Local funnyman Moses Lim shares his recipe for happiness

29 May 2013 / 3 years 5 months ago

Source: The Straits TimesIf home-grown comedian Moses Lim had his way, he would still be steeped in show business.Speaking to Life! at a sit-down interview at Goodwood Park Hotel recently, the 63-year-old says frankly that he often finds himself reminiscing about "the good old days" of being a full-time actor."I definitely miss those days when I was going to the sets every day and being with a wonderful cast and seeing all those great people," says Lim, who has been rather quiet on the entertainment scene after the end of the long-running sitcom Under One Roof (1995-2003) on which he played parable-spouting mini-mart owner Tan Ah Teck.He adds: "Once you get into acting and making people laugh every day, you are addicted to it and it's hard to quit."The only thing stopping him then?His age, he says with a laugh. "At this point of my life, it's important that I spend more time with my family."You know, sometimes I flip the newspapers and see pictures of people I know published in the sections where you don't want to see their pictures. And of course, we know about a local TV personnel who just passed away," he says, referring to Channel 8 veteran Huang Wenyong, who died last month of lymphoma at age 60."As you get older, your body is not the same as when you're young. Singapore is, a high-pressure society and I think it's more important to take things slowly and do only things that I love to do."This means that he will take on acting gigs only if he "really likes" the story and finds the role suitable - such as the one of an egg supplier in The Recipe, an upcoming TV movie."The character is happy-go-lucky, very jovial. I think that's very me," he says with a chuckle.Commissioned by the Health Promotion Board to raise awareness about dementia, The Recipe is about a family who gets closer through food, after one member gets dementia.Directed by Eric Khoo and also starring Zoe Tay, Li Yinzhu, Jayley Woo and Desmond Shen, the film will be broadcast on Channel 8 on Sept 22.Before Under One Roof's lovable patriarch, Lim has also been known for his comedy sketches on popular Chinese-language variety show Comedy Night in the mid-1990s, alongside Jack Neo and Mark Lee.Some of his more recent entertainment gigs include that of Okto's children's show Zero Hero (2011), in which he played superhero Grandpa Magnificent, and a live stand-up comedy routine at the Esplanade last year with comedians Michelle Chong and Gurmit Singh.Outside of show business, Lim has run Moses Lim Gourmet Club, a gourmet tour business for which he has been organising and leading travellers on, trips all around the world in search of good food, since 1993.Since November last year, he has also been helping his elder daughter, aged 35, run porridge shop Zhen Zhao Dao - Singapore Style Porridge, in Tanjong Katong Road. He has another daughter, 34, with his Taiwanese wife, 58, a homemaker.Then, there are his granddaughters aged two, four and five, who are keeping him "very busy" as well.He says with a chuckle: "I may not be acting full-time, but I've still got many things to take care of. If I am offered acting roles I like, I will still do them. I like to make people laugh and I am a happy man. At my age, this is most important."1 Which is your favourite acting project over the years?For Chinese-speaking viewers, it is probably all of my Comedy Night sketches, and for English-speaking viewers, it's Under One Roof. I have to say that Under One Roof helped me, a Chinese-educated boy, to improve my English a lot.Under One Roof also travelled to other countries, so I am really happy about that show. I miss that a lot.2 You also worked on variety and cooking shows in Hong Kong for a year in 1996. How does the Hong Kong entertainment scene compare with Singapore's?For a freelancer like me, Hong Kong has so many more opportunities than Singapore.Here, there is only one TV, station, and it usually gives priority to its own artists. But I'm still thankful to Singapore for giving me the chance to have so much fun in Under One Roof and other shows.That's partly why I decided to come back after one year. Singapore is where I started acting and it's where I have some experience.Also, I still have a family here, so I couldn't stay in Hong Kong for long.3 Did you start your gourmet food tour business as a back-up in case showbusiness did not work out?It wasn't planned that way, but I'm fortunate to say that it worked out like that. I love food and I love travelling, so the gourmet food club is fun for me to do.It all started when a travel agency engaged me to lead a tour in 1993, which is something that many TV artists are asked to do even today. But I was thinking, what will happen in the future if I'm not a TV artist anymore? So I wanted to start something that I was interested in, but wouldn't depend on whether I was popular as an artist. The Gourmet Club is already in its 20th year.4 You are looking a lot slimmer than your Under One Roof days. How do you maintain your weight these days?I lost about 40kg five years ago when I was asked to endorse a slimming product.But after that ended, I created my own diet and exercise schedule, and I stick to it. I, run on the treadmill frequently, and I also believe in something else - you taste but don't eat. So, for example, when I'm on my gourmet tours, I just taste something rather than eat all of it.5 You are obviously a foodie. What is your idea of a perfect meal?Since I travel so often and eat good food, and I am often asked to judge cooking competitions, a perfect meal for me is something simple and light at home. Of course, when I say simple, there will still be some quality control needed, but a simple bowl of porridge is good.6 Who does the cooking at home?My wife, and she is a very good cook. Because she is Taiwanese, she cooks things that are a bit different from what you get outside. For example, some of the braised items that we serve in my daughter's porridge cafe are Taiwanese- style. They are my wife's recipes.7 What types of activities do you do with your granddaughters?I'm lucky that I live in the same condo as my two daughters and my grandchildren, so I see them all the time. I play with them, go to church with them and, every weekend, we have a family gathering.I am the type of grandfather who is just like my patriarch role in Under One Roof - I'm not strict at all, just very happy to be with my family.8 How would you like to be remembered?As a jovial person and a, nice guy to get along with. People tend to think I'm stuck-up but I'm not that kind of person. It's just that I don't talk much in front of strangers or have the habit of introducing myself. Once you get to know me, I actually talk a lot. I'm a person worth making friends with and I'll be a long-time friend.

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