Getting political through comedy

Getting political through comedy

Political satire group Mocking Jer wants to change Hong Kong using humour and comedy

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(From left) Wa Dee and Yau Hawk-saw are the talent behind parody group Mocking Jer.
(From left) Wa Dee and Yau Hawk-saw are the talent behind parody group Mocking Jer.
Photo: May Tse

Like most young people in Hong Kong, Yau Hawk-sau had zero interest in politics. "I wasn't aware of the change in leadership from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping ," he jokes. "But then the protest against national education changed everything."

Yau was unhappy with what he saw as unpopular government policies. So he decided to do something about it.

After Occupy Central, Yau founded the political satire group Mocking Jer. The group works with young actors and dancers to make videos to show their frustration with the government.

Mocking Jer became an instant sensation on YouTube after releasing their first video - a parody of the classic Hong Kong gangster movie Young and Dangerous. Their remake criticises the police for acting like gangsters. Their second production was a music video highlighting the popularity of gau wu, or shopping. The video attracted hit after hit on YouTube, after Yau's long-time friend and co-star, Dee Ho Kai-wai - better known as Wa Dee - played the role of pop star Andy Lau Tak-wah. Mocking Jer has attracted more than 20,000 YouTube subscribers since its launch in December last year.


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Yau says both Scholarism founder Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Federation of Students secretary-general Alex Chow Yong-kang are fans.

Wa Dee, a freelance performer, has been in the spotlight since starring in the music video. What most people don't realise about Mocking Jer, he says, is how much work goes into what they do. "Many people are surprised by the size of the crew of Mocking Jer," he says. "We have a dancers, hairstylists, make-up artists, pretty much like a camera crew."

But unlike a professional studio, everyone is a volunteer. "We have no sponsorship and none of us gets paid," says Wa Dee.

The performers and other members want to help educate other young people about politics in Hong Kong. "Everybody in the production contributes because they share the same values," he says.

Yau has been warned that his political views will hurt his future career, having graduated last summer from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, he is looking to work in the film industry. But he believes in the message and importance of Mocking Jer.

"My dream is to make movies, and a lot of people are telling me I should not speak out against the central government because mainland investors feed local movie makers," he says.


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"I would be lying if I said I am not worried that my political stance may have a negative effect on my movie career … but I believe I have my values and I decided it is more important to uphold them."

With Mocking Jer, Yau is looking to please his audience more than future investors. "I am blessed that Mocking Jer is able to attract so many supporters, and I would rather entertain an audience who shares the same values," he says.

Already the group has caught the attention of 100 Most Magazine founder Lin Ri Xi, a local artist and supporter of Occupy Central.

"Lin offered me a job with his magazine after watching my work," says Yau. "For the moment, I do not have to worry about being shut out."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The funny side of politics

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