The 31-year-old controversial stand-up (whose real name is Muhammed Fadzri Abdul Rashid) on his Netflix special Almost Banned, the fall of Louis CK, and why he’s going to think really hard about doing another season of Throwback: Balik Kampong.
8 DAYS: Congrats! You’re the first Singaporean stand-up to have a Netflix special, Almost Banned.
FAKKAH FUZZ: This whole thing is still very surreal to me. It’s a slow soak; I’m just soaking everything in. At the same time, as an artist, I always believe in doing better than what I did last time. So now that I’ve produced a comedy special, in my head I’m already ready for the next one. I’m already in the process of writing that. Apart from that, it feels great (laughs).
The special was filmed at Capitol Theatre last year. Did you do anything differently from your regular shows?
The main concern for me was that I could be myself throughout the show. This is going to be out there forever, so I don’t want it to be there where I’m being somebody else. I’m a very simple dude, so this show, in terms of appearance, it’s really what I wear normally. I have a shirt and jeans, and a nice hip-hop jacket. Viewers get to see me for a whole hour in the special! Usually, when I’m doing a live show, they only see a few snippets.
Did you study other Netflix specials to prepare for your show?
I’m a student of Def Comedy Jam, man. I study those guys. But it wasn’t because of this Netflix special that I learnt from them. I always learn from them anyway. I always watch them, like Hannibal Buress and Dave Chappelle. I watched them on a daily basis and I was studying them a lot. I always watch them when I want to remind myself why I’m doing this, because these guys are masters of their craft, and I hope to be as good as them one day.
What are your thoughts about Louis CK’s sexual harassment scandal? I don’t find him that funny anymore, knowing now that so much of that joy he created came from causing pain to others.
When you look up to someone like him, you also idolise their thought processes, and it’s disappointing to know that somebody with such complex thought processes doesn’t have basic common sense to know what they did have repercussions. I think he didn’t really understand what he was doing until all this [#MeToo movement] started to happen. He thought that if he were just touching himself and not the girl, it’s okay. But he didn’t understand that what he did was [inappropriate]. If you’re supposed to bring joy to people but when the opposite happens, it takes away everything that you stand for.
Can you imagine someone like, say, Dave Chappelle is watching you now on Netflix?
I guess it’s easier to be noticed now. If somebody from Dubai sees me, “Oh, why don’t you come over here for a show?” That’s what I want: If you can fly me out for a show, that’s cool. So part of the reason I do this is so that I could travel the world. If I get to do that, that’s really a blessing for me and I hope I will be able to continue doing that, and that the people around me will continue to inspire me to tell great stories that are interesting enough for the world to hear. Because a lot of the jokes I write and tell most of the time are just stuff that happens to me. You can’t just write these things (laughs). I’m more of a reporter than anything else. I just report the funny things that happen around me. I want to be the voice of the common person. I want to be able to connect with them, and also be able to tell their truths and stories to as many people as possible.
What’s next for you?
I’m [going to continue] contributing to Singapore’s entertainment scene, doing my best to make sure it’s vibrant. In the long run, my goal is to pave the way and provide platforms for new and up-and-coming comedians. I want to set a path for them, and give them an opportunity to have a crack at making this as a career. I never knew I could make stand-up a career. When I started out, nobody else but Kumar was doing it. If it weren’t for him, I don’t think you can do comedy in Singapore. So now that I’ve done this Netflix special, I want aspiring comedians to go, “Oh, you could do this”, and continue to do what they do, knowing that there are platforms for them.
Are you game for another season of the retro-reality show Throwback: Balik Kampong?
I don’t want to experience that again (laughs). I’m not made for it, I’ve gotten too comfortable (laughs). I’ve gotten soft! I can’t go back to the kampong anymore. I’m domesticated (laughs). But if there is an opportunity, I’d do it. Rozz [Lee] is a great co-host; I would love to work with her again, even if it’s not Balik Kampong. We’ve got great chemistry, so I think it’s more of that than anything else.
You’re also featured in DBS Paylah! ads. What’s up with that grin? What did the art director say to you during the shoot?
They told me, “Imagine your clients pay you on time” (laughs). I don’t know! I was just being me. I’m a grinny person. You don’t see a lot of normal pictures of me. It’s always of me doing something stupid. Not a lot of pictures with my mouth closed too. That’s how I know I talk too much (laughs). So a picture like that is normal to me, and the direction given was, just be myself.
Fakkah Fuzz: Almost Banned is on Netflix.
Main photo: EALBERT HO