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James Campbell's Comedy 4 Kids - Perfect Stand-up Comedy for Ages 5+
03/03/2004
New Straits Times
CAMPBELL MAKES THEM LAUGH
By Gerald Chuah

The Comedy 4 Kids show held at The Actor Studio Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur recently was a departure from the usual introspective fare at the venue. For once, the target audience was children between five and 10 years old and the objective was just to have fun. Accompanied by their parents, the children were encouraged to wriggle, laugh, and just be themselves because it was simply their show.

The show attracted the curiosity of some adults too as it promised a unique blend of stories, surreal observations, improvisations and extremely silly songs!

The star of the show was James Campbell, a man dressed in a long-sleeved shirt and pyjama-like pants, who was prepared to face his most demanding audience - children.

Children seem smarter these days; some even carry handphones as Campbell found out during the show.

So how does one tackle children? Be like them. Think funny thoughts, ask silly questions and be curious about everything around you. Using a combination of stories, songs, poems and body language, Campbell worked his way into the hearts of the youngsters.

His observations about dogs with heatproof noses, and singing macabre lyrics of Christmas songs were spot on with his audience. His vivid images of toothless tigers and legless lions made them believable. Little gestures like mimicking people's movements got a spontaneous reaction from the children.

The chemistry has to be just right to generate spontaneous laughter. And there was - usually quiet children splitting their sides and having a great time.

Parents would do well to learn a few tips from Campbell on how to communicate with children. For one, they should not take themselves too seriously.