Humour. A Great way to start the year!
I had planned all week to write a very serious piece today entitled "The Four-Year old Prostitute", but I experienced something on Saturday night that has put me in a good mood. I shall have to leave the serious piece until next week when I can do it justice.
My wife urged me to experience something that is truly Spanish, an evening of humour and comedy monologues. This took place in the town of L'Eliana, and was presented in four acts and called 100% Cadiz. The standup comedians were Ismael Beiro, an ex-Big Brother winner; Vincente Ruidos; Toni Rodriguez, and three friends who presented comedy in music who call themselves "Coplas de Mostrador."
I was reluctant to go because as an English person studying Spanish I knew my command was insufficient to appreciate fully the humour, but I went anyway. To really appreciate this you have to be Spanish because the material is presented at full speed, and is a mix of political and daily life experiences, using colloquialisms and street smart talk. At one point, one of the comedians asked, "are there any English people here?" That was met with a laugh. When my wife piped up, "Sí!" the people next to us said, " Joder!" We were the only English people there.
As is the custom here in Spain, whereever the parents go, so go their children. That put a bit of a damper on some of the material we might have heard, but I pride myself on having picked up on some of the jokes. For the student of Spanish the two last areas to conquer are the telephone and jokes.
It helped that this group's reputation preceeded them, because the audience was pumped up for a good evening. the only time that things got a little quiet was when reference was made to the two political parties, the PP and the PSOE, but the comedian made it clear he was only messing with us and the moment passed.
First up was Ismael who did a great job in opening the show, and he was followed by Los Coplas de Mostrador, who included a somewhat serious song to a Hambone. Only in Spain, where Jamon de Serrano is worshipped as a diety would that have happened. Then, after a half-hour break came Vicente Ruidos, who I credited with being a total professional. He was able to include his own created voice sound effects, delivered a great monologue complete with sound to underscore the point he was making, and he never laughed at any of his own jokes. That, I think is the hallmark of the true professional.
Toni Rodriguez, who calls himself "El Gaditano" acted as M.C. and after Vicente concluded his bit and Toni returned to the stage I thought it was to wrap up for the night. After all, it was one am
in the morning. No! Toni was there to entertain us in a 45 minute monologue that had the audience laughing continuously as he rapid-fired one joke after another. I have never seen that happen before, and most comedians would give their eye teeth for the ability to do that.
When finally it was over, I saw a group of very weary people whose face muscles were just to exhausted to even smile. I missed most of the actual material but I certainly appreciated the stagecraft and the oportunity to see a side of Spanish life that can only be understood with an adequate command of the language.
It wasn't supposed to be an incentive to spur me on to learn the language, but I can't wait to go back to class.
Copyright (c) 2012 Eugene Carmichael