Doubling up with laughter

Stand-up comedy Method & Madness provides a good laugh

The invite said ‘bring along a potential member, preferably sober, solvent and sunny’ and ‘dress: mandatory’.

So, dressed, but, with or without a potential member, audience started trickling in to watch Method & Madness, a stand up comedy by stage director Mithran Devanesen and theatre artiste Karthik Srinivasan. Organised by Humour Society, the programme started off with a welcome so bizarre, the audience wriggled on their seats. However, what followed more than made up for the incongruity.

When the minute passed

Karthik began with how minutes passed when Helen stood under the moonlight: A minute passed. And then another, then one, and then one more. A different minute passed, and another, different from the previous different minute, and then one yet another different minute which seemed like an hour passed. Thankfully, when the minutes kept passing, he finally said it would continue ‘tomorrow night at a minute past’.

How does a French man explain what savoir faire is? After many versions, we get the best. ‘ Paardhon, monsieur. Imaazeen, your wife catches you in bed with another woman. She apologises, and says, ‘please continue’, and leaves. If you can continue, that, monsieur, is savoir faire’. Except for a little boy who was asked to close his ears, the audience grinned knowingly.

Of course, the boy had to stuff his ears quite often through the evening such as the time a woman asks a golfer what the golf tee is, and he replies it is to place the balls while driving, to which the woman says Wow. You guys think of everything!

Or, when a man sarcastically asks his ex-boyfriend how it was with his new partner he met at the beach, who, perhaps, majored in snorkelling.

Then it was God’s turn. When Peter takes a break, Jesus Christ guards the Pearly Gates. He stops an old man approaching the gates, and asks him if he was a carpenter on earth, if he had an only son, and if the son when he last met had holes in his palms and feet. The man says yes. And, Jesus exclaims, Father do you remember me? And, the man wonderingly asks Is that you, Pinocchio?

The terrific balance

Mithran takes over. God explains to Archangel Michael how he has created the new planet Earth with terrific balance.

North America is rich while South America is poor, Europe is full of whites and Africa, blacks. India, with its mountains, seashores and poets, is God’s favourite. So, where is the balance? asks Michael. Wait till you see the neighbours I’ve given them, retorts God. Another God moment. An African boy asks God why he alone was dark, curly-haired and thick-lipped. God says that’s to handle the heat, forests and food in his continent. Innocently, the boy asks God: Then, what am I doing in New York?

Then, did you know why sharks didn’t attack lawyers? Professional loyalty. After a few more pithy and witty one liners came the regular ones.

How different singers would croon to the timeless amma inge vaa vaa, aasai muthamm thaathaa. No one from Chandra Babu, PB Srinivas, Ghantasala and MKT, to Ilaiyarajaa, AR Rahman and Mukesh was spared.

Political jest

Next, the reactions of politicians (the biggest jesters as proved by research and medical opinion) to tsunami. While Manmohan Singh plaintively calls out to Sonia ji, Venkaiah Naidu calls it a hi-tech conspiracy of the Congress that did not allow it to hit Andhra Pradesh, and Laloo Prasad offers to send Rabri Devi to Tamil Nadu.

Mithran and Karthik then regaled the audience with the modern day malaise of wanting everything to be super fast. It went so swiftly that the scribe remembers just one bit — Digesting a century in 45 days. Zoom! Zoom!

What’s a Humour Society programme without Dr. G. Lakshmipathy’s famous brand of humour? With tales of a dentist who extracts ‘tooth from the socket and money from the pocket’, a hospital that provides everything including ‘a nurse with adjustable temperament’, and that of Mettupalayam Road on which the ‘life expectancy of a cyclist is 40 minutes’, he had the audience is splits.

If laughter is the best medicine, we sure have a good physician in town. In all, it was quite an evening, including the SPCA-approved dinner!


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