I usually go home on Saturdays. Living in a dorm is emotionally exhausting and nothing revives me more than going home and eating home cooked meals. This particular Saturday however, I saw myself refreshed by the most unlikeliest of things. I went to a comedy bar and I actually enjoyed it.
I am not an outgoing person. I usually would prefer to stay in rather than do stuff outside. Needless to say, I don’t go to comedy clubs. I had this impression of it as a dirty, smelly place where gay guys roast their audiences and sing over the top songs. In fact there was a television show in GMA 7 called “Comedy Bar” dedicated to replicating its atmosphere. I don’t watch it regularly but I’ve seen an episode or two. I did not like it though. So really when we were asked to choose among the different bars, I didn’t really care which one I would go into. It just so happens that I am available at that date so I went.
It started like any other Saturday morning. I woke up, checked some things off the internet. Then I went to NSTP. After class I went to Trinoma to buy some stuff and then went straight to Punchline to meet with my friend.
We waited outside for a few minutes then proceeded inside. I was hit with a great wall of sound the moment I entered. I didn’t realize that the place would be so small, so the sound waves just bounce off the walls and hits you. I was trying not to attract attention. If there are places you would want to try something stupid, a comedy bar definitely isn’t one of them. So we stumbled and bumped our way into the front row. I was a bit apprehensive about the fact that we sat in front. So I decided to take the seat to the extreme left, far away from the stage. When we entered there were no more than forty people inside the building. Probably because the show hasn’t started yet. I was a bit tired at the time, but I gotta admit, I was energized by the place.
Then the performers came to the stage. There was a sense of anxiety that I can feel from myself and from my fellow first timers. After all we don’t expect whats coming next. They opened their mouths and from then on I only remember me laughing. I honestly don’t remember anything else. I don’t even remember what I was laughing at. I don’t know why but maybe it was the kind of humor I was used to, the kind of humor I missed since going to Ateneo. The jokes were vulgar and crude and though they are not that deep or clever, I don’t feel estranged. I went to a high school with people who talk the same way. They would curse, say vulgar things and do crazy stuff. Im used to it, and I can say that I did enjoy the whole comedy bar experience because it helped me recall those times that I had with my friends.
You can tell the character of a person in the audience depending on where he or she sits. The people in front are obviously the boldest and most adventurous. They came into the club wanting to be actively participating with whatever the performers have in store. Usually these people are young, around 20 to 30 years old. They are game, kumbaga. They would be willing to be called up on stage to be interviewed, to sing or to be roasted. And they don’t care how horrible their voices might be, or how embarassing their roast is going to be. Thats what they signed up for, to have fun and to forget their lives for brief moment. These people look like they belong to the bagong sahod class. Conversely, the people at the back just wanna have a good laugh. Of course you wouldn’t go to a comedy bar to muddle about the meaning of life. But these people are truly more restrained. They just sit, maybe have a chat with their friends, usually not as involved with the program as the other parts of the audience. Then there are the guys in the middle. These are people who like the show enough to go near the stage but not brave enough or not in the mood to actually mingle. They like to have a drink or two and have a good time. Usually these people are made up of balikbayans and foreigners.
I did not expect to enjoy this experience but I did. And I feel I can enjoy it even more if I am with the people who can relate to me. I’ ve always thought of comedy bars as places that I shouldn’t visit, but that Saturday night definitely changed that.
SA 21 P