KEREN BALA DEVAN
Keren Bala Devan is a stand up comedian who loves to share his unique views about everything wrong with modern culture.
Usually by complaining.
His specific brand of comedy stems from years of observing how ridiculous things that are part of everyday life have come to be. From strange modern cultural habits to the annoying behaviour of the general populace, he always find something to say and rant about. As part of the next generation of comics in Malaysia, his almost three year journey has lead to him headlining various venues around Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, opening for International comic Paul Ogata, and performing in shows with Harith Iskander as well as at the International Comedy FringeFestival in Singapore.
He is now one of the new producers for One Mic Stand, Malaysia’s premiere comedy openmic venue and can be seen frequently performing there and at The Crackhouse Comedy Club in Kuala Lumpur.
The 25-year-old is best known for his dark humour (or otherwise known as black comedy), a comic style that is often viewed as offensive or cruel to some as it makes light of themes that are generally considered taboo or sensitive.
While the comedy scene is already used to Haikal’s shenanigans, Twitter wasn’t. He first joined the social media network in June 2016 and within a few weeks, his joke about Kelantan received so much backlash that he was invited on OhBulan and Astro Awani.
Haikal isn’t just a stand-up comedian. By day, this Finance graduate is the head of Business Development and Investor Relations for ParkEasy, a Malaysian startup and smartphone application that helps you find parking quickly in shopping malls. After running a beta for several months, the application has now been officially launched and is available on both Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of watching Haikal and other local comedians “live” during One Mic Stand at PJ Live Arts. The next day, I had a sit-down with Haikal and asked him about his journey into comedy and his opinion about the negative reaction he received after a week of curating @twt_malaysia..
It all started three years ago when Haikal was hanging out with some comedian friends who encouraged him to take the stage. His first show was completely unstructured. He could have easily given up the first time, but when asked what motivated him to keep going, Haikal said that most comedians who are dedicated to the art form do so for the validation.
“A lot of us are lonely and we’re usually introverts,” he says, “so comedy is an outlet for us to take out our frustrations. It’s nice knowing that you can make people laugh.”