Stand-up comedy stage awaits Prayut


Comedian Udom "Nose" Taepanich better watch out, because he competition hot on his heels, in the form of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

COMEDIAN UDOM “Nose” Taepanich better watch out, because he competition hot on his heels, in the form of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
By now, TV viewers in Thailand are well-acquainted with the retired military man’s weekly talks on Friday night, urging Thais of all political stripes to think alike and restore peace to the country. And journalists know he has a humorous side – just ask the recipients of his tossed banana peels.
But the PM’s gift for gags became fully apparent at the recent wedding ceremony for the son of Somkid Jaturipitak, economic adviser to the National Council for Peace and Order. Presiding over the occasion, Prayut gave a joke-filled seven speech in honour of groom Napat and bride Vanissra Boonyaleelaphan, adding a dose of self-deprecation to his usual arsenal of folksy, plain speaking.
“Yes, this is what I love to hear,” he said to raucous laughter as he talked about how stressful it is leading the country, and how he’s only hearing criticism.
“I hear it when I pick up my mobile phone,” he lamented amid giggles. “Then I turn on the TV, and everyone is fighting and pointing fingers at each other. And it’s worse when I read the newspapers,” he said.
He can’t seem to win, he says, noting that his supporters have only placed unrealistic expectations on him, while his detractors simply want him to die. “No, I won’t die now, as I’ve got to finish my work for the country,” he said.
As for the couple, who were engaged in May 2014, Prayut said he had high hopes for them and he encouraged them to get to work on starting a family.
Noting that Napat and Vanissra both studied abroad, Prayut commented that he’d like to see a new generation of overseas Thais return and help him in his work. This led to him cracking wise about the political dissidents who’ve scattered to the wind since the military took over. “As for those who fled, no need to come back because they’d never do,” he said.
Finally, he thanked Somkid, self-mockingly, “for giving me a chance to talk for another day apart from Friday night”.
Right, said Ted
When it comes to dubbing the voice for a swearing teddy bear, there’s no one in Thailand better qualified than Yutthana “Pa Ted” Boonorm, who stands in for “Family Guy” funnyman Seth MacFarlane on the Thai soundtrack to the Hollywood comedy “Ted 2”.
“Well my name is Ted, so that’s an advantage,” says the head of GMM Grammy’s concert promotion outfit Gayray. Indeed, Yutthana’s familiar nickname was the reason movie distributor UIP Thailand came calling.
“Besides, Ted [the bear]’s behaviour is very close to mine. His jokes and gags are similar to how I talk to my close friends,” he adds.
It helped that Ted has experience in movie-voiceover work, having previously dubbed the tree-loving title character for the Thai version of “The Lorax”.
Translating the “Ted 2” script was a challenge, because MacFarlane uses obscure and very specific Western pop culture references that Thais aren’t familiar with.
“Some words did not quite fit in the Thai youth context, so I adapted some words, with approval from the director of the voiceover team,” said Ted, whose job running the Big Mountain Music Festival means his fingers are always on the pulse of Thai teen trends.
Ted spent 10 hours over two days giving a Thai voice to his screen counterpart, and he encourages his fans to seek out the Thai-dubbed version of “Ted 2” in cinemas. “I guarantee you will enjoy it as much as I did,” he says.