Saturday, September 02, 2006

Thai TV and Mum Jokmok


I was channel surfing through the 19 odd stations that my hotel has – most of which seem to be sports channels always showing golf or wrestling and a bunch of local Thai stations. If you think the TV is bad in the United States, spend a few hours trying to watch Thai TV and it will seem like paradise. It basically consists of loads of variety shows with dewy faced female singers performing saccharine ballads and an onslaught of nighttime soaps where someone is always on the verge of tears. But then a breath of fresh air tonight – another variety show truth be told but hosted by the wonderful Mum Jokmok, best known in the west as the comic relief and friend to Tony Jaa in Ongbak and Tom Yum Goong but a famous comic in his own right in Thailand. This show would last about fifteen minutes in the states with its low production values and paucity of star power, but he carries it with his frantic facial ticks and prancing about. I had no idea what he was saying in his mile a minute verbal jousting with guests but it was funny anyways.

Dressed in a bright red vest and red bow-tie he marches on to the stage in a fanfare of female dancers surrounding him and brings on his female co-host who looks a lot like a thinner younger Sandra Ng. The show doesn’t consist of much – a series of skits that had the female only audience from Suzuki in stitches and a few musical guests – but most of it was just Jokmok carrying on and cracking everyone up. Hey, and one skit has me learning how to count in Thai as guests had to make ever increasing funny faces on each count – neung, sawng, saam, sii – and then he breaks into a 2,3,4 cha cha cha. Maybe not Milton Berle but a silly and amusing hour.

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