By Jit Murad & Afdlin Shauki
Jit Murad: There’s a knife in my back
Here’s another important Message to the World.
Dramalab has decided to restage Jit Happens, my one-man show. Jit Happens Again or something. More of the same, certainly, but such sterling sameness. But still, why do another run of Jit Happens if it’s the same? Well, first of all there’s the money. In ecological terms, the tacit message of Recycling for Easy Profit is a wholesome one. And then there’re all those people who missed it the first time around because they had ‘other things to do’. They’ve sent e-mails promising not to be so busy this month. But ultimately, there are the Fans. My Fans have always been the backbone of my career – well, maybe not the backbone but certainly an important bone, like a clavicle or something.
Oh, my fans may look docile or even a little sleepy, but believe me, they are screaming inside. And it is for them, my delicately-balanced fans, that Jit Happens Again is being (re)staged.
However I have been betrayed. There is a knife in my back. And the handle of that knife (a hand-painted collector’s item shaped like Mace Windu) has the fingerprints of one Afdlin Shauki all over it.
Yes, he is a popular actor-singer-director-producer with the best R&B voice in the country. Forget Siti – Afdlin did Albert Hall before Albert Hall turned straight. An entertainment juggernaut he may be, but does that give him the right to steamroll roughshod over my performance schedule? Apparently yes. If he’s so the Madonna of local showbiz then go live in London-lah.
I knew him when he was a struggling young man, always struggling, no matter how many drinks I got into him. Back then he was just full of hopes, dreams and some fat. No I knew him even before that – when he was a kid. No, a baby. In fact, I gave birth to him. And what does he do? He decides to have his damn run against mine. Too much-lah he. Forget about ‘et tu’, this guy has et three or four.
Right. So it’s a face-off. With me you’ll get sharp social satire whereas with Alf you’ll get jokes about his spare tire. You decide. But, honestly, if I were you I’d save my money and wait for Comedy Court.
Afdlin Shauki: I would akin myself to Siti Nurhaliza
First of all, let me just say that despite all the slagging he has betrothed on my goodself, I just want to say that I have nothing but respect for Malaysia’s oldest living comic legend, second only to Aziz Sattar.
And what’s not to love, he is charming, witty, intelligent and now, because of his age, wise as well. I have learnt a lot from watching this great master at work on his craft. He has inspired many a young artisiste, comedian, playwright to aspire to someday reach the dizzying heights of his extremely long and established career. I think by now you will probably know who I am talking about, the Si-Fu of the local comedy and playwriting world, the most intellectual artiste Malaysia has ever had the honour to survive, and known to his many adoring fans as the adorable, the one and only, JIT MURAD! (but to me, a relative newbie compared to his many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many years of experience, he will always be my… UNCLE JIT).
Personally I am hurt by his allegations that I back stabbed him by doing my stand-up show at the same time as his show JIT HITS THE FAN REDUX. That is not my intention as I do believe that we made bookings for our show first.
But I want Jit to know that I reserve no ill feelings of hurt or contempt toward his person, because in my family we are trained to always respect our ELDERLY and recognise that senility is a sign of someone getting closer to being under the protection of god.
If I can make a simile of our standing now in the COMEDY industry to the more glamorous MUSIC industry, I would akin myself to Siti Nurhaliza, the succesful new breed, and Jit would probably be more like…
Sharifah Aini, the all time, evergreen favourite of days past.
Sure, many people will still pay good money to watch Kak Pah sing and try to remember her lyrics but Siti will always be bigger because she has got her shit together and she appeals to the younger more mass audience who look up to her as their voice.
Also, due to my limited knowledge of verbose English words – I am just a simple Malay boy with a masterful command of the Malay language as demanded by our forefathers – I sometimes find it hard to understand JIT’s exponentially eloquent material nowadays and personally, I find that it’s no fun trying to flip thru a dictionary to understand a punchline, but I guess that is my failure as a person.
Not taking anything from Jit because I’m sure that there are many people out there who are very keen to experience a migraine while watching a grumpy old man whining and cursing away intellectually at a comedy show, I believe the afdlin shauki experience is the more wholesome, family-oriented, Islam Hadhari-approved performance to watch. PLUS due to my many abilities to make quip remarks about daily life, either spoken or musically, AND my readiness to unabashedly use my body (with all it’s fatty layers) to create physical comedy, ‘WHY YOU STILL FAT?’ is an event that will long be remembered as a young, honest, experimental, edgy, breakthrough performance in the annals of the Malaysian comedy scene.
