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Funny One Rems Sarita: Rock and Roll to the World Whoa!!!

Image captured from ABS-CBN video.

There is this new segment of the noontime variety show “It’s Showtime” that I eagerly wait for every day. The segment is called “The Funny One” or “The Funny Juan,” effectively a search for new and emerging comic talents.

Half the participants are by and large comic fails, painful to watch and living proofs what a hard darned business it is to make people laugh, particularly the Filipino audience. The other half, however, makes watching well worth the wait.

Of these, the one that I am rooting for is a Novaliches-based stand-up comic by the name of Ryan Rems Sarita. He looks exactly like the sort of person who you will not want to encounter along a dark alley: untidy long hair anachronistic to the present day; deep set eyes as though glazed by really powerful stuff; and an ultra-chill demeanour you will expect of your neighbourhood street corner junkie.

Filipino audiences have traditionally favoured the more physical comedic genre called slapstick; and stand-up comics are a fairly recent phenomenon. However, Filipinos have also always had a fondness for comics with physical shortcomings.

Hence, Sarita’s looks – or lack of these – have been something that he has put to good use as a comedian. In fact, most of his material makes fun of himself.

One of his jokes yesterday, for instance, was about this time when thieves purportedly robbed his house. When he went out to confront them, one of the thieves took a look at him and said, “Oh you got here first!”

Then there was this time when he supposedly panicked upon learning that Whitney Houston had drowned in her own bathtub while under the influence. His mother admonished him, “Don’t panic! We don’t have a bathtub!”

You probably need a second or two to get a hold of the gist of his jokes; and in this regard his style of comedy probably requires an IQ and will, therefore, not be for everybody. In fact, he twice lost the daily one-on-one stand-offs with other comics which are judged by the live audience.

The losers all get a second chance during the Saturday edition when they are, instead, judged by a panel of comics: Herbert Bautista, Joey Marquez and Melai Cantiveros. Sarita breezed through these two Saturday competitions.

Perhaps his materials were not good enough on the two weekdays when he lost the one-on-one standoffs. Perhaps, too, the Saturday live audiences of Showtime rather tend to be more animated and sophisticated than those of the midweek shows.

This just shows that his brand of comedy is something of an acquired taste; and indeed, the first time I watched him, I did not think he was funny at all. However, his comedy grows into you; and especially so if the live audience plays along with him.

His timing, most certainly, was better on the two Saturdays when he competed than when he did the one-one-one standoffs; albeit admittedly, the midweek audiences were a tad more phlegmatic than the Saturday ones.

If Sarita wins though at all, it will be because of the relative uniqueness of his routines. Vice Ganda, for one, singled him out as a sort of comic he had not seen before; and we all know how brutally honest Vice Ganda can be.

Meanwhile, on social media, one of his favourite lines has already become iconic to people across the board. Rock and roll to the world, whoa!!!