Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The Wong Fu 4 Lyfe! event, held at Taylor's Lakeside Campus, attracted almost a thousand loyal fans to make this one of Wong Fu's biggest shows! Once the doors opened at 7pm, fans who had been queueing up for over 3 hours began filling the entire hall. In anticipation of Wong Fu's appearance, the audience cheered and made several Mexican waves before the lights went out, prompting louder screams and "We want Wong Fu!" chants.
Jin, the host for the night, went onstage to kickstart the event. He called for the audience to shout "Wong Fu 4 Lyfe" thrice, before moving on to the opening acts. Once Upon A Time There Was A Sausage Named Bob took the stage to perform several upbeat songs, including Cupid's Fall and Truth Be Told. Next up was a beatbox performance by the famous Shawn Lee, fondly described as "the small boy with big sounds".
One of Malaysia's top dance groups, ECX, stunned the crowd with their thrilling moves. They also cracked a few jokes after their performance, with group member Dennis Yin parodying what he called is the "Naomi Campbell walk". After that, the second dance group F.I.X performed no less admirably, and left the audience cheering.
Philip revealed that this was their first time in South East Asia and laughed as he said, "With a crowd this big, we must definitely come back again!" Wesley jokes that they're looking forward to making new friends, but says it's unnecessary because the fans are already his BFFs.
Despite not being there, Ted made a special cameo appearance through a pre-recorded video in which he superimposed himself on pictures of famous Malaysian attractions such as the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, Batu Caves and a fish spa. He also shows a picture of him and the Prime Minister Najib Razak in the same superimposed style, drawing laughter from the audience. Ted sarcastically jokes in the video that he had "a great time in Malaysia".
Philip turned serious as he began talking about the Wong Fu history. Starting out as dormmates in college before YouTube was even invented, the Wong Fu trio made videos for fun. Philip highlights some of his first videos that includes pretending to be Justin Timberlake while lipsyncing to his songs.
One day, they decided to put their money together to buy an expensive camera on Amazon (Philip remarks that he still has a picture of them about to click purchase). This marked the beginning of their collaboration as a team. Eventually they created a feature film that was too long for YouTube, thus they began to go on tour to screen it at college campuses. The audience count was 20-something each time, which was a big deal for them at the time.
In 2007, Wong Fu began producing their web series Just A Nice Guy. In the videos, they featured self-designed shirts to complement the theme of the story. The video became popular, and fans started asking about the shirts. This led to the creation of the Wong Fu fashion label, Nice Guy Design.
After that brief recalling of the Wong Fu history, they proceeded to play several videos including Shell, Kung Fooled, and Still In Love With You, the collaboration music video with international artiste Wang Leehom. Wong Fu attributes the variety of these videos to the dynamic nature of their work - one day they could be filming by the roadside, and another with a big crew.
Philip then talked in more depth about Wong Fu's experience in producing Still In Love With You. One day he received an email from Leehom's manager describing himself as having watched Wong Fu's videos and being a fan of their work. He invites Wong Fu to produce a music video for Leehom, an offer they immediately accepted.
The pressure when working on the project was immense: Wong Fu only received the confirmed ideaset after they landed in Taiwan, and they spent a day and a half scouting for shoot locations and the cast - especially the girl! Fortunately, Leehom was very talented and natural, being a great person to work with.
Wong Fu then proceeded to express their gratitude to their fans. "YouTube videos are mostly parodies, sneezing babies, or something about Kim Kardashian's boob... We don't fit into those categories, but you guys still watch our videos!"
After that, they screened two unreleased episodes of Home Is Where The Hans Are, their latest webseries in collaboration with FreemantleMedia, the company behind American Idol and other famous TV shows. They then concluded their talk - "Thank you guys, thank you Malaysia!"
Jin came on stage to initiate a fan Q&A session by inviting the audience to ask questions.
One fan asked whether Philip would cut his hair, to which he responded "Should I? I didn't know this was a conversational topic!"
Another fan asked whether Wesley is dating Cathy Nguyen, another famous YouTuber. Wesley hesitates before shunning the question, "Some things are better left mysterious." This drew exclamations of affection from the audience as Wesley shyly laughs.
Another question was about what they thought of the diversity in Malaysia. Philip exclaims, "It is awesome - there are so many types of people! And you guys speak like, almost 5 languages!"
Next, an avid fan asked about Malaysian food. Wesley replied, "I enjoy all sorts of roti - those from Rotiboy!"
In a hilarious response to a question whether Wong Fu ever got into disagreements, Philip talks about the mutual respect between them before being interrupted by Wesley. Philip pretended to be annoyed and began fake-arguing with Wesley as the audience laughed.
After that, a fan requested them to introduce themselves in Chinese. Philip laughs as he says, "You want to embarass us don't you? ... Da jia hao, wo shi Wang Da Shiang!" Followed by Wesley, "Hello, ngo kiu Wesley!" Jokingly, Philip asks the audience if Wesley said something bad about him.
Then, another fan asked whether Ted would be present in Wong Fu's Singapore show. "If he can sort out the things that are holding him back then yes."
Eventually, someone asked whether ISA (Internal Secret Agents) would make a stop in Malaysia. "We understand it means something else here... Well, Jin told us that. It's hard to get everyone's schedules together but we'll try extra hard!"
Finally, a fan asked if Wong Fu will shoot a short film in Malaysia. Philip replies, "We went around places and it's beautiful. The next time we come over, we'll schedule an extra day to shoot. In fact we're already casting... There are plenty of handsome men around here!"
M.E Malaysia for the opportunity to cover Wong Fu Productions' visit to Malaysia!
Photo by Azrin Arizz (JonYKTeam) & Lim Yau Hui (JonYKTeam)