Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why I Think Rape And Fat Can Be Funny

Vice Ganda makes a joke about Jessica Soho being raped, and the shit hits the fan. Oh really?

The joke (quotes here are taken from Pia Ranada’s Rappler article) is this: “Ang hirap nga lang kung si Jessica Soho magbo-bold. Kailangan gang rape lagi. Sasabihin ng rapist, ‘Ipasa ang lechon.’ Sasabihin naman ni Jessica, ‘Eh nasaan yung apple?’” (It will be difficult if Jessica Soho gets naked. It has to be gang rape all the time. The rapist will say, “Pass the pork!” Jessica will say, “But where’s the apple?”)

Take note that there is a video that puts the joke in context, so I took the time to watch the video. I hope you do too before you proceed any further.

If you watch and listen closely, the comedy routine is really making fun of obesity, with Jessica Soho as representative of the weight-challenged.

What I find curious are the first tweets castigating Vice Ganda about his joke. Bam Alegre, Jiggy Manicad, and Maki Pulido are all with GMA News & Public Affairs, where Jessica Soho is the Vice President. News must indeed be serious business, for it seems that these journalists have lost their sense of humor as well as their sense of perspective.

For me it’s alarming that these journalists, the ones who’re supposed to understand what’s happening so that they can report properly, these guys totally missed the point of the joke. The joke is not about rape. It’s about being fat. In fact, just change the script of Vice, replacing “gang rape” with “group sex”: “Ang hirap nga lang kung si Jessica Soho magbo-bold. Kailangan group sex lagi. Sasabihin ng isang lalake, ‘Ipasa ang lechon.’ Sasabihin naman ni Jessica, ‘Eh nasaan yung apple?’” Even without the offending R-word, the joke remains intact.

What flew over their heads (and I’m assuming all others who retweeted) is that the rape detail is actually a reference to the silly conventions of bold movies using sexual assault as an excuse to undress a starlet. Back in the heyday of ST-films, starlets would show skin through several cliché set-ups: the shower scene (often with a peeping tom); the frolicking amongst nature (beach or garden); getting wet under the rain; and, for more drama, the rape scene (Rez Cortez built a career on that).

In Vice Ganda’s what-if vision of Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Sobra, the prerequisite rape scene with Jessica Soho becomes problematic because: [1] It has to be a group effort, given her size; [2] She will be treated like a roast pig.

That Alegre, Manicad, and Pulido locked in and made rape the issue is, at best, a silly misunderstanding, and at worst, a non-sequitur defense for their beloved vice president. Simplified, it’s Vice versus vice. Or ABS-CBN versus GMA. Listen to Vice’s parting joke towards the end of that YouTube clip: “Si Ma’am Charo tuwang tuwa pag kabilang channel ang niloloko.” Is this an example of irony?

But before you readers gang up on me because of my previous paragraph, let me just say this: It’s all about taking things in context, especially with humor. Rape and obesity are fodders for jokes, just as much as suicide, terrorist attacking nurseries, and Alzheimer’s. (Granted, the last three are a challenge.) It all depends on the CONTEXT.

There is low-brow humor, best exemplified by innocent kids making fun of other’s physical defects (“Fatso!”) and the very personal laitan-type of humor in comedy or videoke bars. There is high-brow humor, usually not found in this blog (and apparently, Pinoys do not have the satire gene). And in between there’s a gamut from stupid to silly to hilarious to sublime. I believe that humor, whether improvised or scripted, stand-up or ensemble, can go beyond mere entertainment. It can expose a truth that’s difficult to acknowledge. It can be liberating and informative. It can force us to question long-held beliefs. It can keep us on our toes.

Taking the line, “Kailangang gang rape lagi” out of context is dangerous. It sounds like Vice Ganda is advocating that Ms. Soho be raped, but clearly, in the larger context of the routine, he isn’t.

And what about making fun of Ms. Soho’s weight? Even she herself has joked about it. Granted, heavyweight jokes rank low in the hierarchy of comedic sophistication, but hey, that’s Vice’s crowd. (Besides, even the supposedly more exposed online community isn’t above name-calling; case in point, Nancy Binay.)

Context and accuracy. Pia Ranada’s translation in the Rappler article is inaccurate. She translates “Ang hirap nga lang kung si Jessica Soho magbo-bold” to “It will be difficult if Jessica Soho gets naked.” The more accurate translation is: “It will be difficult if Jessica Soho does a bold movie.”

