Not content with completing a medical degree and practicing medicine, Dr Pam Rana is also conquering the comedy world with her funny version of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The FRINGE WORLD comedy debut, Kim Kardashian Causes Climate Change (?), is showing every night from February 14 through to 17 at Belgian Beer Cafe, 8.30pm. In her own words, she will “perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on a cultural bolus lodged in the throat of our shared social psyche called Kim Kardashian” and discusses how eco-catastrophes are brought about by hedonistic pop icons such as Kim Kardashian. Dr Rana explains to CHERYL LIM how she makes this logical leap.
You are a medical doctor as well as a celebrated comedian hailing from Canada. How and why did you get into comedy and would you say that your medical degree has helped in your comedy career?
Well, being the youngest in my family confers a natural tendency towards humor, but an awkward and ultimately underwhelming pubescence is what made me a performance nerd.
Doctors are able to look at blood and gore on a daily basis, but you take it one step further by telling jokes on a stage. What’s scarier: being a doctor or a comedian?
You can kill in both professions but one is definitely worse than the other…
Would you say that you are a passionate environmentalist and did the inspiration for Kim Kardashian Causes Climate Change (?) stem from your passion for the environment and the causes of climate change?
As far as being a ‘passionate environmentalist’ I’d say I am so much as I’m actually from the environment so I have an vested interest there.
Kim Kardashian Causes Climate Change (?) is billed as a “funny Inconvenient Truth” as you “dissect how eco-catastrophes are perpetuated by the rise of hedonistic icons like Kim Kardashian”. What are your personal thoughts on Kim Kardashian and why do you think she is such a polarising modern icon and potentially the ‘cause’ of climate change?
I can answer this question best in my 55 min comedy show, but the short answer is that I believe she’s a savvy person who exploited formulas for success and leveraged fame to infiltrate our culture in innumerable ways. Her success is a metaphor for the larger issues that plague our society.
How do you strike a balance between political commentary and entertainment in your show and do you think politics and comedy go hand-in-hand?
Yes definitely. Political satire is one of my favorite forms of comedy. Humour is a great tool to cope with unpleasantness but also very useful to win people over with your ideas!
Can audiences expect more stand-up comedy, environmental documentary or lecture at your shows from February 14-17 at Belgian Beer Cafe? Or is it a mix of all three?
It’s definitely a mix, but has absurdist themes. It’s my view of why the environment is going down the toilet and finishes with what is arguably a very conceivable way to reverse damage i.e ‘Dr. Pam’s Prescription for Planetary Health’.