Singaporean stand-up comic Sam See was the self-professed weird kid in school.
"I was the least interesting kid on the side lurking around. If you saw me in school as a parent, you would be concerned," he says.
Today, See no longer hides in the corner, but gladly stands in the spotlight on stage as the 24-year-old claims the title of youngest full-time stand-up comic in Singapore.
From May 19 to 21 at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp, he will divulge more funny stories from his school- days in The Noose & Kakis 2... My PSLE Is Better Than Yours, the second instalment of the comedy production that is a crossover of Channel 5's satirical news series The Noose from television to stage.
See will be one of the "kakis" (local slang for friends) joining kooky The Noose reporters Pornsak Sukhumvit (played by Chua Enlai), the Thai pole-dancing correspondent; nasal newscaster Andre Chichak (played by Alaric Tay), cool-as-a-cucumber reporter Jojo Joget (played by Suhaimi Yusof) and Indonesian Chinese tai tai Marthalia Suharto-No Gudman (played by Kayly Loh) onstage as they poke fun at Singapore's education system.
BOOK IT / NOOSE & KAKIS 2... MY PSLE IS BETTER THAN YOURS
WHERE: MES Theatre at Mediacorp, 1 Stars Avenue
WHEN: May 19, 8pm; May 20, 2.30 and 8pm; May 21, 3pm
ADMISSION: $65 to $135 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)
The line-up includes stand-up comedians Kumar, Fakkah Fuzz and Rishi Budhrani.
This will be See's biggest show and he is all too aware that he will be sharing the stage with far more experienced members of the funny business.
"The good news is that I know the bar is set so low for me as everyone else is such a big name so I have nothing to lose," he quips.
The quick-witted bachelor recalls catching shows by Kumar and Budhrani before he eventually summoned up the courage to do his first stand-up routine at the age of 19.
"It was April Fools' Day, which was serendipitous, and I performed at an open-mic night in a bar in front of a grand total of three people," he recalls.
Despite the minuscule audience, See was hooked and has never stopped doing stand-up comedy since.
"I knew that I did not want to do anything else in my life besides stand-up comedy. It is something I can truly express myself properly with."
These days, he can be spotted performing at comedy nights at clubs and bars two to three nights a week. He also works behind-the-scenes to produce shows such as the Singapore Comedy Fringe, which ended yesterday evening.
He was also recently seen on the panel of the Channel 5 live comedy show Ok Chope!. The first season wrapped up last week.
1 What kind of student were you in school, academically?
I was the grade A nerd with no friends that everyone bullied, and now I'm a proud working comic. Look at how the tables have turned, haha.
2 Based on the title of the show, was your PSLE score better than most?
I think I did decently, like 233, I think that's good? I mean, my parents didn't try to kill me when they saw that score.
That means I have appeased my Chinese heritage.
3 How would you describe your comedy style?
I am very much an insult comic. My jokes are surprisingly rude, but you don't realise it.
I can be mean-spirited, but I do it in such a way that I'm not trying to be hurtful. It's just to make people laugh. I will be more than happy to take the meanness out of myself.
4 Do you do any other forms of comedy beside stand-up?
I do improv (short for improvised theatre) too and am part of the troupe The Latecomers.
Improv is incredibly different from stand-up comedy. You work with a team and everyone has one another's back.
In stand-up, it's a case of, "If you do better than me or go on a minute longer than me, I will kill your children and drink your blood".
Jokes aside, there is more of a healthy competitiveness in the stand-up scene.
5 And what do you make of the scene now?
It's been growing over the year and that has been amazing. There is a bigger audience as more get exposed to stand-up and are receptive to the different styles. It's a good sign when both comedians and the audience evolve together.
6 Are there any stand-up comics you look up to?
Budhrani, because I have been working with him every week for the past six months.
I admire his work ethic and approach to comedy and am awestruck by the dedication he has to his craft.
7 Do you have a dream venue you would like to perform at?
Oh the creme de la creme, of course: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Comedy Cellar in New York.
8 How would you like to be remembered?