Q Theatre, Luna, Auckland

14/05/2014 - 17/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


According to New Zealand Census Projections, the Asian population is fast overtaking Maoris to become the second largest ethnic group in New Zealand. And according to Asian expat Jimmy Guan, half of them live on Queen St. However you look at it, Asian people are going to become an integral part of our lives. But what’s their opinion?

2013 Raw Comedy Finalists Ben Cleland and Jimmy Guan, along with semi finalist Julia Holden, bring you an hour of important information about our relations with those kung fu fighting, rice-eating people from the East. Two and a Half Asian Men is their take on cultural diversity, societal expectations and alienation (legal alienation, Jimmy swears). Two and a Half Asian Men promises a night of hilarity, discovery and a good-humoured challenge to stereotypes. It is a show about how, no matter how different we are, we’re all the same on the inside – and if we’re Asian, all the same on the outside as well.

Growing up in China, Jimmy used to ask the Buddhist monks all the big questions in life…they were very patient. Jimmy takes you on a journey with unexpected twists and turns with his unconventional and off-the-cuff comedy style.

When Ben was a kid, his Malaysian mother would always tell him that he should eat all his vegetables because people were starving back in Malaysia. He never thought he’d become a student and actually be starving. Ben delivers likeable, blokesy humour as he talks about life from the perspective of a half-caste.

Julia is not Asian. To be honest, she’s a little bit confused about how she wound up in a show about Asian people in the first place (just like when she’s on Queen St). Overflowing with desperate enthusiasm, Julia will bring her own unique brand of cringe to the stage with her angelic look that is in stark contrast to her devilish humour.

[Jimmy] “I am not sure if he has figured out why he is funny yet, but he is.”-

[Ben] “…a cracker! Comedy potential-plus here.”

As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to

Dates: Wed 14 – Sat 17 May, 10pm
Venue: Luna at Q Theatre, Lower Greys Ave
Tickets: $15 – $18 Bookings: 09 309 9771 //

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Two and a half quite good performers

Review by Regan Crummer 16th May 2014

This is an interesting evening. I regret to say I don’t enjoy all of, but there are parts that do glimmer and glow with excellence. 

The compere, Jimmy Guan, despite having a couple of winning jokes, unfortunately tends to let the atmosphere drag. His timing and delivery is in dire need of some heavy repair, and many of the jokes are ones that have been heard before, or far too predictable.  There is talk of Chinese cuisine and some half-hearted impressions of Paris Hilton and his mother which fall upon quiet laughter, but there is nothing in his performance that really makes me want to belly laugh. 

To be fair to Jimmy, not all of his humour falls flat – his martial arts entrance certainly packs a punch – but mostly I find it gawky. I think there is potential here, it just needs a little more work. 

At first I want to groan when Ben Cleland ambles onstage, very smartly dressed and playing the “cool dude” who thinks he is God’s gift to women.  But as he progresses, both I and the huddled audience members warm to him. His delivery is reasonably clear and I can understand every word.  He is very relaxed with both himself and the audience, and he copes well interacting with people. 

In his deep tones he talks about personal matters, like nipple hair and bad skin, and his rambles are received with deserved laughs. Ben knows that he is a pretty suave young man, and there is definitely some decent talent here to be enjoyed.  

Julia Holden starts off with an extremely corny joke (to do with Mozart), but aside from this she executes most of her gags well. I like the way that she does not push her performance, rather she keeps it simple. Some of her jokes revolve around going to town and school experiences. She is refreshing to watch as well. Some jokes take a little while to sink in but Julia does not rush, and allows the laughter to build before she cuts in again.

This show is not as polished overall as it could be and it could be much, much stronger. It doesn’t grab me and doubt I’ll remember much from this show. I feel if Jimmy Guan steps up a notch or two then everything would flow much better.  In saying that, there are some real gems from all three comedians, and when I laugh, I laugh hard.


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