A Chat With Sam See, The Brains Behind 'Government Approved Sex'
After a decade performing stand-up, comedian Sam See, 30, is leaving our shores for the United Kingdom. But not before pulling off one last hurrah: a sex education workshop-turned-comedy show called Government Approved Sex, making its full debut in Singapore this Friday, 17 November.
And not only did it pass the government censorship board, it originated from a government-commissioned educational panel Sam ran three years ago.
"It all started in early 2020, just before the pandemic," Sam told us in an interview. "I was approached by the National Library Board and people from the government to run a 10-week panel course about sex and love. And each week we covered a different topic. And once we came out with it in the pandemic, I really enjoyed that series, and I wanted to write a show about this to hopefully cover sex education, because I know it's woefully inadequate around the world, much less Singapore."
If you've ever had to sit through a sex ed panel at school, well, we know what you’re thinking: sex ed can be... intentionally comedic? How detailed is this going to be?
Check out the teaser below and decide for yourself:
Could I take my grandma to this? I ask Sam. He chuckles, then answers in the affirmative.
"Yes. I would say absolutely bring the grandparents," he says. "There will be some points when they're gonna scowl and go, does he have to be that crude? But I think at the heart of it, the message at the end of the day is something that anyone of any background, age group or gender orientation or sexual orientation can genuinely appreciate."
At any rate, the show isn’t just about the "mechanics" of copulation.
"I realised that besides [sex education], I had a genuine love story that happened throughout that period of time," he says, recalling the process of turning the panel course into a comedy show. "So I wanted to weave in both the education of what can be learned and of what I learnt going through a love story at the time."
"So, contrary to the name and the posters and everything, it's actually, at the heart of it, about love and emotions, and how we deal with them. It’s a show that has been described as - not tooting my own horn - surprisingly endearing as a comedy show, which I do appreciate."
In an announcement video posted on his social media, Sam shared that this will be his last major show in Singapore before he packs his bags for the UK in December.
"This is a decision that's not been made lightly," he told his followers. "I have done a lot in both Singapore and the Southeast Asia comedy scene. I've played in every possible country in the region, except for Mongolia (the one that got away!). I've run open mics, showcases, festivals, and comedy clubs. I've poured a lot of my blood, sweat, and tears into making comedy bigger, better, and brighter for both audiences and performers... After doing what I could for the scene, I gotta do what I can for myself, and that means closing my time here in Asia, the only way I know how: with a show about sex."