I got off the cab nervous. I knew that I was going to a comedy bar and not a horror house, but the knowledge that anyone inside is fair game for the entertainers to make fun off made me extra cautious. I waited patiently outside as I pulled my phone out to call my friend, secretly hoping that she didn’t sit near the front.
I was relived to find out that the show hasn’t started when my friend and I entered the bar. Instead, we were greeted by a man in tights! The club was screening a movie of what seemed like the Superman of the 80’s. People really didn’t mind the movie, so did my friend and I. After all, we came to a comedy bar not a movie house that screened movies years ago.
The place was dimly lit but lights of different colours came from the stage. There were couches on the front row; I guess public humiliation is the price one must pay to be seated on a comfortable chair. The chairs and tables behind the front rows were arranged in a way that everyone would be able to see the stage. It somehow felt like being in a theatre.
As we waited eagerly for the show to start, the waiter asked if we wanted to order while he handed out menus to me and my friend. I guess that the laughter that came in eating at a comedy bar made the food and drinks pricey because I couldn’t help but blurt out “My God!” The annoyed tone and disposition of the waiter made me more discouraged to buy anything.
I looked around as the movie went on; I noticed that the audience were mainly people from ages 25-40. They looked mature enough to make the Ateneans, who courageously sat up front and those who observed from the back, stand out. These yuppies came in groups of fours and fives. There were also tons of couples, couples with friends, and couples with couples. But regardless of who they came with and how many they were with, they all undoubtedly came with one purpose in mind—to unwind and just forget the world outside the walls of the dimly lit room.
When the show finally started, I eagerly awaited how the comedians would make us laugh. One has to admit that making people laugh is not a joke. Wit and quick thinking are required of these comedians to make humorous even the dullest and plainest of things and/or situations. These entertainers first opened with a song or two, and then introduced themselves, throwing a joke or two.
The humour they had in the comedy bar was a bit far off from what I would typically enjoy, for the comedians weren’t exactly the most wholesome bunch. They relied heavily on green jokes and crude humour. They used words such as titi (penis) and pek-pek (vagina) every minute or so as tools for tickling the audience’ funny bones. When they had grown tired of making green jokes, the entertainers would switch to making fun of people that they see. They would insult anyone from head to toe; and if they found a member of the audience cute, they wouldn’t hesitate to flirt with you.
After the insults, they would ask if anyone would be brave enough to render a song number. Maybe it’s the adrenaline or the spotlight, but I was surprised to see that despite being ridiculed and mocked and laughed at there were still members of the audience who were daring enough to participate and volunteer themselves to sing on stage. The first guy who sang was very unresponsive, he looked like he was stoned and he just sang. I experienced second hand embarrassment for that guy because the whole time he was singing the comedians were making faces and blurting out comments that were at times below the belt.
The second person whom I witnessed humiliate herself was an OFW in Dubai. She proudly went on stage and confidently sang two songs. I won’t deny the fact that she wasn’t pretty at all, and the comedians too noticed this “flaw.” I had a hard time listening to the comedians poke fun at this woman. The whole time she was on stage I thought to myself “kawawa naman siya.” But I was amazed at how this poor woman managed to just smile and to try her best to defend herself from the insults thrown at her by the comedians from the way she looked to how she dressed.
After the song numbers of these two guest members, the entertainers performed rehearsed skits which were quite amusing to an extent. But having to watch the comedians insult and degrade each other for more than 10 minutes wasn’t very enjoyable even if it was just for laughs.
Being a witness to all of these, I can see why this comedy bar is a very popular place. And though, this comedy bar surely isn’t a place for the priests and nuns, this is surely the place to go for some laughs and the place for one to unwind and detach himself/herself from the stress of everyday life.
Jan Gabriel F. Cerezo – A