I never thought that going to a comedy bar would be such an adventure, and going to one was never really something that I would have planned to do. But on May 05, 2012, me and some of my SA classmates journeyed to the land they call “Laffline”.
The show was scheduled to start at nine in the evening, but even at quarter to ten, the comedy bar was not even close to filled up. The entrance fee was a bit costly and the security people were a bit too rude for such an easy going audience. A few minutes after we got in, this was like around nine-thirty, the show started to get a bit wild with jokes. I slowly began to understand the moldy attitude of the men in charge of keeping things in order.
The jokes were not the kind of jokes a person would want to hear if it was about himself, especially with a high rank in society, but the comedians warned the audience ahead of time that the show will go that way. So it seemed like the entertainers needed more protection than we did. Audiences at live comedy performances are expected to get a bit unruly and distracted. When people get unruly, so does the arrangement of chairs, which makes moving about a hassle and when people get too into the performances, they begin to forget to purchase drinks or snacks. So they had a rule “bawal tumambay”, so everybody had to order, or they had to leave and “bawal ang mga pikon”, people who cannot take jokes cannot stay in bar and “equality” is followed when in the bar. Whether you are somebody in the government or as poor as a duck, you are as equal as everybody else and will be treated like everybody else.
The entrance fee became much more reasonable to me after the show, because my money was all worth it. I laughed too much, that I just couldn’t laugh anymore. I felt so deprived of laughter, but it was alright, the comedians were hot anyways. They had to take a beating of jokes from their own fellow comedians, so that gives everybody the right to be made fun of too. But of course, if you’re lucky, the jokes will most probably be about you.
The bar was dark and simple while the stage was bright and beautiful. This obviously was a strategy in keeping the audience’s attention on the performance and less attention to other guests and personal insecurities. The parking lot had valets, this could be one marketing strategy of Laffline in order to keep their customer’s cool headed and free from the worry of looking for a parking space and parking their cars. Getting to Laffline could be a hassle to people because of the traffic or because of directions; so obviously, the management would not want their parking spaces to be another reason that might discourage people to come. The good air-conditioning was very helpful in keeping heads cool and preventing sweat from stinking up the place. Though the place was a bit cramped, it was probably a strategy in getting more people to laugh when they find out other people find it funny, it might just add to effectiveness of a joke.
I was expecting to see more well-off people in the bar since the entrance was a bit expensive and the travel is a bit far from other places. But from my judgment, there were all sorts of people, the simple, the rich, “balikbayan” people, and stories were even shared about celebrities and big time government officials going there. So people must really find their money to be worth the quality of entertainment they receive from the comedians at Laffline.
Majority of the entertainers were homosexual, and a part of the group of them were transsexuals. Then there was this lady performer who was not really that entertaining or even funny at all, she was just there. But the lady-dudes were as funny as a hobo on crack or something. I have never witnessed live humor as great at theirs. Some of them did not even look like guys at all, they had the work done so well, but when they started talking, it was all too obvious. Looking like ladies but talking like men made their jokes so much funnier. Though, I bet those “ladies” with raspy voices had better casual voices in person, but they gave those up for the laughs.
The jokes were a lot about sexual experiences, sexual intercourses, sexuality, age, race, ethnicity, and pretty much adult or vulgar humor. But I was surprised to see children there, but they would get the jokes for sure. Most of the jokes were offensive to the people being talked about but a lot of the jokes had a lot of truth in them. What could be funnier than the truth? Everybody must have appreciated the kind of humor that was performed or else everyone would have been laughing like angry chimps in a tiny cage..
The night for me ended too soon. The bar finally filled up with people by around eleven and by the looks of it, they might have left as late as three in the morning. The jokes were getting better and better, but I had to leave with my friend who had a car or I would have hitched a ride with one o f the comedians. That would have given my night a perfect ending (just kidding). I went home with so much respect for stand up comedians and for the people who laughed at those evil jokes. Not everybody has a good sense of humor, but it’s like the comedians casted some sort of “don’t stop laughing” spell on everybody. If you have a sense of humor, and can take jokes and understand Filipino and other Philippine dialects, then Laffline is a great place to relax and have a good Laff.
George Christopher Q. Goking, SA21: Section I
May 13, 2012.