Humor the armor of wounded people

THEN & NOW - Norma Japitana -

THEN: Catch a Flashback on Pinoy Humor. Written Feb. 3, 1988, 22 years ago.

Pinoy humor is different. Some humorist can make fun of a sordid situation. But it is mainly because we are a happy people and hate to impose our tears on others or we try to smile even at situations that pain us. Like the audience laughed when Mitch Valdes said in her spiel that Butz Aquino is now head of KBC. She later spelled it out to mean as “Kapisanan ng mga bayaw ni Cory.”

Gary Lising asks: What do prostitute and a watermelon vendor have in common?

Answer: Magpapakwan. This Gary, he can be clean at times.

At the National Press Club on Press Freedom Week, newsman saw several lechons being brought down the same escape hatch that Satur Ocampo used when he made his great escape. Remembering that, one newsman said: Stop the lechons, before they go to the mountains.

People are wary of naked ambition. But if you are funny in your ambitions you can easily get a way with it. Perhaps that’s why Tito Sotto got all those votes. Chiquito, too.

Dolphy is known for the level of comedy along the line of toilet humor. But he induces his audience to laughter with the simplicity of his character. In John & Marsha, his long running weekly comedy sitcom, he is the hapless husband trying to survive in the city of man. He is poor but content and his ambitions is just-so. Still, he finds time to get involved in other people’s lives, to help and be part of the scene. We thank our lucky stars that in this situation he can still point to us something worth laughing at.

Dolphy’s humor is effective because there is pathos in it. He is the funny-sad man. He can play a joke on himself and people understand his naivete. He is simple and yet well-meaning. He is the modern-day Juan de la Cruz.

Tessie Tomas carries on with her political spiels that gives out an amazing understanding of political personalities and their psyche. It has been a long way from her weather spiel as Amanda Pineda. Her popular act on the Marcoses has developed a new subculture of humor audience making it the longest running comedy act from Manila to Hawaii and several cities in the US.

Now comes heavyweight Donya Buding, a creation of scriptwriter Joey Reyes from the person of Nanette Inventor, a great singer who has latched on to comedy.

Being a professional gives her a different dimension. But her previous acts were mostly on the vagaries of the rich through her “Donya Buding” act which mimics the fat Donya Victorina in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. Lately, she, too, has branched out into the realm of political humor with her “Buding for Mayor” routine.

One thing with political comedy is its timing. Where before it was audacious and even “patriotic” for Tessie Tomas to make fun of Imelda and Ferdinand, we discovered that her jokes on them were no longer funny since they are now over there in Hawaii and considered passé. A classic case of Filipino mentality: You don’t hit someone when he is down. That’s why all the jokes now are about Cory, the present administration and members of the Cojuangco family. We do get enough variations on these themes just like the creative Marcos jokes during those days.

Bert Marcelo has his own kind of humor: Provincial and anti-city. He makes jokes on himself as the provincial guy lost in the city but in the process he shows us that the provinciano is the one with the real Filipino heart and values. You can take the guy out of the country but not the country out of the guy.

The NOW: April 25, 2010.

With the election season, the jokes are back in full force. Willie Nepomuceno had a full house at the Music Museum with his take on political personalities. Willie has become a favorite copy cat with expert makeup and props for his act. So far his expertise is one of a kind.

The script of Mitch is world class. She refers to episodes known by people of a certain age and they follow her to the Captain’s bar of the Mandarin whenever she is the featured artist.

Nanette travels the world with her Pinoy humor. Her presence in the Kamustahan tour ensures a full packed audience. She is a genius when it comes to connecting with the homesick Pinoys abroad. Her humor is more masa and it hits the spot instantly.

Bert is dead. He died after a heartbreaking loss in election. His own style of comedy died with him.

The good news recently is that Felix Co of Maxi Media has put together the talents of Mitch, Pilita Corrales, Nanette and Cynthia Patag for a rollicking act that will be most welcome. As a wise man once said: Humor is the armor of a wounded people.











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