Jit Murad: Jit hits the fat
First of all, I’d like to remind Afdlin (is it just me or is that one helluva weird name?) that my Evening of Monologuing is called Jit Happens Again and not Jit Hits the Fan Redux. It is, sadly, typical of Afnil to use a public forum to confuse the issue, because, despite the fact that Affdim is NOT a politician, he is, in fact, a politician. His screwing up the name of my show is just a shrewd ploy to misdirect the trusting, drooling public from attending JIT HAPPENS – again. What a jerk that Anfldi is. So again, remember this: my talent-infested show is NOT called Jit Hits the Fat – I mean, Fan – but Jit Happens – again.
I know you’re all very trusting and drool-soaked, but has any member of the public noticed how Arsefilm subtly brings up the issue of my age? He implies that I am ‘obsolete’, ‘passe’, ‘redundant’, even – how dare he? – ‘old’. And, in a youth-oriented world (where you can form two theatre companies, write half a dozen plays and act in hundreds more, and still be overshadowed by a toddler like – gag – Gavin Yap) Amblin Shauki implies that my time is up. Well, Mister I’m-so-young-my-pits-are-smooth, let me just remind you that here in Malaysia we cling to and have a great deal of awe for the words of those whose time is up. I am in good company, being around for longer than people want me, yet still talking on and on. Yes, it is true that if I could catch my breath and climb up the slope, I’d be over the hill by now. But since when did we ever listen to our young people, when rather, senility (or some akin condition) seems a mark of the respected office-bearer over here? Hah? HAH?
Sorry about the emotional outburst, but I’m not used to such disrespect from an esteemed colleague. Can you believe this man’s cheek? I mean his left one – it’s huge – although the right one looks like it’ll catch up in a few years. And speaking of which, do you have any idea how rich this man is? Who do you think owns Affin Bank, hmm? And all this from a long career ripping off his friends. Ask Harith Iskander how Asslint cheated him out of billions of ringgit in royalties for their award-winning mini series A-Ha (never saw it but apparently it’s about an 80’s boyband from Norway or somewhere).
And speaking of Harith would someone please remind these tubby funnymen that Chris Rock is a sharp, skinny dude? And he’s still rocking. But what, I ask, has happened to the larger performers like Johns Candy and Belushi, Chris Farley, Shamu? Dead, that’s what happened.
Afdlin Shauki: People his age should know better
Alright, the gloves are off.
It is one thing for Jit to insult some people named Arsefilm, Afnil, Affdim, Amblin Assflint and many with whom I have personally not made acquaintance (for all I know these people could be handicapped, special or retarded kids) but when he starts to berate a fellow FAT person, ie. Harith, I get really pissed at how insensitive and politically incorrect Jit Murtad is.
I mean people his AGE should know better.
Just because I spelt OLD, UNCLE, SENILE, and ELDERLY in capital letters and in the same sentence as Jit’s name, he should not jump to his warped sets of conclusions that I am insinuating that he is OVER THE HILL and REDUNDANT. But I agree with him, that most men in this country are revered for their wisdom at such a death defying late age.
Harith is the number one stand-up comedian in this country and father to many a young and budding comedian in this country (with or without his knowledge). And talk about backstabbing, we all know that Half of Jit’s stand-up is concentrated on Harith not doing any new material for the past 20 years or so… Imagine what would happen to Jit’s career if suddenly Harith were to write some new stuff.
I was also tipped off by one of the old fella’s cronies that his prone-ness to forgetting his material is really becoming an issue for the ELDERLY comedian. It is rumoured that the Last time he forgot up to an hour’s worth of his show. Do you know how much that is worth translated into 3g revenue? Neither do I. I, of course do not have any problem with forgetting my material, as most of the time, I really don’t even know what I am going to do next on stage. How can I forget when I don’t know what I am doing. I really believe this is the best policy for cutting edge stand-up. Like bungee-jumping without a rope…
It is also rumoured that he is even considering to invest his earnings from this show JIT HAPPENS AGAIN to opening a children’s sweatshop in Calcutta, for homeless young boys. And it is also rumoured that if he gets enough money on the first nite of JIT HAPPENS AGAIN, that he plans to go on an extended sightseeing trip to Rio De Janeiro Brazil for the Carnivale. But alas, all these are mere rumours and might not be true at all and if they aren’t, I wish JIT all the best for his show and may he always be blessed with his girth of wit. HAVE A GREAT SHOW JIT.
Catch both Afdlin Shauki’s “Why You Still Fat?” (Thu 17 – Sun 20 Nov 2005) and Jit Happens… Again (Tue 22 – Sun 27 Nov 2005) at The Actors Studio Bangsar.
First Published: 17.11.2005 on Kakiseni