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Chestnuts vs Vlee?

September 6, 2010

Nadal vs Federer. Kobe vs LeBron. Mayweather vs Pacquiao. Contador vs Schleck.

Chestnuts vs Vlee?

Not that we’re trying to conjure up some kind of perceived rivalry here, but it’s hard to ignore the similarities between two of Singapore’s biggest current sketch-comedy-parody shows, especially so since both productions decided to hold their annual runs at around the same time this year (i.e. late August, early September), thus resulting in the inevitable overlap of hot topics of satire.

In one corner, you have the old, er, chestnut helmed by comic genius Jonathan Lim of Stages, who has been faithfully chugging away at the “Chestnuts” series for 14 years now and has grown for himself an admirable cult following of the series.

In the other corner, you have the relative upstart called the “Vlee Conference” (helmed by wonderlady Irene Ang), formerly known as the “V Conference”, now into its 4th year.

This year’s line-up for “Chestnuts” includes Jonathan Lim, Dwayne Lau, Rodney Oliveiro, and Judee Tan, and the line-up for “Vlee” consists of Irene Ang, Chua Enlai, Shane Mardjuki and Brendon Fernandez.

Comparisons are inevitable.

First things first: “Vlee” loses major brownie points in my book because the name is just so unpronounceable.

Never ever start a word with the letters “V-L”, ever.

There’s a reason why the term “vlog” never caught on.

(Relax…just kidding, folks!!!)

Ok jokes aside…

Both happen to utilise only four cast members, one of whom is female.

Both are wacky, zany, irreverent, all-out-for-laughs sketch-comedy shows which aim to poke fun at anything and everything pokefun-able in the last year, both within our shores and beyond.

Both have their moments of utter hilarity, based on the various reviews (here), (here), (here), (here) and (here).

Both happen to be running at this particular time of the year (“Chestnuts” used to traditionally do a year-end run, but decided to do theirs in Aug-Sept this year, presumably because there were just too many topics to spoof this year that they just had to let it all out by Sept).

Both are positioning themselves to be the must-catch annual local comedy-spoof event.

As such, it seems that both shows might very well be taking aim at the same niche market – young, urban theatre-goers who happen to have a craving for wickedly hilarious and witty comedy of the satirical sort.

While “Chestnuts” took potshots at Kit Chan, Dick Lee, Glee, Pangdemonium Productions, Ip Man, Inception, Ris Low, etc this year, “Vlee” took potshots at Tiger Woods, Jack Neo, cross-Causeway politics, Tom Jones, the YOG, etc.

So…is it “Chestnuts” or “Vlee”?

Who’s better? Who’s funnier? Who’s more entertaining?

Who cares?

When we have two deliciously-funny sketch-comedy series currently in “full steam ahead” mode to look forward to every year, it’s fans like us who win out in the end.

(NB: I only managed to catch this year’s “Chestnuts”. Won’t be able to catch “Vlee”.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ilkosa permalink
    September 7, 2010 9:08 am

    Hmm…I think they wanted “Vlee” to sound like “Glee”.


  1. Chestnuts Vs Vlee? « Random Musings

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