Context, accuracy, and seeing the big picture. Oops! I’m basing my comments on a clip in YouTube. I should base it on the larger context—the full show of Vice Ganda.

* * * * *

P.S. — May I just say, *FACEPALM* And eye-roll. For me Miss Soho, you just lost 50 points. Not pounds, just points.

ANOTHER P.S. — Eh di magalit din kayo sa fellow Kapuso, Bubble Gang. Take note, “hindi gay humor sila.”

STILL ANOTHER P.S. — You can even make fun of Death.


Lash Sher said...

The problem with most gay guys, like yourself, Joel McVie, is that you do not seem to have some sort of sense where to draw the line when it comes to jokes. It doesn't mean that if it's funny to many, it can be the same to everyone. And it doesn't mean that if something is not funny to only a few, then it's not funny at all to anyone. Getsmoko? For me, I find most fat jokes really funny. Especially the one-liners that goes, "Yo momma is so fat..." The thing with Vice Ganda's joke is, he used a well-known personality and made jokes about her being fat. I'm not sure why the colorful community of gay guys are revered as tasteful people when it comes to food, fashion, decors, etc. but when it comes to jokes, such as this, the banters seem to be so below-the-belt tasteless and "palengke" style na talaga. Well. I guess that's how it goes, right? And if we look at it, Vice Ganda naman is Vice Ganda. He doesn't really have good punchlines unless he cusses or makes panlalait to anyone and make it sound so funny to everyone. I think that's what stand-up comedy is mostly all about in the Philippines. I mean, I've been to a lot of stand-up comedy shows abroad and there are plenty of comedians who really don't use sex jokes or panlalait jokes together or separately. Here in the Phils, I've been several dozen comedy bars across the country and it's almost the same style. They have the fairies in the stage making sex jokes and panlalait jokes together or separately. It's quite funny, really. Gosh, the irony! I do not know which word to use first but let's just put them alphabetically: PITY and SHAME. :-(

Bretzie Bunnies said...

What Vice Ganda actually said was "Ipasok ang lechon" and not "ipasa" which is actually a reference to the Nestea commercial involving a lechon and the apple flavored Nestea juice mix. (

Angel said...

Very well said... Couldn't agree more... :)

Franz Allan M. Rodriguez said...

No matter how flowery the words you have used to justify his nonsense joke unworthy of HUMOR, the bottom line is he made a respectable person subject to an act of bullying. He just have to apologize.

glentot said...

I enjoyed reading this :) I hope this circulates.

Luigi Hontalba said...

sorry to interrupt. with all due respect its not Jessica Soho who bring this all, the management want to regain/put-up her integrity, respect & the composure back. And she's the Vice Pres. for news of GMA, So how can you watch a news with an anchor ridicule, tantalize, taunt, torment in the public who doesn't react? Arnold Clavio make it out in the open, thus the management heard about the skit in The concert.

the statement of Jessica Soho clearly means she didn't watch the skit. Maybe the people just took the words from the video(sometimes reading can be misleading. there's no emotion on TEXT) that's why she focused on RAPE because maybe doesn't even want to be involve in this kind of news.

(sorry if my grammar is wrong) :)

Margene said...

People like Vice Ganda who take pleasure on mocking other people and get paid for it is so darn over their head. He's getting richer and richer because there are people who tolerates and laugh at his mockery and being a bully. Maybe they take pleasure too of those bullied individuals who committed suicide because of them perfect, flawless, blameless human beings!

It doesn't change the fact that Vice Ganda reiterated the joke and in the flesh mocked Jessica Soho. It's not funny at all ... mocking other people and joking about Rape and GANG rape to say the least. Changing gang rape to group sex is still preposterous, thoughtless, inconsiderate, reckless piece of connection, relation and yes ... context!!!

"Rape and obesity are fodders for jokes, just as much as suicide, terrorist attacking nurseries, and Alzheimer’s. (Granted, the last three are a challenge). It all depends on the CONTEXT". ----> People who experience this is not laughing!!! People who didn't experience this and are considerate to their feelings is just plain lucky they can laugh about it depending on the CONTEXT!!! Seriously, or jokingly???? Terrorist Attacking Nurseries??? Oh gushhh you lovers of crimes and rapist you!!!

