When laughter makes a turn for the wrong

Everyone knows the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” People often turn to humor when in moments of distress and misery. It is dealt with differently. Philippine humor is much like their invaders, the Americans. Filipinos enjoy slapstick and physical comedy, even making fun of fellow Filipinos and pokingfunon themselves. Arguably, the most popular comedian of current television is Vice Ganda. Vice Ganda got his break at a comedy bar, wherein oftentimes, jokes were labeled as inappropriate. He started out as a stand-up comedian and is currently hosting sold-out concerts and starring in box-office movies with teenage children as part of his audience.

Recently, Vice Ganda was caught in a tumult with a vertically challenged executive from an opposing network after joking about the executive’s weight and portraying her as a lechon, a popular Filipino delicacy of roast pig, in his concert. Soon after, he joked about turning the scene into a gang rape and so it was, “comically.” This brought a roar of laughter from the audiences.

However, this raises the question, when does comedy become offensive? Everyone needs laughter in their life but should it come at the expense of other people who have gone through this horrible experience? What, then, is the limit of comedy? What can be deemed as funny and comical and what can be labeled as sexist, racist, or even too much?

I think it can be agreed upon that the line between amusing and offensive comedy can never be clearly drawn. There are far too many factors to take into consideration. However, there are certain inhumane crimes that cannot and must not be joked about. These include child abuse, rape, murder, torture. Poking fun at these victims is simply vicious and an example of bullying.

I hope that whoever pokes fun at people in these scenariosjust forgot to think through the repercussions of their actions. I still believe that laughter can be a great cure to an ailing soul. However, one must always know their limits in trying to make other people laugh. Laugh at jokes that are gender/ ethnicity/ humanity sensitive. Laugh at shows that offer nonsensical comedy. Laugh at yourself and your misadventures. In the end, you will find that you will never run out of things to laugh because there is always, always something to laugh about, whether it is in comedy bars, theaters or even just at home.

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