Laugh Out Loud. That is the main goal of entertainers in a comedy bar– to make their customers laugh out loud at all costs. Most of the time, they do this by mockery and teasing, even though it is often at their own expense. Sad as what they do may seem, these people bring about joy and happiness to their customers as they joke the night away.
Not a single customer leaves the comedy bar feeling heavy hearted and melancholy. It’s almost impossible, whether you believe it or not. I know this because last May 5, 2012, my Sociology/Anthropology 21 class went to Laffline, a comedy bar in Timog Avenue, for a field trip.
Before going to Laffline, I received a phone call that made me feel like the loneliest person in the world. After having watched these comedians entertain me and my friends, I left Laffline feeling as though my problems have gone and the phone call I received was fictional. Soon enough, I was back to being my normal happy self. All thanks to the comedians at Laffline.
Admittedly, I had expectations before going to Laffline. I expected the comedians to be male homosexuals or, for lack of a better term, gays. Let us all face it; gay people are expected to be good at making others laugh. We expect them to be verbally adept and quick-witted, among other stereotypes. True and amazing enough, they have lived up to the expectations because I have never met a gay who I found boring. Hihi.
Going back to the topic…
30 minutes after I entered the comedy bar, I found myself laughing hysterically with a few of my classmates and friends. My expectations of them were right! They were all truly funny! To add to that, their costumes were so bonggacious as well! Their outfits were really colorful and sparkly, and I believe they chose to wear those because of what they do. Like what Ricardo Abad had said in his essay “The Clothes We Wear”, maybe these comedians wore those outfits partly because that is the kind of people that they are, partly because it is what they want. But those are not just the reasons because external factors—the society—expect or dictate them to wear those things. Whether they like it or not, that is part of their job.
On a lighter note, the comedians made my tummy ache for 2 straight hours. They were like machine guns firing jokes and pick-up lines to the audience of different ages nonstop! Although most of the people there were adults (30’s or 40’s?), the audience laughed in unity. Everyone was able to relate; whether one is a senior citizen or a teenager, or whether one is part of the elites or the middle class, one would surely laugh at the jokes. Luckily, their jokes were really funny and nobody got bored. There is always something to cackle at and I am not even kidding!
Nevertheless, I noticed that the comedians willingly allowed themselves to be perceived as stupid and lacking in common sense in spite of the comical atmosphere.
I guess this is because they always have their main goal in mind—to make us LOL.
One specific instance was when one of the comedians asked his fellow entertainer to define a certain word. Super Tekla, the comedian being teased in the picture below, insisted that he knew the word; however, no one believed him so he ended up joking about how “unfair” the word is because he doesn’t know what it means! Another was when they were talking to customers (or foreigners) who were in front. The comedians really made it obvious that they were trying hard to fluently speak in English. They exchanged harsh and immensely offensive words with one another, which we all found comical and amusing in a weird but very understandable way. Like I said a while ago, the comedian made us all laugh even at their own expense, and perhaps, it isn’t quite a sad thing.
I also observed that these comedians had a lot of obscene jokes. Although morally offensive and disgusting, most of us still laughed. None took the jokes seriously and I think it is because the society had accepted the fact that jokes made at a comedy bar are meant to entertain, not offend. Also, I think those who frequent comedy bars, adults mostly, are expected to get these kinds of jokes and take them very maturely.
In my point of view, the comedians just wanted to make us feel light, whether it is because they get paid to do so or not.
I find this fact very moving simply because I think they sacrifice their own dignity on a daily basis for the sake of bringing happiness and great pleasure to people they don’t even know! I thank them for starting my week right (just right before my birthday). It isn’t an easy job to make everyone of different ages and status in life L-O-L and I truly idolize them for that. Also, if we think about it, don’t comedians make us realize the faults and imperfections of our society’s system? They do this by mockery, and it is quite funny and surreal when you realize what they’re trying to do.
Comedians are like anti-depressant pills without side effects. They amuse and bring a lighter mood to everyone even if they get little, and then completely dissolve in the process. Comedians have a purpose in the society. If it weren’t for them, it wouldn’t be that much fun in the Philippines. After all, laughter is the best medicine, isn’t it?