Entertainment / Lifestyle / News

What makes a good laugh?

By Nickie Wang/Manila Standard Today

We can’t deny the fact that snide humor can grab attention most especially when the person dropping the punch line is smart enough to know when to properly blurt out sarcastic remarks.

With comedy bars sprouting like mushrooms and stand-up comedians becoming more in demand these days, there seems to be a clamor for a more intelligent stand-up comedy acts as there are people eager to laugh but not to be laughed at as comedians humiliate them rudely on stage.

We don’t need to be insulted for everyone’s laughter, offending someone while putting him or her in the spotlight is not comedy. It is simply improper and offensive.

Members of the best comedy act in town

Members of the best comedy act in town

If it is a Monday evening and you happen to pass by Spicy Fingers at Greenbelt 2, you would hear some people laughing out loud while dining or drinking. Don’t wonder because a group of professional comic artists called Comedy Cartel is onstage performing.

Created by stand-up comedians Tim Tayag and Allan Manalo in November 2007, Comedy Cartel aims to master the art of comedy by practicing and developing the classic monologue form of stand-up and sketch comedy just like what the famous Rex Navarrete does.

These guys are probably the class clowns in their school days cracking spontaneous jokes or perhaps have been making their family members laugh ever since they started to learn how to talk.

The group is, of course, headlined by the quick-witted Tim Tayag. Stated in his bio, Tim started performing stand-up comedy in 1997 in a little café in San Francisco. In a few years, he developed his act and showcased it in world-famous comedy clubs such as Punch Line and Cobbs where seasoned slapstick comedians like Robin Williams, Chris Rock and Drew Carey took their first comedy steps.

In 2002, Tim decided to come home and share his comedic talent to Filipino audience. He has performed and shared the stage with established comedians like Jon Santos, Candy Pangilinan, Giselle Sanchez, among others. Apart from performing, Tim has expanded his career by writing, directing, and hosting an international travel program On Foot on Living Asia Channel. He is also a columnist in several publications.

Just like Tim, other members of Comedy Cartel are actually professional individuals who find stand-up comedy an outlet to share their hilarious experiences with people who would want to be entertained. Alex Calleja, the newest addition to the group, is a senior software engineer; Filipino-Chinese Stanley Chi is a cartoonist and art director by profession; and versatile artist JB dela Cruz does impromptu magic stunts. Other members like Marlon Olivan and Mike Unson are just plain funny guys who incorporate their daily experiences to their skits.

Comedy Cartel also features stand-up comedy competition alumni like Victor Anastacio, Derf Hebrado, Allan Manalo, Red Ollero, Uli Oposa and Ryan Puno.

What makes them worth your time is their ability to make ordinary situations funny. They use simple objects and normal everyday experiences in their skits and sprinkle them with hilarity. They also incorporate remarks that everyone can easily relate to. On top of that, they communicate with the audience and leave them in hysteria.

We learned something when we were invited to see the members of Comedy Cartel perform. One of their followers told us that these comedians already have mastered their skits and punch lines. As a matter of fact, they’ve been selling the same jokes in corporate events and other shows where they were previously invited, so the tendency is you might hear the same jokes they’ve used before. The only difference is that they deliver them in different elaborate gestures depending on the reaction they get from the crowd. Even so, if having a good laugh is what you want, visiting these guys will satisfy your craving.

Comedy Cartel is onstage at Spicy Fingers every Monday until September. For inquiries, call eCircle Entertainment and Management Corp. at 533-9316 or visit http://www.eCircleEntertainment.com.

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