South African comedian Barry Hilton is to kick-start the eighth Hong Kong International Comedy Festival in September 2014. Barry's act is explosive, universal and very funny - he is the perfect choice to get the show on the road," said festival founder Jami Gong.
"In the last few years, Hong Kong has become the epicentre of an Asian comedy revolution," said Gong. "We are taking the festival to a whole new level - we want to set a benchmark for comedy in Asia."
With both the comedians and the audience arriving from every corner of the world, Gong bills it as the most diverse comedy audience in the whole world.
Explosive, universal and very funny
"Where else but Hong Kong would a comic need to simultaneously appeal to a Canadian, an American, a Brit, an Australian, two Hong Kong-ers and three Russians with the same joke?" asked Gong. "Barry's act is explosive, universal and very funny - we are delighted that he will be opening the festival."
The event has quickly become a major fixture in Hong Kong's growing comedy scene; this year's five-week festival had a resolutely jam-packed schedule, featuring headlining gigs from global names including Dwayne Perkins of The Tonight Show fame, the first British headliner in mirth-raiser John Moloney, and Comedy Central funnyman Paul Ogata.
But alongside all that global talent, Gong is also looking for the cream of local comedians. "The festival competition gives local comedians something to strive for, we really hope to springboard careers and make comedy better in Hong Kong."