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 oking 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. Serafln 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 omedienne, 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. (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 todays 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, Jessica Soho, a subject for his “gang-rape” Jokes, using her huge body mass as the center of laughter. “In fairness, ang puti puti ni ate pero ang kili-kili ang itim! parang may kalmot ni Wolverine… ” is another Joke from Vice Ganda as seen in his show, Gandang Gabi Vice, last October 13, 2013. These kind of Jokes are not only apparent in TV shows and movies but in everyday lives. Stand-up comedians like Allan K. , Ai-ai Delas Alas, Pokwang, John Lapus, Pooh, Chokoleit, Ate Gay and many of the like, children in school, officemates and even professionals like doctors and lawyers use transgressive Jokes. People who look different from others by skin color, size, height and other deformities are vulnerable subjects of laughter.
These Jokes affect people’s emotions, thus degrading their sense of self-worth and self-esteem and diminishing their self-confidence. However, despite the possible effects of continuous use of transgressive Jokes, many people, private or public still accept this kind of Jokes. Vice Ganda’s concert, I-Vice Ganda Mo’ko sa Araneta last May 17, 2013 had a full- house in Smart Araneta Coliseum which had around 16, 500 seating capacity -a proof that people enjoy hearing this kind of Jokes -transgressive and obscene. One possible reason is that these transgressive “insults” are dressed as Jokes.
Thus, “the obvious effect involved in laughing at someone or something has been ‘brought IoW or degraded (Purdie, 59)”. Ngipin palang dehado na! ” is what Vice Ganda exclaimed while holding on to a man’s Jaw showing his deformed teeth to the screen (Gandang Gabi Vice). Afterwards, he hugged him and said, “Joke lang kuya. ” It’s an example of an insult dressed as a joke. In instances like these, people expect the subjects to not take it seriously because “implicit transgression has been transmitted” (Purdie, 13) from the comedian to the audience.
Another thing is because Jokes are not “held within the bounds of the law’ (Purdie, joke, it is no longer under the control of the law which is also one reason why bullies re never comprehended. Because of Jokes being not bounded by the law, comedians “[use Jokes] to discharge sexual aggressive and other forbidden thoughts and fantasies without worrying about being punished (Strean xii)”. When Vice Ganda stated his Joke regarding gang rape about Jessica Soho, he knew the subject may or may not react to it but he still pursued the Joke.
There is a probability that it is because he knew that it will be accepted by the people and that law wouldn’t intervene. Many Filipinos think that to laugh is a must because of the saying, “laughter is the best medicine”. That is also why Jokes, though transgressive, are widely accepted by the Filipino public. People consider these Jokes “opportunities to play, to regress, to depart from the demands of reality and to enjoy the child in ourselves and in others” (Strean, 3). But what makes it funny?
Delivery is a factor of every Joke’s humor. Many comedians do not present the same joke all over again to the public. No one would watch GandangGabi Vice every Sunday if the same set of Jokes is to be expected from Vice Ganda. Many stand-up comedians as well, prepare a new set of Jokes every presentation and if ever a Joke would be epeated, there is quite a long interval in between. This contributes to the “surprise” factor of Jokes. “It isn’t a Joke without surprise (Strean 26). “O! Instant sandok na Oh! Vice Ganda said referring to the man with a very long face (It’s Showtime). Notice that the Joke mentioned above is Just a five- word Joke but it was able to gain so much laughter from the audience. Length is also a factor in creating good and funny Jokes. The longer the Joke, the longer time it is to process it increasing the risk of not being funny. Therefore, the shorter the Joke, the better. The effective use of metaphors -a comparison between two unrelated things- in Jokes is also a major factor. Masarap talaga ang saging! Basta malaki… ,” This sexual Joke is an example of a metaphoric comparison. Many comedians have a very creative way of using metaphors to transmit the humor to the audience. An effective use of this will make it easier for the audience to capture the thought of any joke. After all, it is all in the “matter of skill of delivery (Purdie, 36). Despite the non-stop use of transgressive Jokes by comedians of different kinds, the Filipino eople still accept and enjoy their Jokes.
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. Print. Strean, Herbert S. Jokes :Their Purpose And Meaning / Herbert S. Strean. n. p. : Northvale, NJ. : J, Aronson , C1993, 1993. pnnt