Thursday, September 10, 2015

ARTICLE | Why Is Philippine Comedy Funny?

Being stuck at home, one normally finds himself in front of the boob tube. There are only two things that appeal to me on the program menu- NEWS or FILMS. 

Lola Ni Dora
I've never been fond of non sense entertainment shows, so Showtime or Eat Bulaga do not really interest me, with the exception of the iconic Lola Ni Dora in the AlDub kalyeserve. Other than that, I rather turn on the radio.

So this afternoon, as I was surfing the channels, I found this old movie of Dolphy entitled Espadang Patpat.

It was a story about a long lost son of a dying millionaire, and the rest of the plot is pretty much predictable where there are villains, side kicks of the protagonist and the ending always and must be a happy ending.

Dolphy, dubbed as king of Philippine comedy
Although the film is very old, I was surprised to find myself laughing at the silliest jokes of the film. I'm not quite sure if it's because of Dolphy, or the punch lines. But definitely, I have realized that old comedy movies are still effective.

But the bigger question is- why after all these years, these old films are still funny?

I may be entirely wrong, but some factors that make a scenario funny is when-

1. It involves a slapstick joke
2. It involves toilet humor
3. It exaggerates the accepted norm
4. It challenges the status quo
5. It is unexpected
6. It is extraordinary but ridiculously extraordinary
7. It is portrayed by an established comedian character who is expected to deliver something funny and witty

In the Philippines, some of the topics that average viewers would find funny are-

1. Gays and anything homosexual (e.g. Vice Ganda)
2. Dumb people (e.g. Ruffa Mae Quinto)
3. People hitting each other (e.g. Wally & Jose)
4. People with disability & physical deformities (e.g. Dagul)
5. Poor people who do not know social etiquette (e.g. Rogelio, Rogelio, Rogelio)
6. Flamboyant people (e.g. John Lapus)
7. Mistakes committed by people in public (e.g. Dora (Eugene Domingo))

I cannot comment further on the social aspect of the Philippines, but these 7 points I have mentioned are what I normally observe from the comedy films & programs.

Certainly, there exists in our society the undeniable machismo and discrimination toward people who are differently abled. I highly doubt if this society will ever grow mature.

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