As part of BK Magazine’s comedy issue, we spoke to five English-language Bangkok comedians on the return of the scene. Find more in a BK Magazine near you

Bangkok’s funniest one-liner comedian, Ric is behind the spate of Broken Souls and Broken Toys shows in Bangkok, the former being a variety show that includes comedy, poetry, music, and performances. Born in Spain and raised in Belgium, Ric can often be seen around the city scrawling jokes in a notebook serial killer-style. The next Broken Toys event is set for Speakerbox on April 28. 

You’re pretty unique among the comedians of Bangkok. Most everyone is doing observational stuff. What drew you to one-liners?

Well I would say that one-liners can also be based on experience and observational, but it came organically—I hate that word, I hate myself for saying that word. I started doing stand-up and trying long jokes and short jokes, and I was consistently receiving feedback that the one-liners were funny and that I was failing miserably at doing anything else. The reason why I stuck with it is that I really enjoy the process of trying to find them. They are a puzzle. Observational jokes can also be a puzzle, but it’s the satisfaction. You either discard the joke, or you find the joke faster.

The Broken Souls combines a lot of things—music, poetry, performances—do you think this sort of variety show is picking up? How did Broken Souls and Broken Toys come about?

The first Broken Toys sold out and we had people begging for tickets. We had to throw people out at the door, which was unfortunate because we could have doubled the capacity without the Covid limitations—easily. So it was ridiculously successful for a first show at a new venue. The next one will be on April 28. Broken Souls started at Fatty’s Bar & Diner who do an open mic every Tuesday. I started going there because it’s one of the few open mics for comedians and there’s very few. Then I did a comedy showcase at Custard Studio and Brownstone, and I thought it was a great space. I come from a background of loving good rock and good art—and a cozy family vibe. It’s like we’re sharing an experience instead of going to an event. 

Did you first get into comedy in Bangkok? 

Yes, I started in Bangkok. My wife had left to Europe for work, and I thought, ‘What can I do?’ Something we liked to do was see comedy, so I went to the Comedy Club Bangkok website to see the next show and it was really close to my house. Then I saw that the next weekend was a comedy workshop—meet people, learn about telling jokes. A week later they said, well, if you did the workshop then you can do the open mic and I did, because I might as well.

Because of your style you tell a lot of jokes—a lot. How many jokes do you tell in a 10-minute set?

I got it down to three jokes per minute. Some jokes may have more than one laugh, but in 10 minutes I have 30 jokes. It’s not more impressive than writing a long story at the end of the day. It’s actually fewer words than most comedians because I have a lot of pauses. So I’m cheating.