We went to Asia Uncut yesterday. Yep, on the Asia-based late night talk show’s season premier (its set has now been moved from Singapore to Shanghai), we were in the audience and we’ve decided to tell you the one thing you should know about this fun new thing to do on a Wednesday Thursday night: Asia Uncut’s host, Jon Niermann, looks uncannily like Shanghaiist’s founding editor.
No kidding, right? That made it worth going to alone.
Even if you’re not a fan of Dan Washburn (though who isn’t?), there were many other reasons to be happy about spending Wednesday night in Zhabei District. While the show didn’t get started until way after 8pm, Asia Uncut is generous enough to offer its studio audience free flow wine, beer and food – sandwiches, grilled vegetables, mini pizzas, mozzarella and tomato slices, cookies, etc. – from 6:30pm to whenever they usher you into the studio. It’s a good thing not much is expected from us besides laughter and clapping; by the time the beginning credits rolled, we might have lost a good amount of motor function.
The format is what you’d typically expect from talk shows. There’s a beginning monologue, where Jon Niermann throws a couple of jokes your way, followed by some chatter with the band – the lovely Theo Crocker and his friends. We then move on to some in-house sketches, a “funny news from around Asia” segment (which, by the way, made us wonder if Niermann’s a Shanghaiist fan – almost every piece he had about China, we’ve covered), and the celebrity guests.
For the premier, they managed to book Jamie-Lynn Sigler (formerly of the Sopranos), Indian Bollywood actress and Cricket presenter Mandira Bedi and… Edison Chen. That’s right, Shanghaiist’s favorite punching bag was there that night to discuss, among other things, his store in Shanghai, his new movie with Kelley Hu… and those pictures.
We won’t give away too much about what he said about the biggest celebrity scandal to hit Hong Kong – you’ll have to tune in to Star World in January to watch the interview, but a lot of it was unintentionally hilarious. When asked whether he considered himself the villain or the victim of the photo incident, Chen answered, “Well, some people think I’m the villain, other think I’m the victim; in my world, I’m Edison Chen.” Words to live by.
After the celebrity guests came the music guest, Beijing’s New Pants, who rocked the set for two songs… and then we were out of the studio, to either head on home or take advantage of the fact that they hadn’t yet put away the alcohol. Well kind of. Being the mischievous lot we are, we fooled around on the set until the set director noticed and kicked us out. Shanghaiist Uncut? Why not?
Asia Uncut is located at the Motion Magic Building on Guangzhong Xi Lu, Lane 777, No. 11, near Wanrong Lu ( 多媒体产业园, 广中西路777弄11号近万荣路). To be part of the audience, RSVP with info (@) asiauncut (.) com.The next shows are on December 10th and December 15th. The first episode of Asia Uncut airs on January 17th on Star World at 11.30pm.