Comedy has its definition founded upon the concept of humor. It implies fun and happiness as a result of the comic incidents shown thereof. Comedy, as a genre in entertainment, has its progressive development in each area or region where it is being employed. In the Philippines for example, comedy has been a mainstay even the early stages of the Philippine Entertainment industry.
Show business in the Philippines has been a very integral part of the pop culture that almost everyone who has access to certain kinds of media can relate. And as the population is composed of generally younger generation, the GP or General Patronage shows or movies are the ones which are given more circulation as compared to other programs. These shows are mainly composed of TV programs, movies, plays and such other forms of media in the comedy genre, the Philippine Comedy genre.
Philippine comedy has its roots from the Sarswela or short plays which involves witty one-liners, funny situations and of course, slapstick comedy. As time passed, developments in technology and film gave rise to sitcoms in television and full length films for the silver screen. As the demand for light and humorous plots didn’t wane, Philippine comedy thrived and even produced household names like those of Pugak, Dolphy, Tito, Vic and Joey, and others. The continuous patronization of the comedic antics of such actors gave people the entertainment they ask for, over and over again.
As such that time came when these comedic antics became part of a formula. A formula in the sense that each and every project being produced in the name of Philippine comedy are bordering from being redundant to just plain recycled and too predictable. A lot of the projects for Philippine comedy, TV sitcoms and films alike, are of recycled materials, that people tend to just guess what will happen next.
Take this for example; a group of young protagonists will take on several short time jobs. They then finish the jobs and present the result to their clients only to find out that they did the opposite. A classic example is the fire-water situation wherein our heroes, being handymen, fix a client’s kitchen. However, the faucet produces fire and the stove sprinkles out water. Now this plot has been recycled over and over again but producers and writers don’t quite seem to understand that an old joke wouldn’t work anymore. Other situations include the heroes, being poor, would find their love interests to be rich, beautiful girls. These girls would then be kidnapped and held in an abandoned warehouse. The heroes then save the ladies and take on several armed med only with their wits and some two-by-fours. After they rescue the ladies, they’d walk out of the warehouse as police sirens fill the background. In every such movie, the police always come last. Then, the compulsory celebration takes place. Either they do it in a park or the beach, it doesn’t matter, as long as they do a production number, singing and dancing, then jumping in the air, freeze-frame!
That is a comedy formula in Philippines. Nowadays, such formula is still being used, though more up-to-date materials are being thrown in every once in a while. These materials are those influenced by the technological changes of the time. They could be computer related or those jokes coming from SMS messages circulating around. Nonetheless, their content are still those of old.
Philippine Comedy as a genre has come a long way from being black and white to technicolor and then to digital. Unfortunately however, the development has remained to that of its outside appearance. Its core and elements remain to that of what the Kings of comedy used back in the day, where a hit on the head, or someone falling off a ladder was considered to be funny.