speaker in a multitude of tongues, is a driving force behind the Comedy Club of Asia gigs in Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
Last week he hit Phnom Penh for a whirlwind visit in preparation of the launch of a Comedy Club here.
But the visit went awry to a degree. To a bloody great degree actually. On the weekend, Atherton sent 7Days this impassioned email despatch: “PP was lots of fun, had my money, camera, iPhone and aftershave stolen by police.... who threatened to lock me up for smoking a joint* outside pontoon... great country, best police money can buy :-)”
But delving into the matter, 7Days discovered that the incident seems confused and somewhat murky. Details are sketchy, as they say.
A “source familiar with the matter” informed 7Days that “There’s plenty more to that story. Can’t say for sure if it was the police that nicked his stuff. It was a very unnecessary sequence of events. Better to ask him instead about the standard of weed* in Cambodia. He can wax lyrical about that.”
Which indeed Atherton did, informing 7Days: “The weed was a vast improvement on the Cambodian shit* of the ’90s... I think some foreign talent has been helping the Khmer grow decent pot.* It was not highly cultivated, a little bolted, but was a nice sweet sativa.***
“But Cambodia rocks... I really like it. Hence the move to a regular comedy club – a good excuse to come up once a month.”
Which brings us to the business end of this story, which is that on Tuesday, December 6, Pontoon nightclub will host Cambodia’s first ever international stand-up comedy night. In association with the Comedy Club Asia, three international comic talents will be performing extended sets for this one-off special.
Tickets will be available at $10 per head****, instead of the usual around-the-$50-mark in Singapore or Malaysia, and will include a free beer or soft drink. Doors at Pontoon will open at 7pm for an 8pm start.
Atherton will head the line-up, which includes two other comedians: Wade Anderson of the US, and British female standup Shazia Mirza.
Wade was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and has worked tirelessly in the comedy circuits to establish himself as one of the world’s premier performers. Appearances on film, TV, radio and stage have widened his appeal, and he is also a bestselling author, having made the Amazon.com bestsellers list with his book The Ultimate Bachelor’s Guide.
Shazia Mirza is an award winning female British-Asian stand up comic hailing from Birmingham, England.
The press release says, “According to her biography, she could have married a rich man and lived in a mansion on The Bishops Avenue, with servants, bidets, and horses. But instead she chose to drive up and down the country for as little as ten pounds, staying in dirty lurid bed and breakfasts trying to make people laugh.
“Thoughts of giving up arose, but no Muslim man wants to marry her now that’s she’s dabbled in jokes and been fingered by a few white men on the 38 bus.”
Both Wade and Shazia Cambodian performances are part of the Comedy Club Asia tour, which includes dates in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bali.
* Nothing in this article infers, alleges or suggests that anybody referred to – including Mr Atherton – has any knowledge, working or otherwise, or connection with the herbal substance marijuana
** Not a drug jargon reference to illegal substances.
*** Nothing in this article infers, alleges or suggests that any staff member of 7Days knows anything about the herbal substance marijuana except how to spell it.
**** ‘Head’ here does not refer to the drug jargon of the 1970s whereby a ‘head’ was a person who consumed illegal herbal substances.