It was a Saturday, February 25, 2012 to be exact when I experienced something I would never have imagined experiencing: going inside a comedy bar. So we had a choice either to go to a comedy bar, Enchanted Kingdom or a gay bar. The gay bar was out of the topic. No chance in hell I was going inside one of those things, not even if I was forced to go in and not even if we went as a class. No offense to those who went there as a group for fun, but that’s just not the meaning of fun in my dictionary. So that left me with two choices: EK or the comedy bar. I was in EK the other month with friends and I’m really not into rides so that meant I had no choice but to go to the comedy bar and I’ll admit it; the experience was pretty fun.
I was busy the whole Saturday. My mom visited from Cebu so I picked her up in the airport, then accompanied her to the mall where she went shopping. While having lunch in Rockwell, I realized that I had something important to do that night. The first thing that came to my mind was that I was just about to waste my time in the bar instead of spending time with my mom whom I rarely see. My mom didn’t want me to go at first and she even bribed me with money. On any given day I would have accepted that money and skip any other extra curricular activity. But not on that day because I made the right decision. I told the driver to bring me home around dinner time. I called my friends who were also going and about 9 we left for Quezon Ave., not excited at all. All I remember hearing in the car was “This is really a waste of time”.
So we arrived in Punchline Comedy Bar on time and the moment we went out of the car, a security guard from a nearby restaurant tried to sell us some discounted tickets which we can use when we pay the entrance fees and I immediately thought the guard was a scalper. We eventually bought them from him after a lot of convincing and haggling and next thing I know, I was finally inside a comedy bar. The gay people who I saw while we were being guided to our seats really freaked me out. I was wondering why they were everywhere. Little did I know that they were the ones presenting later on that night.
This was my first time in a comedy bar and I was really impressed with the whole set-up of Punchline. They aligned the chairs and tabled in such a way that they could accommodate as much people as possible. The area was a bit smaller than I expected but it sure fit a lot of people. We were probably a hundred plus in that bar. I’m not sure if it’s always full there or maybe because it was Saturday night. I was also very impressed with the waiters and ushers. They were very accommodating and friendly. They really made sure that we were comfortable in our seats and they were full of smiles. I’m not sure if they’re naturally like that or they were just laughing at the jokes. The room was well lit and the timing of the lights effects were above par. The sound system was also good. Even though the bar was fully packed, it wasn’t as warm inside as it should have been. This was really important. Honestly, I would’ve walked out if I couldn’t stand the heat. I can’t really judge the food because the only we ordered were Nachos and beer but by looking at the menu, you can tell that the food and drinks were a bit pricy. I expected less from a place like Punchline but I don’t know, maybe this comedy bar was top of the line?
For the comedy and performances, I’d give around 8/10. Not bad. The jokes were funny and I didn’t feel sleepy at all. Even though most of them were gay, I actually had a fun time watching them make fun of themselves. They dressed up funny, they talked funny, and they were so natural. It’s like they’ve been doing stand-up comedy all their lives. The way they insulted some people in the audience was really impressive. It made us feel that we were part of the whole thing. Deep inside you’re thinking “please don’t look at me or you better not say crap about me”. I enjoyed it.
I didn’t get to observe much of the people around me because it was kind of awkward to keep looking back since I was seated right in front of the stage with my block mates. But from what I’ve observed, most of the people present were working class people, mostly barkadas hanging out after a long week of working. I assume their ages range from early twenties to mid-forties. There were also many balikbayans from America and the Middle East. They were the target of the performers because they knew they were liquid and came in with cash. The comedy bar seemed to be a place where people go to unwind, sing and have a laugh after all the stress from work. The people around me really enjoyed themselves. I also noticed that it was a place where up and coming actors or singers can showcase their talents on the stage and promote themselves. This is a good way to build up confidence of performing in public and it is a good way to be seen by scouts or agents.
Overall, I’d have to say that I really had a great time. My perceptions of what really happens in these kinds of bars changed after that Saturday. At first it was a culture shock for me but I just immersed myself into this new culture, accepted it and embraced it as if it wasn’t new to me at all. I learned a lot of new things during this field trip. It was definitely worth my time and money. But most of all I got to experience something I thought I’d never do. It was really a day to remember.
Alfonze Mikel B. Alazas
SA21 Section Q