Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Comedy Cartel: Alternative Entertainment Extraordinaire!

.:Comedy Cartel Roundup Yet Again:.

A poster of their Spicy Fingers show...

I had a great time last Thursday night at Mag:Net Cafe Bonifacio High Street, just chilling and enjoying top-notch comedy from the Comedy Cartel yet again. If you’re wondering if I’m getting tired of hearing the same jokes again and again, well, you have to understand that I don’t hear the same jokes again and again. These guys constantly hone their craft, get better and better at delivering jokes, and often even come up with an entirely new and different routine each and every time.

While I was there and talking to the relatively new additions to the Cartel, Noel and Richie, one of the guests who were watching the Comedy Cartel for the first time engaged me in conversation about magic and comedy. I enjoyed the conversation, as I really am a huge fan of stand-up comedy in general, and these guys are, in my humble opinion, the best line-up in the country, hands down. I’ve seen a lot of comedians, but the winning combination you can get from the Cartel is just unbeatable.

With a lineup including Tim Tayag, Mike Unson, Alex Calleja, and Stanley Chi, any given Comedy Cartel performance is definitely a keeper. The crowd was definitely pumped for the performances, what with some people from Maxim, and even several bloggers in the audience.

Last Monday, I was also at their Spicy Fingers show, and I ended up with a front row seat with Stanley’s friend, Andre, and this meant that I ended up becoming picked on by some of the comedians who already knew me. From being told to put my food in the blender if I’m having a hard time eating, to relating a wee bit too much to the statement, “Ang babae, naiihi sa sobrang kilig; ang lalake, kinikilig sa sobrang ihi...” it was quite an amusing night for me, to say the least.

I mean, I’ve already seen Alex Calleja several times, but the minute he directly referred to me and cracked jokes at my expense, I was starstruck. He even asked me a few questions in the middle of his routine (“Kung sumweldo ang lalake ng 15,000 tapos hindi niya ginastos, magkano ang natipid niya?”), and afterwards, said:

“Ibalik nga ang 150 nito! Ang galing, eh. Kabatuhan ko na, mukhang nakikinig talaga sa show ko!”

After the show, the Cartel's manager, an awesome guy named Patrick, thanked me for being at the show again, and joked that considering how often I go to Cartel shows, he's making me an "Honorary Member" of the Comedy Cartel. I found the gesture very touching, because it only goes to show that the Cartel is very appreciative of people who support them. As a professional performer like them albeit in a different field, that mutual respect for each other's craft is something I treasure and appreciate. Note that this simply meant I was on their guestlist, but no, this does not translate into me becoming a part of the Cartel lineup anytime soon. =P Let's make that clear. Hehe.

In any case, I’ve been encouraged by a lot of people to try out open mic nights just for fun, so I’ll give it a shot. I don’t have any plans of being a profesisonal standup comedian (I have my work really cut out for me.), but there’s no harm in having fun and developing my skills at delivery and timing, which can only further enhance my persona as a mental magician comedian. I have nothing but respect for standup comedians and what they do, and will never underestimate the sheer difficulty of being able to go up there and be funny on cue.

If you wanna see the Cartel, they’re performing around 8PM or so, this May 11, at Spicy Fingers in Greenbelt 2. That’s near Italianni’s, so you can’t miss it. They’ll also be performing this coming May 16 at Conspiracy Bar. For more information, feel free to check out E Circle Entertainment’s website for details. There are few better sources for alternative entertainment that come to mind other than Stand-up Comedy... or Professional Magic and Mentalism. ;)

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