Manila (CNN Philippines) — In Mark Twain’s book “Mysterious Stranger,” satan visits an Austrian village in which he scrutinizes the essence of mortality. Satan declares that the human race is meaningless, nothing but a thought. However, in the same book, the character does surmise a salient human value:
“For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug — push it a little, crowd it a little, weaken it a little, century by century. But only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
In the Philippines, laughing is part and parcel of our culture — sometimes to a fault. We see it in how comedy movies can turn into blockbusters, in how noontime shows that bank on gags and punchlines can stand undisputed for years, and of course, in how politicians who crack jokes can charm their way to seats of power.
The love for laughing is ingrained and present in many Filipinos, more so the members of the new Filipino comedy channel on Facebook and Youtube, Solid OK. Ryan Puno, the co-founder and head writer of the channel, says that they focus on creating as many hilarious videos as possible — be it a sketch, a standup, or a satirical piece.
“As long as it's funny, we wanna make it,” he says. “We just love the feeling of making people laugh, through our own points of view.”
Puno adds that there are a lot of people who say that Filipino humor is very slapstick, one that is always filled with practical jokes, tripping, falling, and violent action. But he says it is rather diverse: “There are a lot of different styles out there. And you know, I don't think one is better than the other.”
When asked about the kind of style they use for Solid OK, he says: “I use the term called ‘elevated babaw.’ That's my favorite way of describing it. It's really mababaw stuff but we try to look at the smart way of looking at the stupid thing.”
Watch Solid OK videos here.