Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy review – low lighting, lavish setting, and a love for nerds

By Romey Norton
Published: April 5, 2022
Netflix comedy special Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy


The Daily Show and Marvel star hits Netflix with a 1-hour comedy special.

Netflix comedy special Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy will be released on Netflix on April 5, 2022.

He instantly lost a star when he started bashing the United Kingdom. Not cool, bro. Kidding. Ronny Chieng has hit Netflix with his stand-up comedy special Speakeasy, intimately set at the Chinese Tuxedo bar and restaurant in New York City. If you are new to Ronny, he is a Malaysian comedian and actor known for The Daily Show on Comedy Central and the star of the sitcom Ronny Chieng: International Student. He’s also starred in Crazy Rich Asians and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which he mentions, and so he should, I would be bragging about that for life.

This is the most lavish setting I have ever seen a comedian do stand-up in. Chieng stands in the middle of a bar like in the Moulin Rouge or Cabaret in a lit-up circle, dressed in a white suit looking like James Bond or Indiana Jones, ready to take the place down. Surrounded by circular tables it’s hard to tell how many people are in the audience. Unlike other comedy specials, there aren’t shots of the audience’s reactions to his jokes. There are wide shots to show the space where you get a glimpse of the audience, but they’re in a very dark setting with candles on the table.

His comedy stretches from appreciation and love for nerds to women taking the pill, a lot of topics covered that I haven’t really heard/seen before, so this was interesting and felt refreshing. Although, for an American audience, bash America not the Brits, they don’t get it, and you could tell from the audience’s laughter that they didn’t. Even Brits don’t care for jokes about the British economy – talk about our accents and mannerisms. This part was a bit flat and lost. Also, he talks about British hecklers, and basically, it just showed me how he couldn’t handle the heckler, so this wasn’t funny.

There is a funny section where he asks the audience to shout out the worst race of people. It’s a very awkward section that he calls a “creative exercise” on how to solve racism and move on. Safe to say, hardly anyone shouts out.

It felt like a lot longer than an hour. He feels a bit safe in his comedy, and I feel he could take it further. I was waiting for the one serious, hard-hitting joke or section, and that didn’t come. Saying that, for one hour long, this comedy special is an easy, entertaining watch, not side-splitting hilarity, but will make you giggle and smirk a lot.

What did you think of the Netflix comedy special Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy? Comment below.

You can watch this stand-up with a subscription to Netflix.

Movie Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service

1 thought on “Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy review – low lighting, lavish setting, and a love for nerds

  • April 22, 2022 at 3:15 am

    The reason there are no hard hitting jokes anymore, is because all of you cancel every comic who is funny. I kept warning people – if you keep canceling everything, including comedy, you’re going to be left very bored and disappointed. So here we are. Don’t be surprised.

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