I am not mocking on your justification about your friend Vice Ganda okay ... let's just say your entry WHY YOU THINK RAPE AND FAT IS FUNNY for me is just a joke!!!

So lighten up!!!! It's just a jokeeeeeeeeee!!!! Bwahahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahhahaha!!!

Kristine Vicencio said...

Since when did the word RAPE become a punchline? Rape jokes are simply mean and arrogant, it doesn't matter how it was said. In my opinion, people who find Rape jokes as entertaining is sick in the head.

Tang Tuazon said...

absolutely right! sabi nga nila ang pikon ay laging talo!

Shan chan said...

ang labo mo! I just wasted my time reading your stupid blog! ugh

Edgar Allan Morales said...

` Pwede ba akong mag-express ng opinion ko? Honestly, I don't think the real deal is yung panlalait kay Soho. Tingin ko kasi, ang talagang nagpainis sa kanila ay yung about sa mismong rape. Being a journalist, they are familliar on how sensitive the topic is. Isa ito sa mga bagay na hindi basta-basta ginagawang katatawanan. Paano pala kung naging rape victim pala noon si Soho? It will just bring back bad memories, right?

Also, in my opinion, mocking someone is already obnoxious kahit ba joke lang naman. No, in the first place hindi naman talaga biro iyon. Hindi naman kinakailangan manlait ng iba just to entertain people. IT'S ALREADY A DOWNGRADE TO YOUR OWN WILL. Marami namang comedian na magagaling pero hindi naman nananapak ng iba. Ito ang reason bakit nabibwisit ako kay VG at maging sa showtime. Puro kaokrayan lang naman ang ginagawa. Wala rin. Bagsak sa quality.

In contract to you, I want to give a face palm to VG. He/She/That horse lost 50 points and will continue losing more if he keeps on making such abhorrent/scumbag/offensive so-called "jokes". Am I hitting below the belt? Yes, hindi ko itatanggi. Matauhan sana siya minsan na nakakairita ang way niya ng pagpapatawa. He is just making himself pathetic.

Thats all. Again, this is MY opinion and I have rights to express it.

Sincerely yours,
Red Raselom

Anonymous said...


Thanks for writing this!

Lance C. said...

Very well said.

Christopher Villanueva said...

Stupid Vice Ganda fan! Alright, sabihin nating it's about obesity. Sa tingin mo, anong mararamdaman ni Jessica Soho habang pinapanood niya yun? Paulit ulit pa yung pangalan niya, almost 10 times pa yata. Masyado na si Vice, marami na siyang binababoy para lang patuloy pa rin siyang sumikat. Pati si Janella Salvador di nakaligtas at napahiya niya rin sa Showtime. I really like Vice Ganda at first, but as time goes by, kitang kita ang paglaki ng ulo niya. Wala na siyang limitasyon

Eulae Sabillo said...

Wow.. You blew me away with this.. This is the most educated way of explaining things.. You elaborated points that many failed to see.. Kudos to you..

Angeline Bringas said...

very well said. I agree. Its just that people have different opinion. This issue must not be taken seriously knowing that Vice Ganda is famous with his way of joking like what he did to Miss Jessica Soho. For the past years, Vice Ganda's been doing his style and nobody reacts at it even the President of the Philippines and other TV Personalities.

Nikko Sacopanio said...

A example of a very biased opinion. By this you promote bullying, too much freedom of expression and offensive words. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Joel! It's great to be able to read the other point of view and to not just be dragged by the bandwagon. Thanks for this brave piece.

Random Citizen said...

I think, this is a case of "one joke too many." He has joked about Jessica Soho's weight a lot of times but never garnered attention from the reporter. Like you said, we should see the bigger picture. It's not just his concert, but Vice Ganda as a comedian.

In the past 2-3 years there's already a hype about Vice Ganda's jokes/humor. He started his 'derogatory jokes' on the "may nagtext" scenes in Showtime. His jokes then, were subtle and somewhat acceptable. From then, it's a slow progression of jokes that are starting to hurt feelings, from contestants to audience and to other celebrities. The hate on Vice Ganda may have escalated in his tension with Tado where the latter somehow degraded gays. Commenters saying: "Pag si Vice nanglait, ang saya nya. Pero pag sya na nilait, ang taray." From then on, he has garnered quite a number of haters . People started comparing him to Jose and Wally. His haters progressively started criticizing him for every joke he says. Every action, detail, and then finally every word. And here we are now. People don't bash on Vice Ganda purely on this instance. Their reactions, I would not say over reaction because they already have a prior reaction to Vice Ganda as a comedian; this is just another addition to their hate, are a combination of everything they don't like about Vice Ganda.

