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The Comedic Spectacle

14 May

People love comedy. People love being with other people – especially friends. People love drinking and eating. Now, who wouldn’t love a place that incorporates all of those into one great (happy and gay) experience? Such a place is called a comedy bar and, fortunately, I, together with my classmates and friends, was able to go to one.  Laffline was the name of the bar and how fitting a name it is.

Upon entering the bar, laughter filled the air. What they were laughing to, I had no idea. But, it was enough to make me want to join in with their fun. Shortly afterwards, voices on microphones started speaking, giving off jokes and once again igniting the audience to explode in laughter. This time, I laughed with them. The entertainers were mostly homosexual (“gay”), and their jokes were green but, these just added to the humor and appeal of the place. In essence, the rest of my night was practically spent laughing and drinking. I constantly looked around me and saw that I wasn’t alone. In fact, I wasn’t just not alone but, I was like everyone. But amidst all these, my mind started thinking, as much as people love having a good time with their friends, why does it take a place like Laffline – where you even have to pay just for the sake of entering – for people to gather and have fun like there’s nothing else more valuable in the world?

Rarely do you see people out in the streets or in other public spaces just laughing together and enjoying every moment like how I did that Saturday night. Normally, when people have fun outside, it is in a more subdued manner – and this makes the spectacle of the comedy bar all the more greater than what it seems like. The comedy bar is able to gather groups of people who, ordinarily, would be classified into different types (age, social status, religion, etc.) in the outside or “real” world and who you would hardly see together into one, big, laughing, cult-like crowd who seeks for nothing else but more of the entertainers’ words.

Again, how do comedy bars do it?

The first thing (subconsciously) stripped off people upon entrance to these kinds of places is judgment. People know, in one way or another, what sort of entertainment comedy bars exhibit to their customers and they know that they wouldn’t enjoy the whole experience if they hold on to these judgments they normally have when outside. With judgment gone, the erotic green joke of a gay person that would normally (albeit unfairly) disgust a “straight” guy will turn into a witty, casual, and still green remark that will result in a totally different reaction – honest laughter.

The second thing removed from those who venture into comedy bars is social status. When outside the comedy bar, you can more or less tell who’s well off and those who aren’t. Those well off typically have an air of superiority even while simply walking. Either that or it’s their clothes that do the talking for them. You hardly see them mingling with those who aren’t their “equals” for casual reasons. However, this is not the case inside the comedy bar. Yes, the rich will always have more money to splurge and will probably have more food on their tables compared to those who came with just enough money to get in but, looking at the collective image of the audience, there really is no difference among the people. They are all paying customers. Being rich or poor wouldn’t have any great effects on your reaction to the entertainers’ jokes – you will end up laughing whether you’re rich or poor anyway. Neither will the amount of money you have protect you from being the butt of these jokes.

Another contributing factor to the “magic” of comedy bars to unite all sorts of people is the feel of rebelliousness it gives to those who visit. As stated above, most of the jokes used in comedy bars are green. Yes, we have green jokes that we tell to our friends but, they are nothing compared the kind of jokes they say in comedy bars. They’re the kind of jokes that no one would dare say in public or else face unforgiving criticism and judgment. In fact, green is an understatement. Vulgar and explicit are more appropriate adjectives. Everyone enjoys being daring and rebellious even once in a while and, what better place to do so than in a place that is not only fun but, legally accepted as well?

The comedy bar truly is something more than what it appears to be. As unprestigious as it may be thought of, it has qualities that make it a place like no other. It doesn’t really care what you think as long as it knows that it gives the people what they want – and then some.

– Anton Tioseco

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