Good comedians make people forget their life problems for a while but outstanding comedians make people accept, digest and overcome these same difficulties.
Inducing laughter is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, personally I use comedy or stand up as a tool in adverse situations; specially after October of 2017 began, since my laptop was stolen, crashed my car and my phone decided to commit suicide from the night table.
Comedy can exist with or without purpose, but with a give objective and proper practice, it can change points of view, break dogma and eliminate prejudices.
Guatemala has poor references for comedy itself, noticing the fact that the biggest joke ever performed in this country is to see the most simplest, retrograde and unfunny comedian to become president (not kidding).
Our sources of comedy are not exactly solid or even well known outside of Guatemala but it’s not weird for a country that doesn’t have comedy clubs at all, none the less it does have an increasing number of stand up and improv comedians with different styles, techniques and colors of comedy.
The comedians job besides making people laugh is to create a contrast of what we think is right or normal and break through these barriers using their points of view, theatrical skills and personal criteria to make its own style while connecting with the audience.
There are three major groups in Guatemala who dedicate themselves to create, perform and improve the current level of comedy.
–Los Salidos Stand Up Comedy :
With diverse comedians, their regular type of comedy is directed for R+18 or +21 since subjects like religion, sexuality and morality are up to be delivered in many ways and forms.
–Stand Up Comedy Guatemala
Oriented more into a family friendly type of format to befriend the public.
–Alquimia Escena (Improv-comedy)
Their style its served to the order of the audience which can turn darker than normal now and then.
(Including only Stand Up and improv comedy groups)
All of them have had to open a breach from zero, this burden cripples the opportunity for proper growth and development, but regarding this and other basic obstacles, the simple fact that these groups are getting more audience in a conservative and highly religious country, makes it worth of attention and praise.
Pitifully there is no stand up or improv comedy in English to offer just yet, but If you want to practice your Spanish and Guatemalan slang, these shows are your best option to witness the first steps of a new generation.
Andres R. Chevez.