Going to comedy bars, especially for our generation, isn’t really the thing today. Never have we been invited to go to these kinds of places so our first visit there was mainly because of our Sociology Class. As first timers, our initial feelings were both excited and afraid. Excited because this will be our first time and every first is a memorable one. We also heard stories about comedy bars. They say most hosts are gays and the customers seated at the front were most likely to be bullied. We were afraid because we didn’t really know what to do there.
We arrived in the place around 9:30 and there weren’t really much people. The place was only a quarter full since places like these becomes crowded around 12:00. The audience in the comedy bar had different kinds of people. There were teenagers like us and there were very old people but most of the audience were in their mid-thirties. We could say that for the mid thirties people, this was their thing. We noticed a peculiar trend, most of the members of the audience were sitting at the back, only a brave few sat in front.
We were assisted by the waiters of the establishment. They asked how many we are in a group and they picked a table for us. We weren’t able to get to choose a place to sit since each table had corresponding number of chairs. When one of our friends arrived with someone, we weren’t allowed to get another chair. They had a systematic seat plane in the place so we were asked to transfer to another table. Sadly for us, we were asked to sit in the table near the stage. This made us felt somehow uneasy because we might be one of the targets of the hosts. We also can’t turn around chairs because the waiter told us that the chairs should always be faced in front. The seating arrangement in this establishment was seriously strict. This is because they try to squeeze in as much costumers in the given place and given the tight spaces. There is a seat plan so that there would always be space to move and walk around since waiters have to serve and take orders from all the tables.
Another thing that we noticed is that customers were forced to order and are encouraged to order more. We guessed that they profited mainly from the food that the customer orders. There was even a joke from the hosts that when the waiters were more than the customers, the waiters had to pay for the entrance fee. We would notice that there a lot of manpower needed in this type of business. There is the bouncer, waiters, cooks, dj, parking people, hosts, and many more. Obviously the entrance fee isn’t enough to pay all these people so they had to increase the prices of the food and drinks to the most reasonable amount in order for them to get a profit.
Now, when we were given our seats the show had already begun. There were three comedians on stage, two front men, or rather women, and the remaining one stands in the background and just mainly throws comments on the side. They were all picking on each other, making rude but clever remarks about the audience members in front; there was a particular member of the audience, an adorable old man, whom they made subject of their jokes all night. Afterwards, they proceeded to move further back to the audience and eventually reached the area where the Ateneo students were seated. The comedians asked, actually forced a student, a girl, to sing in their intermission.
Come intermission time, they called on a member of the audience, a man in his mid-twenties, a dancer in the glorieta who recently just got laid off according to him, to sing on stage. In the middle of his song, the comedians went off the stage and another set of comedians stepped in, again with the same set up, two front men and one side commenter, the latter an actual woman, or so I think. They then proceeded to play out their show. This new set of comedians, like the one before, targeted the same old man as the subject of their jokes, and some of their jokes were even reused, like their restaurant tablecloth bit.
After a series of jokes and slapstick, intermission time has come again, and the Atenean girl was called to go up on the stage. Again the same procedure was followed, she was asked by the comedians about her basic information, like what’s her name, course and etc. then the comedians proceeded to ridicule her posture and her speech pattern. When it was time for her to sing, she suddenly folds claiming that she couldn’t sing, the comedians prodded her to sing but she wouldn’t, she instead calls on her friend to sing on her behalf. Her friend then goes up the stage, he was asked by the hosts if they had a relationship, which he denies, and then the hosts proceeded to call him gay. After the all the teasing, the hosts then let the guy sing, which he does rather magnificently.
After the intermission, there were a series of performance composed of mainly songs and dance, and a little bit of slapstick humor. One of the most notable performances in the series was one of the performers, a transvestite’s singing. What made this performance was that the performer was singing in two voice pitches, a man’s voice and a woman’s voice in one body, and he or she was doing it rather skillfully. Another notable performance was lip sync. The performer was dressed in a black dress, loaded with fake breasts. In the middle of his lip sync, he suddenly unbuttons his dress revealing the fake breasts and the proceeded to jiggle it around. Afterwards he then lifts his skirt up then he pulled out a bottle from his underwear, which he then uses to squirt water all around the audience. After the performances, the more well-known comedians then started showing up. Sadly, we didn’t have the chance to watch their performances for it was already getting late and we had to go home.
Overall, our comedy bar experience turned out to be a blast, Despite the minor setbacks we had at first, the comedy bar was able to fulfill its main goal, to make us laugh and to entertain us. But the night wasn’t just about fun and laughter, we learned a thing or two by observing the environment of the comedy bar. We could say that despite a thing of the past, it still had a great impact on its audience whether young or old. We were glad that we had a chance to have this experience.
-Gudani, Roland Joseph & Chua, Patrick
-SA21 – A