Leaegalesolo Molio’o Sumeo Siitia (born October 29, 1956 in Samoa – died July 19, 2012 in Samoa) was a Samoan Comedian (Samoan comedy known as faifaleaitu), an MC, and Radio personality for Radio Polynesia Ltd.
Siitia was one half of the legendary comedy-duo: “Petelo ma Sumeo” with fellow comedian – Taavaomalii Petelo.
Siitia died suddenly on July 19, 2012. He is survived by his five children and wife Liai.
Siitia graduated from the Faculty of Education at the National University of Samoa (NUS). During his first year of Teachers Training, it has been said that Siitia had been accepted to join Samoa’s Police Force, but he declined the role so that he could continue his studies to become a School teacher.
Siitia was a young School teacher at Leulumoega Fou College at the time when he started to learn the ropes of comedy. In the 1960′s, he was part of a young group of Samoans that were legendary comedians such as the late Avalogo Ripley, Nimo, Ioelu and Pat Mamaia.
During the golden-era of stand-up comedy, he later collaborated with Taavaomalii Petelo, and the duo were known internationally as “Petelo ma Sumeo”. As the favorite sons of Samoan comedy, they became the hottest ticket to a long list of Samoan events from weddings, government functions, Manu Samoa test matches and Teuila Festivals to name a few.
Their stand-up comedy act of faleaitu (translated: ‘house of spirits) which is likened to the role of a jester who tells jokes and provides general entertainment – was very popular outside of Samoa and they traveled extensively to New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, American Samoa and the United States mainland by invitation from Samoan communities eager to be sitting among the audience of their next show.
Siitia spent over 40 years in the trade. He emceed (MC’d) events he had once performed at such as the Teuila Festival – organized by the Samoan Tourism Authority (STA) in which Siitia was also a board member of the STA steering committee.
Although the “Petelo ma Sumeo” comedy-duo had disbanded by now, Siitia was able to successfully channel his comedic abilities from on stage to radio airwaves – working at Radio Polynesia Ltd for 12 years. He was one of the most popular radio personalities in Samoa, with a huge following tuning in to his Breakfast show every morning to hear him report on various issues with a humorous bent.
Siitia will be remembered as one of the prolific faifaleaitu comedian legends in Samoa’s history. His collaboration with Taavaomalii Petelo, helped pave the way for successful New Zealand comedy-duo, The Laughing Samoans with Tofiga Fepulea’i and Eteuati Ete, to continue what some have said has been a dying trade in Samoa.