Mohamad Ali Sidik, or in short Mo Sidik, has been making Indonesians laugh for more than 20 years, as a presenter for different local radio stations, an Emcee, an actor or as a stand up comedian, which has been his main focus since 2011.
The 40-year-old who is based in Bandung is now on board the MVB team to help promote the programme in Indonesia. He spoke to NOW! Jakarta about his involvement in MVB, what it takes to be funny, and the importance of having a supportive wife. Why did you first become interested in the world of entertainment? When did you first realize that you were funny and could make people laugh? Since I was in high school, I loved watching stand up comedy so when I started in 2011, I just tried to do all the things that my stand up idols did. And actually, at that time, my wife forced me to do this… we needed the money! I didn’t think that I was funny enough to be on stage, but my wife tricked me. Without my knowledge, she signed me up for the Kompas’ Stand Up Comedy Indonesia Competition, and I had to write and do a set in front of Indonesia’s comedy legend Indro Warkop. It turned out that I can make him laugh – or did he have an asthma attack? I forget… Do you write your own routines? Where do you get your material from? Yes, I do. Fat people often get bullied, so whenever that happened, I wrote it down. That’s where I get most of my materials from, my personal experiences, for instance: when I was trapped during a terrorist in Afghanistan in 2013, when I broke one of Gojek’s motorcycle, when I was body searched three times on my way to Australia for my standup gig. Every experience can give me 5 to 7 minutes of material. Somehow, living with a body of 135 kilograms can be quite interesting. Do you still experience stage fright? What happens if people don’t laugh? Yes, all the time. Stage fright makes us aware, it prepares us. If people don’t laugh, I usually threaten them, I say that I will dive into the crowd. That works all the time. How do you see the comedy scene in Indonesia, compared to other countries? We are still young. Most of the comics here only have 4 to 5 years of experience. We need a few more to refine ourselves. For instance, Malaysian comics have already been in the circuit for more than 9 years. The Indonesian scene is still growing, and we are all still learning. Tell us more about your involvement and role in the MVB programme. My involvement is simple. As an Indonesian, I would like to see if companies in Indonesia truly care about their employees, the environment and the community. I want them to be better at it. We need to be better at it. Why do you think it is important to have initiatives like MVB? Indonesians always need somebody to tell them what to do and to warn them. Oh yes, we do… What three things would you take with you on a deserted island? A power generator, Star Trek’s Food Replicator, and my lapto… ouch, my head… I’m sorry, umm… my wife.