Mexico City: Offensive Comedy With a Cause

Here I am in Mexico City half drunk at the Pinche Gringo(Fucking American in Spanish) getting ready to go on stage. I'm looking at the crowd in the back. Very diverse, people from all parts of Mexico, all classes, ages. I was headlining and told to do a half hour. I watched the previous comics and their material was all provincial and had nothing to do with America, expect the occasional insult. I knew that Mexico was a catholic country with the religion effecting every aspect of life here, so that would play into my act. Anti abortion, anti masterbation, anti gay type of dogma came with the strict catholic mindset. I had told a few offensive jokes to the Mexican comics in the back and they laughed but said the Mexican people would be too sensitive to that material. 

I believe in truly engaging an audience when I'm on stage and going into the "no go zone" was the perfect way to do that. I talked about religion, abortion, masterbating and everything in between. In a way that the Mexican people could agree with. I let them know that these strict rules they are told to follow from a young age are not exactly the norm in the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, something to laugh at. I didn't go on stage slandering the catholic church or tell anyone they were wrong for living their life the way they did, but simply asked them to question their manner of living. I did this through laughter. I didn't want to just go on stage and be a clown up there. I didn't want to just get a few smiles then leave. I wanted to make them think. I wanted to effect them emotionally. Subconsciously make them questions their values. All the while, laughing and taking life less seriously, one offensive comment after the other. When I would say something offensive, there would be slight pause expecting me to say sorry or feel bad, but when I didn't, they absolutely loved it. They really wanted someone to challenge their system. To challenge their way of life and to hear someone speak out against the ubiquitous invisible law enforcement in the sky telling them they have sinned.

The Mexican people are very hard working people and live under a lot of stress. Whether it be in the Jaurez region with kidnappings or the traffic and corruption in Mexico City, these people have it tough. Religion is a safe haven and outlet to them, but is it a long term solution? Is it a key to improving infrastructure and ending crime? These were questions I asked on stage. Not to question religion per se, but to question how they were living their lives. These were good hard working people that really needed a laugh, badly. That is what made my set so much fun. As well as the fact that I told a few jokes in Spanglish(english and Spanish combined). 

During the daytime while I waited on my shows, I got explore the city and take in what made it unique. Mexico City is a city rich in culture, food and traffic. We ate street tacos, grasshoppers and sat in traffic. For hours on end. Traffic takes so long in Mexico City that people drink in there cars on the way to work. The traffic there makes the traffic in Los Angeles look like a small town in Wyoming. This traffic gives a person from Mexico City true character though. Between the traffic, crime and poverty, it was a tough scene to take in. Nonetheless, an amazing city full of great and truly kind people, beautiful buildings and fascinating history. This is a city with a devil on one of its shoulders and an angel on the other. A constant duality that makes the people who they are. That makes the comedy scene what it is. The paradoxical melting pot of catholic priests and criminals all mixed in throughout the streets everywhere. Thats the identity I saw, but there are many other identities to this beautiful place. I look forward to my next trip there where I can have a few drinks, a nice chat with the people on stage and the hope that maybe I can help the people there to improve the way they live for themselves and their people. Buenas Noches Mexico. 

1 comment

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