The Best of Stand-up Comedy: One Big Night of Laughter with Comedy Manila
When the clock struck a little past 8:00pm, the diverse and eager crowd outside Cinema 5 in Greenbelt 3 were allowed to proceed. As each person shuffled their way in through the cinema doors, so did the ballooning excitement of the novel and witty jokes. Almost all the cinema seats were occupied and the moment that everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived.
The show began with a short indie film entitled Bistado, wherein a man and a woman who are in a relationship resort to playing Pinoy Henyo to discover who the woman has been cheating with; a typical but uniquely Filipino trait- adding a dash of humor to a grave situation. As early as now, our laughter was a clear indication of the hysterics that were to follow.
Eri Neeman began the first set of three stand-up comedians and was the perfect man for the job as he set the stage and the par, both literally and figuratively, for the succeeding stand-up acts. Since his mother was part of the audience, he frequently referred to her as part of his act that showed his true affection towards his mother’s instincts.
Phoon Chi Ho followed with an impressive imitation of the Australian accent and his personal theory on how popular dance steps were ingeniously created. He told us, through several of demonstrations: Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock and the famous Gangnam Style by Psy, that dancing was easy as killing cockroaches (mimicking the movement of our feet when we step).
Nothing can quite trump a Filipino, Alex Calleja, poking fun at his own upbringing as a child, his family, and Filipino evil spirits. Specifically referring to the White Lady at Balete Drive and how idiotic it would be if she was a lady in black since nobody will see her at night.
Andrew Netto opened the second set of the last 3 stand-up comedians by adding yet another layer of cultural variety which the audience was more than willing to grasp and absorb and they did. Being of Indian ancestry, he taught us how to dance like the stars in Vollywood movies through the repetition of daily household chores like taking bath, reaching for something on the shelf and sweeping the floor.
Our very own GB Labrador gave us a brief history lesson, with of course a twist, which sent the audience roaring in laughter. He mentioned how stressful traffic is on EDSA, and how ridiculous the Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) message board reminds drivers not to take drugs and drive.
Last, but definitely not the least, was Rizal van Geyzel, who ended the entire show on a high yet soothing and serene note. He didn’t forget to thank the Filipino for their hospitality great beer and women.
As I checked my watch, 3 hours had already passed, but it definitely didn’t feel like it. Throughout the show, our laughs were continuous and incessant. This just showed the potential of stand-up comedy in Asia, especially in the Philippines. As the audience and were greeted by the comedians, you’d still hear the sound of laughter as they exited the cinema.
For those who took the time from their busy schedule to attend and become a part of this first of more events to come, the Monday blues were most certainly replaced by Monday bliss. We sat, attentively listened, and laughed the night and our stress away, united When In Manila.
Written by: JJ Dominguez