Bali's stand-up comedy community
Prolonged traffic jams, dare-devil motorists, incessant barrages of bad news launched by the media and the stupidity of our elected public officials who pocket the state’s cash and insist that they are entitled to do so or use their smartphones to do ludicrous things, like watch porn or send text messages to divorce their wives, are more than enough to send any civilian on a bloody rampage. Thank God that firearm possession is illegal for civilians here or we could have witnessed the bloodier version of Angry Birds.
Wiser groups of people transform their frustration and seething anger into the best medicine in the world: laughter. One of these is Standup Indo Bali, a community of local comedians that celebrated its first anniversary on Nov. 20.
To mark that important occasion, the community organized a stand-up night on Dec. 1 at a hotel in Denpasar. The title was Quantum of Laughter, thus, naturally the participating comedians, locally called “comic”, all took to the stage in perfectly pressed suits and ties to evoke the image of 007.
To be frank, none of the comedians, four locals and two imports from Jakarta, could match the rough, ultra-machismo appearance of Daniel Craig or the aristocratic flamboyance of Pierce Brosnan. Not even close.
Yet, by the end of their performances, they had succeeded in doing what both Craig and Brosnan have failed to do: making beautiful ladies laugh until tears of happiness drenched their beautiful dresses. While 007 generally left the ladies satisfied, these comedians left them glowingly happy and ready to embrace the world with a smile. That was quite an achievement for a man.
Standup Indo Bali currently has 45 registered members, of which 15 are active members, which could mean that the remaining members are inactive, passive or simply have found more interesting things to do, like swimming in shark-infested waters or selling magic mushrooms in Kuta or supporting dangdut star Rhoma Irama in his presidential bid.
The community organizes Open Mic night every two weeks at Veranda Café in east Denpasar and a stand up event every three months.
- Photos by Anggara Mahendra