One of my earliest memory of Raybon Kan as a stand-up comedian was his brief appearance on old re-runs of Pulp Comedy (c. early 2000). Being a New Zealand born Chinese, I was intrigued with his rise to fame and recognition within a country that was still coming to terms with the fast cultural changes taking place in our big cities. I would have been an adolescent, perhaps a young teenager growing up in West-Auckland who could still recall a lot of racist encounters like a fresh flesh wound. Many of Raybon’s commentary on race, culture and racism would always strike a cord. Thankfully, the majority of racist behavior doesn’t happen much anymore in Auckland, well, not towards me anyway.
To my excitement I got given the opportunity to see Raybon Kan’s – Raybon without a Cause show on Wednesday night. The only ever times I had ever seen his work was through a television screen, this time I would make sure to experience his comedic routine in person.
Raybon’s appearance was well kept but casual, he had on a salmon coloured shirt which he left untucked over his tan coloured pants. The Crowd applaud and fell slowly into silence as he came on stage with a beer bottle in hand ready for his introduction. During that time and throughout the show I couldn’t help but think that he is much shorter in person, but then again he has the Asian genes, something that I am all too familiar with. As the show went on I realised a few things, growing up seeing a comedian on television never gives you the full perspective of their act. He seemed to exhibit a lot of thoughts, so many that if I collected all those silent moments and played it back to you, you would have a good ten to fifteen minutes of it. But that wasn’t a bad thing, good content comes from well collected thoughts. I had never realised how political he can be, he had his opinions on religion and he didn’t mind sharing them. You could say his opinions were a ‘matter-of-fact’ but border-lining offensive, and that was him being nice. Raybon is honest, sometimes that is hard to swallow, though he sparked two awkward walk outs that night, he still continued to keep the majority of us entertain and interested.
Let this be said… if you takes things too seriously, DO NOT attend, this show is designed for those with an open-mind. But if you are comfortable with laughing at the state of our society while being cognitively challenged, then this show would be for you. It was sad and uncomfortable to witness a walk out, but it is far worse to know that there are people on this planet that lack a sense humour. But hey, I guess a walk out is better and more sensible than a bottle being thrown.
Friday, May 17
10:00 pm @ Vault Q
Saturday, May 18
10:00 pm @ Vault Q
Book here: at the Q Theater website