End of The laffLine

15 Mar

As I crossed off another item on my bucket list, me and my friends arrived at the scene of what seemed to be a comedy bar. I’m a sucker for these kinds of entertainment, but I was definitely discordant with the place. Nevertheless, I entered the bar, serving the dual purpose of enjoying the night as part of the audience and also as an observer. With an active sense of humor and with a stupid look on my face, I was ready to accept whatever kind of “comedy” it has to offer.

The ambiance inside easily caught up with the regalement aspect of the bar, because the area outside of the bar was dull as hell. Ventilation was enough for a large group of people to still breathe cold air. The entrance, I suppose, seemed to be narrow if you were to compare it with the seating capacity of the place. So, coming from the word “bar” itself, the place definitely had all the same characteristics a normal bar would have: of course, the people investing a good amount of money to waste the night away, a menu for those who would want to order food and beverage, a comfort room (which by the way, includes the office of a man who offers massaging services), an atmosphere to tone up social undertakings, and an abundant number of seats to maximize profit . These seats, however, situated as low or as high they may be, all pointed and looked towards the same direction, the stage, with the comedians on it. The seats are arranged in such a way in which it would allow everyone to correlate and affiliate themselves with the heart of the club, the main source of entertainment for the people and revenue for the bar.

Most of them are homosexuals to say the least. The title of comedian somehow required them to be open-minded while also allowing them to be obscene at the same time.  They started off lightly at first with a series of witty comebacks directed against each other, or against themselves. They eventually started to break the fourth wall by interacting and by poking at the audience. This deconstructed the idea of the audience that the stage was a cage for the wild performers and showed them that it was not the only place they could perform. They directed their jokes even to the farthest of souls. No one was safe, in a sense that whoever they deemed worthy of being the center of a joke, shall be picked on. Oftentimes, they would make jokes that might had actually offended someone. Nevertheless, they would never forget to emphasize that they should also hold the other end of the deal, that in which they entered a comedy bar and that nothing is personal, strictly business. Bawal pikon.

The performance was an endless barrage of jokes and puns that would literally make you laugh your ass off.  Different sound effects controlled by the DJ that often evoke or evince the famous “ba dum tsssss” drum beat or an edited cut of new tracks off the radio usually played off every time a better joke has been pulled off to either break awkward moments of empty laughter coming from the audience or to notify the audience that that joke was a good one. Simply put, the sound psychologically lifts up the mood while simultaneously creating an after-joke effect. The pattern of lights within the place also helped with the performance. Lights would go on and off to portray a lively party effect to get the crowd going while spotlights directed the attention of everyone to whatever/whoever it was pointing to.

It was around 12 midnight when the actual “show” started. By then, the bar was filled and the seats were all taken. Basically, the different groups within the crowd were also the same type of group you would see hanging out in a mall or in a park: barkadas, couples, and families. From observation, it would seem that there was no “forever alone” guy/girl, and that every individual that appertain to the crowd also belonged to a certain clique. Age did not matter at most, because the crowd was filled with different people of age that ranged from as young as 10 and to as old as 65. Collectively, the barkada-type of family with middle-aged people dominated the crowd that we belonged to. These people, if I were to base their financial standing on their looks, probably belong to the upper-middle and middle-middle class since they allowed themselves to spend a good amount of money and albeit most of them were educated nonetheless. Despite the differences in age and in financial status, these groups of people all had the same reason as to why they came here. Entertainment. Despite the harshness of life outside the comedy bar walls, at least, for a due amount of time, they can escape this reality and actually feel alive.

So to speak, everything has an ending, and the experience soon had to be over for everyone in the crowd. The comedy bar, all-in-all, successfully fulfilled its end of the bargain. People went out with their big smiles still etched on their faces. Even though we were 300pesos poorer, the ecstatic condition they had placed us into, was priceless. The end justifies the means, so despite its method of actually making us laugh and making us content, they were actually efficacious in doing it so. Staying for around 6hours straight at the bar, you somewhat get attached to it temporarily. Still, it was the end of the line for that day. Nevertheless, the thoughts of the first-hand experience shall last.

Karl Allen Ubalde 103901


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