Stand-up Comedy

About a few weeks ago I posted a poll on Facebook regarding who’s your favorite stand-up comedian of all time should be. It just struck me that other than the regular people I hang out with, which happens to be the people I’ve been hanging out with for the last 12 years or so, I don’t have a single clue on how other people view stand-up comedy.

This post is actually only valid for Indonesians because I wanna know how Indonesians or at least the Jakarta people value stand-up comedy, which, to me is the highest form of comedy skill.

In a nutshell, stand-up uses a punchline and sketch comedy uses impersonations. One other thing is prop-comedies (through the use of properties).I did some research and it further strengthens my opinion on why stand-up comedy is the highest form of comedy skill.

First of all, stand-up comedy is way different than telling a joke. That part, we have as humans. But a stand-up comedy encompasses a wider range of comedy but it’s also the most raw of form. Although many stand-up comedians nowadays also use body movements, gestures, etc to describe their jokes, they’re still considered stand-ups rather than sketch comedians.

But what I wanna highlight is how does Indonesian people value stand-up comedy?

We’ve seen it, the comedy shows being aired in TV on any regular day. Everything is still slapstick. It’s like watching a really lousy remake of Buster Keaton’s movies or even the legendary Charlie Chaplin. Slapstick has reached it’s peak, only a handful of geniuses are able to expand it even further (i.e. Rowan Atkinson), but even they are becoming boring by the minute.

That is why I need your comment on this topic. How well do you know stand-up/sketch/props comedy? And if you do know AND value the genre, what do you think about the future of stand-up comedy in Indonesia?

Why I ask you this is because I think Indonesia is loosing some of the best comedies the world can offer. Okay, I do have to admit that we’re not the only country that doesn’t have that stand-up comedy culture. British stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard said in one of his stand-up comedies that France also doesn’t have a stand-up comedy culture. He did a gig at Paris and nobody understood the jokes or even the punchline.

All in all, need your comments on this one.


5 thoughts on “Stand-up Comedy

  1. just came across this post and i am saddened to say to you that indonesians in general aren’t exposed enough to the real concept of comedy sketches (i know you’re referring to the likes of SNL or Carol Burnett Show). sure they’ve tried it at local tv shows like extravaganza or some sort, but i believe they don’t really nail it because they don’t like short jokes and feel like they need to um… explain the jokes all the time. and that’s not entirely their fault because the tv execs say ‘the majority of indonesian people won’t understand ‘smart’ jokes. this is enough to make me quit watching local tv and switched to cable.

    i’m also a stand-up comedy lover and again, saddened to say that stand-up comedy has *pardon me to be so blunt* no future in our country. why, because people here likes to ‘tell stories’ more than ‘making a joke out of some stuff’. it is in fact really hard to write up witty jokes in bahasa indonesia as our language has so many different layers of respect (example: saya, aku, daku, gue, aye… and that’s just for a simple “i”.) in english, you can call the elders with just ‘you’, which in bahasa indonesia, ‘you’ is already divided into: anda, kamu, or elu. and no we can’t go ‘kamu’ with a 40 year-old when we’re still a 29 year-old who ‘stands up doing comedy’.

    ah, i’m sorry for taking up too much space in this comment box. it’s just that your post is thought-provoking and it actually has been a lament of mine after years of attempts in writing “indonesian comedy”.

    we should just stick to writing blogs, i think. because unless you can convince the tv execs to at least start trusting the viewers just a little… i think we’re still stuck at being funnily witty only on blogs.

    thanks 😉

  2. couldn’t agree with you more i guess.. maybe for an idea the local jakarta channel could go for a segment on stand-up comedy? my friend actually said he saw mad tv on one of the national channels. but it airs in like two in the morning or something..

    anyways, appreciate the comment! thanks for visiting! ^^

  3. dude, i’ve given up hope even on smarter local channels. to me, as long as youtube is around, i’m saved. hahah 😀 thanks for the reply!

  4. hey, thanks for the visit and comment, thenamman! i’m currently living in Indonesia and a full-pledged Indonesian at heart and soul. i’d actually looove to go to an international comedy festivals, but being not exactly endowed with the budget necessary to make the travel, I find myself resorting to youtube and the likes, hehe.. 😛 plus we don’t have like a comedy house here in Indonesia as far as I know..

    but i guess my main point is that Indonesians lack the courage to actually accept a relatively new kind of comedy, in a sense that it is fairly new in Indonesia. we’re sorta improving a bit with comedy sketches airing in one of the more “modern” national channel, albeit their fair resemblance (if not to say copied) to the kelsey grammar sketch show.. but it’s still an improvement i guess..

    again, thanks for visiting! hope you liked what you read 🙂

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