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Comedian Ronny Chieng Performs Stand-Up, Encourages Diversity In Entertainment At SPA Day

Comedian Ronny Chieng, from The Daily Show and Crazy Rich Asians, arrived at Penn State this evening to perform some new material and answer questions from the crowd during a SPA Day lecture.

Kicking things off was Chieng’s opening act, named BJ. His jokes about college debt were mainly misses. He did score a few laughs when he brought up his past relationship of 10 years. His joke about fighting with her over the use of his toothbrush was the highlight of his set, getting the most laughs out of all of the jokes.

George Liu | Onward State

Chieng then came out on stage and started his set. He started off with calling out Penn State being “in the middle of nowhere” and being super cold. He then talked about Americans who don’t understand other countries. He mentioned caning in Singapore and how Americans don’t truly understand other cultures, then going on to say how in Singapore people can be punished with the death penalty for smoking weed, something Americans wouldn’t understand.

Chieng went on to make jokes about third-party credit bureaus, social media, Brazilian jujitsu, and The Daily Show. The highlight of his set was a joke about women being on the morning-after pill and how diarrhea impacts the pill. Chieng notes that while he himself is not on the pill, his wife has told him that diarrhea affects the pill for obvious reasons, and the pill doesn’t work. He then said that some people in the room were “diarrhea babies.”

George Liu | Onward State

His set ended with a bit of time left to spare, so Chieng decided to answer questions from the crowd. The first question was “What’s Trevor Noah like?” He did not love the question but he did thoughtfully answer it saying “He can make anything funny.”

Another notable question was “How did the set of Crazy Rich Asians feel?” Chieng noted that the question was very nuanced and responded saying that the set had an “amazing vibe” and “everyone was in sync immediately.”

The question that had the best response was in regards on how to increase representation of people of color in film, and Chieng gave an extremely thoughtful response. He pushed the audience to create more projects; to try and increase representation through coming up with original ideas that can create a baseline for storytelling of different cultures — which was perhaps the most fitting way for him to end the evening, given the success he’s had and what he represents to the Asian community in entertainment.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a freshmen majoring in Secondary Education Social Studies. He is from Annapolis, Maryland and a proud supporter of both Baltimore sports teams. He is a big college basketball fan (both men's and women's), and he also has a weird obsession with making brackets. He has some okay tweets @theowenabbey, but if you want to send happy thoughts and more brackets, email him at [email protected]

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