Different Strokes for Different Folks

13 May

A comedy bar is typically known as a place of fun and laughter. It is a place where people are able to watch the performances of different stand-up comedians. Last Friday night, I was blessed with the fortune of going to one such place. The place was known as “Laffline Comedy Bar”. Throughout my life, the images that usually comes to my mind when thinking about comedy bars are those from western television shows. I grew up watching performers such as Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle that I was utterly surprised and unprepared of what I experienced that night.

From my first second inside Laffline, I was treated to the voices of various homosexual men. As I took my seat near the front of the bar, I watched as each homosexual and transexual(?) took his turn in what I believe to be a form of sexually harassing a guest singer on stage. The acts ranged from asking the man the size of his penis and attempting to caress it, to the transexual showing off his “boobs” to the guest. The rapport was great as the audience laughed to each of the comedians’ antics. After the guest’s second song, he was finally and thankfully asked to take his seat off the stage.

The hosts then engaged in conversation. There was constant banter as the comedians poked fun at each other’s apparent stupidity. The crowd was thoroughly involved as comedians talked to numerous members of the audience. Many of them were foreigners. They were asked different questions about their culture and the answers were used in order to supply the comedians with material to use for their jokes.

Later on, another set of comedians, all of them homo or trans sexual, arrived on stage. Since it was still early in the night, they tried to look for a new guest to sing on stage. While the search was going on, many members of the audience volunteered their friends. This resulted in the hosts finally choosing a random and reluctant guest singer. As the guest came to the stage, she was interviewed about her job, company, and her group of friends. Just like before, each of her answers were used to create new material for the jokes of the stand up comedians. The comedians innocently poked fun at her life and profession. She was not helped when she finally started singing, as it was very apparent why she was reluctant to be chosen to sing on the stage. Her voice was not easy on the ears and it was off-key for the duration of the song. In order to please the hearing of the audience, the hosts sang with her. Each of them was able to show his or “her” surprisingly good proficiency in music. Instead of giving the guest another song to sing such as the singer before her, she was asked to simply take her seat.

Afterwards, the comedians again proceded engaging in conversation. Their conversations were made up of numerous green jokes. One such example was when one host went up to a couple cuddling in their seats. In tagalog, the host asked the guy a series of questions regarding their relationship, culminating in the question, “O, tinira mo na ba siya?” (Have you had sex with your girlfriend already?). As the night went on, the sketches turned more vulgar and risque. The jokes also kind of followed a particular formula, as is expected from typical stand-up comedy.

Although the program was able to conjure a lot of laugh from its audience, I was not as amused. To me, the jokes seemed old and consequently unfunny. The onstage antics also felt too stupid or forced for my liking. Maybe a lifetime of listening to stars such as Dave Chappelle and Jerry Seinfeld have increased my standards with stand-up comedy. Perhaps it was simply my first impression of the hosts all but sexually harassing a guest and hence triggering my homophobia that skewed my entire experience of the night. I ended up leaving early after getting bored in the middle of the program. The P350 entrance fee ended up becoming to expensive for my liking.

Nevertheless, I appreciate having had the experience of going to a comedy bar. Although my experience was not as wonderful and fantastic as others had, it was still great to have been exposed to something I am not accustomed to. Every person has a unique taste in food, clothing, humor, and the like. Judging by the positive reviews of other people, including some of my classmates, going to Laffline gave me a chance to experience and be acclimated to the humor that other people find enjoyable.


Gabriel Nadal



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