The Kaohsiung-based comedy club Takao Comedy Bay always brings nights of joy and laughter. They perform at BAR SSN-117, which is a renovated old house that has been transformed into an eloquent bistro. Their hilarious monologues and improvisational sketches bring comic relief to those who can use a brief escape from their busy careers.
Although not formally trained as a comedian, founder A Hai is an enthusiastic and extremely funny performer. He feels comedy can be a way to forget your problems and find a balanced life. “People who just need a little uplifting should come and see our show!”he says.
A Hai explains that his experience at open mic nights (where performers come to try out new material) inspired him to establish Takao Comedy Bay. He felt that Kaohsiung's relaxed and open culture would embrace his comedy club concepts and decided to launch a brand that would be unique to Kaohsiung.
However, trying to be intentionally funny is not an easy task. Audiences set high standards for performance quality, especially when they are required to purchase tickets. However, after more than two years of arduous work and great word-of-mouth, Takao Comedy Bay has finally become known and well-established. He doesn't claim to be the only or the first comedy club in Kaohsiung but feels they have an original and novel concept. “We hope that when people think of comedy, they think of Takao Comedy Bay," says A Hai.
In addition to inviting well-known actors to perform, they have an Open Mic on Friday nights, which provides amateurs with the opportunity to come on stage to practice. It gives them the chance to understand the audiences better and to scout local comedic talent. They also provide training and stand-up comedy competitions, which also help cultivate outstanding performers.
A Hai feels that perhaps comedy could not directly change people's lives, but it can give them different and lighter perspectives. Therefore, A Hai feels improvisation brings positive energy to performances. Although they usually start with funny talk shows or monologues, Takao Comedy Bay does not always limit itself to one performance style. Recently, improvised sketches have been added to test the actors' on-the-spot reactions and have become extremely popular.
A Hai admits a lot of pressure that comes with planning the club's direction and mentoring actors. However, the positive feedback received after the performance motivates him to keep working toward his goals of expanding the club and getting a larger platform. He hopes that in the future, Takao Comedy Bay will become part of Kaohsiung's mainstream art and culture.
• Takao Comedy Bay 喜劇開港
Address： 2F., No. 117, Wufu 4th Rd., Yancheng Dist., Kaohsiung City
「喜劇開港」創辦人阿海非戲劇科班出身，然而表演是熱忱、搞笑是他的專長，談到建立喜劇開港的契機，阿海說，在接觸了Open Mic表演(就是一個讓喜劇演員「試段子」的場合)後，覺得高雄的開放性與海派特質與Open Mic表演的表演不謀而合，他興起建立屬於高雄的喜劇品牌的念頭。