Kung Fu Komedy's first international headliner of 2018 hits the stage this weekend (Fri 12; Sat 13) and it's the excellent US comic Dwayne Perkins. New York-born and Los Angeles-based, Perkins is recognisable from his appearances on Comedy Central Presents, Conan, The Jay Leno Show, Last Comic Standing and more.
No stranger to performing in China, Perkins has headlined KFK twice before, in March 2017 and August 2016, as well as performing in Singapore and at the comedy festival in Hong Kong. His impressive resume also includes spots at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, both the Comedy Store and Hollywood Improv in LA, along with Gotham Comedy Club in New York.
Delivering smart, subtle material, Perkins has a likeable stage persona which is evident in his 2016 Netflix special Take Note. We caught up with him ahead of his China tour which starts in Chengdu on Tuesday 9 January. Read the interview and get a taste of his comedy below.
You've toured China before, what made you want to come back?
I love Shanghai. Living in LA is a bit suburban since you have to drive everywhere. I'm from New York City so Shanghai reminds me of home. A much bigger version of home. I really like the scene. The comics coming up here are dedicated, funny and great to hang with.
What's your favourite thing about performing in China?
The audiences are great. They're smart and eager. The best combination. Asia is actually a great place to develop material as well.
You've performed all over Asia and the rest of the world, how does your act differ overseas to how it is back home?
It doesn't differ much. Crowds overseas are sometimes better. They get the references and they're not jaded. I just talk a bit slower and articulate more carefully if I think the audience has a lot of people who don't speak English as a first language.
Your Netflix special Take Note came out in 2016, what impact has that had on your career?
I think it's a great calling card. It put me in a different strata and since Netflix is worldwide, I've been introduced to a whole new audience of people. I'm grateful for that.
Who are your comedy heroes?
Many of my peers inspire me but I'd say I've always looked up to George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Bob Newhart.
Who are the best comedians you've worked with?
So many, but the late great Patrice O'Neal always comes to mind, and Bill Burr is tops as well.
What is your favourite thing to do when visiting Shanghai?
I love walking around. With every walk I find something new. I also love eating in local restaurants and scarfing down Hunan food.
Where are you heading next?
Malaysia is after Shanghai then back to Los Angeles to continue producing on the game show Funny You Should Ask and put the material together for my next special.
Dwayne Perkins is at Kung Fu Komedy on Friday 12 (9pm) and Saturday 13 (8pm and 10pm) January. You can find full event details and buy tickets below.