‘The Daily Show’ adds Ronny Chieng as a correspondent

Australian comedian Ronny Chieng has joined on as a correspondent for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Chieng, a standup comedian, joins new host Trevor Noah, who was named to the desk after Jon Stewart announced he was stepping down from Comedy Central‘s long-running late night satire news show.

Born in Malaysia and raised in Singapore and New Hampshire, Chieng embarked on a standup career after graduating with degrees in commerce and law from the University of Melbourne. He was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Rising Comedians in Australia” by several publications in 2012, and has opened for the likes of Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr. He made his U.S. television debut this year on The Late Late Show.

Comedy Central announcement:

RONNY CHIENG: Born in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and raised in Manchester, NH and Singapore, stand-up comedian and actor Ronny Chieng has been a rising star on the comedy scene in Australia where he moved to attend the University of Melbourne. Embarking on a stand-up comedy career after graduating with a degree in commerce and a degree in law, Chieng’s career began to take off in 2012 when he was named one of the “Top 10 Rising Comedians in Australia” by The Age, the Herald Sun and The Sydney Morning Herald and received the “Best Newcomer” award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for his debut stand-up special, “The Ron Way.”

Since then, Chieng has continued his meteoric rise, performing sold-out tours in Australia and appearing at numerous international comedy festivals, including the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Last year, Chieng won the “Directors’ Choice” award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and “Best Show” at the Sydney Comedy Festival. He has appeared in and performed on numerous TV shows in his adopted home of Australia and has opened for both Dave Chappelle (2014) and Bill Burr (2015) during their nationwide stand-up tours in Australia. Earlier this year Chieng made his US television debut on “The Late Late Show.” Chieng is repped by Century Entertainment Australia and APA.

I’m so excited to welcome these new members of The Daily Show team,” Trevor Noah said in a statement. “Now I get to share my stress with other new people.”

The new season of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah premieres Monday, September 28 on Comedy Central.


Street Art: Crime-themed Lego mural causes a storm in Johor Bahru (Malaysia)


A plan to spruce up the streets of the Malaysian border town of Johor Bahru with street art has come unstuck after authorities took exception to a Lego-themed mural which they believe tarnishes the city’s image.

Johor Bahru City Council will remove a mural painted by Lithuanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic following a controversy over one dubbed ‘JB, home of Malaysia’s very own Legoland’, which shows two Lego figurines – a knife-wielding robber lying in wait for a woman carrying a Chanel handbag.

Malaysia’s south has seen a resurgence in street art in recent years, led by artworks in Penang, which have captured the imagination of Malaysians. Street installations by Zacharevic have also appeared in Singapore and Japan this year.

But the Lego artwork portrays a side to the city it would rather keep quiet; Malaysia is also currently grappling with a crime problem following some high profile killings earlier this year. Last month the government stopped providing crime statistics to the UN.

Johor Bahru is the home of Legoland Malaysia and is heavily reliant on its image as an investor-friendly region, although its reputation as a crime capital has dogged it for years, with neighbouring Singapore labelling it as a “cowboy town”.

Zacharevic told local news site Malaysiakini that his public artwork was not meant to be permanent and it was up to the local community to decide what to do with it.

If I react to every criticism I receive, I would have never paint a single painting … I celebrate democracy and embrace pluralism,” he said.

This is how it should be – people publicly, in a civilised manner, discussing what they like and what they don’t like. As an artist I follow my own consciousness and it is up to the rest how they interpret my artwork.”

Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang said it was ridiculous that the state government had been debating the mural and instead urged them to address the problem of crime rates in the city.

Instead of removing Zachas’ ‘high crime’ mural, it should be allowed to remain to serve as a challenge to all relevant authorities to make JB low-crime and a standing testimony that high crime rate in JB is a “story of the past,” he wrote on his blog.

Zacharevic uploaded a photo of the mural on his Facebook page last week which garnered debate and more than 7,000 ‘Likes’. Local street artists have now added a new figurine of a policeman with handcuffs, presumably as a way to preserve the artwork for a bit longer.

Most Malaysians have been supportive of the artwork, although one critic told Malaysiakini: “It is unbecoming of a good painter to use his God-given talent to showcase something unpleasant about your host when you are a guest.

“There are many beautiful things in Johor Bahru that he can choose to show.”

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Street Art: Crime-themed Lego mural causes a storm in Johor Bahru (Malaysia)