Singing is his forte, but he loves trying new things, as long as they are part of showbiz.

For the first time ever, the man behind the songs Hijau and Kau Di Hatiku, Datuk Zainalabidin Mohamad, will join Tall Order Productions’ comedy show, Lawak Ke Der?, from March 29 to 31 at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur.

The 59-year-old former Headwind lead singer said he was thrilled with this opportunity as he had enjoyed sharing funny experiences with fans since his Hiburan Minggu Ini days in the 1980s.

Zainalabidin took a leap of faith to do stand-up comedy in April last year when singer-actor Datuk Afdlin Shauki invited him to entertain diners at the latter’s Comedy Planet restaurant at Great Eastern Mall in Jalan Ampang.

“Afdlin and I amused diners with our original jokes during the ‘Double Trouble’ slot.

“We’ve been friends since the 1990s,” said Zainalabidin at the launch of Lawak Ke Der? at Istana Budaya recently.

Afdlin approached him after his 35th Anniversary Concert, The Musical Journey Of Zainalabidin at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in February last year and commended him for his banter with the audience in between songs.

“Afdlin enjoyed my jokes and challenged me to do stand-up comedy. That led to ‘Double Trouble’.”

Zainalabidin said actor-producer Datuk Hans Isaac, who also enjoyed the concert, invited him to join Lawak Ke Der?

“Afdlin and Hans told me that having me on board would give fans a wonderful surprise. So, here I am.”

He said fans could expect “lots of Malaysian material”, such as the 2017 Sea Games, Hans remaining single, artistes in the soup over headscarves, the abundance of horror films and fans’ tendencies to link names of popular artistes.

“I’m going to prove that I’m a lot funnier than Hans. After all, I look better than him,” he joked.

“Like the rest of the cast, I’ll be given 30 minutes to make the audience laugh. I’ll focus on my family, friends, schooldays, work, travels, likes, dislikes and unpleasant experiences.”

Zainalabidin admitted he was the most inexperienced stand-up comedian compared with his co-stars, Afdlin, Raja Lawak duo Shiro and Singaporean comedian Gurmit Singh of Phua Chu Kang.

“Since I’m new, my jokes may not be as polished, but I will try my best.”

Hans said his company, Tall Order, would introduce at least one new comedian in Lawak Ke Der? annually.

“I always look for comedians with substance. Such comedians are world-class entertainers.

“Zainalabidin is a comedian to watch because he is spontaneous. What I like best about him is his down-to-earth and self-deprecating humour, and his willingness to accept feedback from fans.

“To fans of Zainalabidin, I hope you will support and appreciate this new side of him.”

Hans said the three-day comedy show might be extended to April 1, should the response be overwhelming.

Lawak Ke Der? will be co-hosted by comedians Sherry Al-Hadad and Shuk. Tickets are priced between RM58 and RM208. Call 03-4253 2241 or visit

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Datuk Zainalabidin Mohamad (front row, left) at the launch of ‘Lawak Ke Der?’ in Kuala Lumpur recently. With him are the comedy show’s cast and hosts (clockwise, from top left) Gurmit Singh, Datuk Afdlin Shauki, Shahrol Shiro, Ajak Shiro, Shuk and Sherry Al-Hadad. PIC BY MAHZIR MAT ISA

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