Title: "Painfully funny"
“Oh, anu pang inaantay natin?” A fat man asked.
“Ang pagpayat mo di ka ba naiinip?” Vice Ganda replied.
This is just one of the lines of Vice Ganda in his movie, Praybeyt Benjamin. Jokes are sort of “in demand” these days. Many people want to hear a joke or two that’ll make them laugh once in a while.
But what are jokes?
Oxford English Dictionary states that jokes are something said or done to stimulate laughter or amusement which can also be called a jest.
Susan Purdie, author of the book, Comedy: Mastery of Discourse, mentioned that joking is any form of social exchange or event which elicits laughter (Purdie, 3).
Sigmund Freud, quoted in Purdie, stated that “the operation of joking [is a way] to confirm a sense of self” (10) because it enhances self-esteem and diminishes frustration, anxiety and hatred among people (Strean 3).
“[Jokes are] wonderful opportunity to express aggression in a concealed manner” (Strean 33).
Several decades ago, jokes are expressed through exaggerated actions. This kind of jokes is prominent in many stage plays in the late 1800s. This kind of jokes was also seen in different silent movies featured in the early 1900s. Since sound picture hadn’t reached the country yet, jokes were more “kinetic-related” during these times. Mariano Contreras, better known as “Pugo,” a famous Filipino silent film comedian, was one of the early Filipino actors in the field of comedy who expressed jokes through exaggerated actions. Serafin Gabriel, better known as “Apeng Daldal,” famous for his protruding teeth, is another famous Filipino silent film comedian. More silent film Filipino comedians were Andres Solomon (1905-1952) also known as “Togo,” Manuel Silos and Monang Carvajal (1898-1980).
Decades passed and these exaggerated actions were fused with offensive statements forming a new “form” of jokes.
This kind of jokes slowly became more famous as the picture with sound reached Manila in 1910. Jokes became “kinetic-auditory”.
During these times, more Filipino comedians joined the film industry. Some of the famous comedians were Panchito Alba (1925-1995) who became famous as the side-kick of Dolphy but was also able to navigate away from the shadow of the Comedy King.
Amparo Custodio (1918-1993), better known as Chichay, a vaudeville to film actress comedienne, is also one of the comics that became famous using this kind of jokes.
But one of the “more” famous ones was Dolphy.
Rodolfo Vera Quizon (1928-2012), known by almost everyone in the Philippines by the name Dolphy and was titled Comedy King, starred in not just ten but many movies in the history of Philippine filmography.
Some of his famous shows were John En Marsha (1971) and Home Along Da Riles (1992) which aired right after John En Marsha.
As time went on, jokes kept on “evolving”. From “kinetic” and “kinetic-auditory” jokes, jokes became less kinetic and more appealing to the people’s sense of hearing and emotions –trangressive.
Transgressive jokes are jokes that are obscene and are often offensive. These are the jokes that use other peoples’ disabilities and deformities as subjects.
In an ABS-CBN show entitled Wowowee, two comedian contestants performed onstage. They were impersonating different famous personalities but the last portion of their performance gained more laughter from the audience.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Mongolia!” the first comedian exclaimed.
The second comedian turned around and began shaking with rolled eyes trying to portray people with Mongoloid Down Syndrome that Filipinos usually refer to as “mongoloids”. Laughter conquered the studio.
Jose Marie Viceral, widely known as Vice Ganda, on the other hand, is the most famous comedian of today’s generation who recently got caught up in an issue regarding the use of transgressive jokes. In his concert, I-Vice Ganda Mo’Ko! sa Araneta, he made a fat multi-awarded anchor-journalist,...
Cited: Francisco, Butch. Remembering Dead Stars. Philippine Headline News Online. 1 November 2003.
Web. 13 October 2013. < http://www.newsflash.org>.
Purdie, Susan. Comedy : The mastery of Discourse / Susan Purdie. n.p: New York ; London : Harvester
Wheatsheaf, 1993., 1993. Print.
Sorell, Walter. Facets Of Comedy / By Walter Sorell. n.p: New York : Grosset &Dunlap , , 1972.
Strean, Herbert S. Jokes :Their Purpose And Meaning / Herbert S. Strean. n.p.: Northvale, N.J. : J.
Aronson , c1993, 1993. Print
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