In my eyes Jonathan Atherton will always remain a great man because he turned my beliefs around on the city of Singapore. I went there once and never wanted to return because I thought it was soulless. He invited me to perform there again and said if I didn't like it he would pay me double.
When I returned he proceeded to show me a Singapore I never knew existed. Late night clubs, fun parties, beer festivals and the most delicious street food on the planet. Forever he will live on in my heart as the man who turned me on to black pepper crab. A Singapore specialty that is worth buying a plane ticket to go there for.
Jonathan Atherton is one of the most interesting human beings I have ever met in my life. Originally from Brisbane, Australia he went on to smuggle gasoline from Zimbabwe to Uganda then sold prostitutes in Kenya shoes from Great Britain all before becoming the inspiration and guiding light of stand up comedy in Singapore.
From inventing the comedy scene in Singapore he also is one of the strongest comedy presences in South East Asia. This conversation was recorded in Kuala Lumpur where he has just moved. In his fabulous new house in a very cool part of the city we talk about his past insane history.
What he created in Singapore comedy and his new life in Malaysia. He is an encyclopedia of human triumph, personal disaster and the redemption of speaking truth in stand up comedy to make the world a better place.
He is a respected comedy figure in KL & Singapore and I have loved and respected this man myself since I first stepped off the plane and he lived up to his vow to show me why Singapore was such a magnificent place on the earth.
His story is mind blowing. Amazing how he has packed so much life and knowledge into such a brief tender age. He inspires the majority of comedians in South East Asia to live up to their highest ideals of themselves as comedy performers.
I respect this man greatly, no matter how wildly eccentric his actions are. Comedians are the only people who I can forgive for anything and Jonathan owns my heart like a brother on his own course I gladly watch sail. I caught him now as he had just moved from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and I tapped his brain for the greatest knowledge nuggets that would serve someone seeking a life in stand up comedy.
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