You might say, "Sikat lang si Vice kaya madaming haters, ganyan talaga pag sikat." I'll say, "many gay comedians have also rose to fame but didn't have this huge number of haters like Pooh, Sweet Lapus, Allan K. And criticisms are not there to strengthen you but to help you. You don't brush aside haters because they have a reason to hate you."

The rape joke is just one straw in this issue. The issue is Vice Ganda .

Rogelio Caranyagan Jr said...

Sana ma-gang rape si Vice Ganda....yung tipong mawawala na respeto nya sa sarili nya.....yung tipong bababuyin sya ng mga rapist nya....yung tipong halos mamatay na sya.......JOKE LANG!!!!hahaha!!!!!!! Funny?!? Got my point?

Dandy De Guia said...

"Rape is not a joke"
response ko lang kila #JiggyManicad #BamAlegre #MakiPulido
still from the root word "rape" wala namang pinagkaiba, wag sana tayong maging biased.
Pag ang GMA7 nag joke about rape ok lang, pero pag sa kabilang channel hindi :)

Bubble Gang July 16, 2010 - REYP-REYPAN [RAPE]

eduardo jr Estrera said...

sorry, it's not funny.......nindot pa tiban ug goliat joke...... ug batman joke..... bahalag corney basta... dili makapaskit ug mo gamit ug name nga walay apelido... example....
if in a bold movie scene..... "Jose Marie" nag pa timbang.... e di si "Jose Marie" step on a Digital talking weighing scales .... the digital talking weighing scales response "NO Animals is allowed" ... "NO Animals is allowed" .... "NO Animals is allowed" for the second time he/she step again.... " This is not a joke "NO Animals is allowed"... "NO Animals is allowed"..."NO Animals is allowed" and lastly the rapist is portrayed none other than "Big Brown, 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner" so that a joke........... really a joke...he.e.h...he..e.he..

LIFTNRUN said...

So we can make fan of all fat people in the world except that jessica soho? Hilarious.

Sandy said...

This article should be published in Youngblood of Philippine Daily Inquirer. Good job!!!

cezar cena said...


GreenPenSouth said...

the bar for libel or slander is higher for individuals with public persona. all practicing journalists in the GMA compound know this by heart. Or have they simply forgotten in that fraction of second after the shit hit home?

imtetay said...

Like DUH!!!! Uso ata ung mga MATATALINO Dito sa page mo kuya pero MAKITID UNG UTAK? Pero wag ka bago pa ginawang issue ng GMA itong R-Joke na ito HULA KO LANG MADAMING TUMAWA AT HUMALAKHAK SA JOKE NYANG YAN...

Unang Una.. Nag Apologize na sya.. Malamang ako nung una Naging ANTI VICE GANDA AKO about sa R-Jokes kase.. Pero Kung lalawakaan mo at iintindihin mo nga ung KONTEKSTO ng BIRO NA UN? Malamang maiiba din kahit 1%pananaw mo...

Pangalawa Mga Ate at Kuya na HIGHBLOOD na...Di lang si Ms. Soho ang Biniro.. halatang mga fantic ng GMA masyado :)) buti na lang TV5 fav.TV Station ko...

Ikatlo.. Isang Senaryo lang ginawa ni Vice Ganda pero bakit sa BUBBLE GANG RAPE JOKE wala kayong nasabe?

Paki ROAD WIDENING na din kase ung mga utak nyo ng maunawaan na lahat ng bawat side...

Sorry to say pero kala ko di ko babaguhin ung pananaw ko...

at sa mga High blood saludo ako sa SUPER TALINO NYONG TAO :)) baka next time ung pag lawak lang ng pag unawa ung paki dagdagan...

ay wag na din kayo mag sipag punta sa mga comedy bar.. kase may mga jokes silang halos carbon copy nyan tulad ng yoh momma is fat.. with matching personalities.. baka mag wall post kayo after ng exaggerated jokes nila eh

Lloyd Panganiban said...

i totally agree with this blogger..
ang joke ai joke..kung seseryosohin mo lhat ng jokel..bka mtagpuang k n lang nagbikti..

the focus of vice' jokes us not how to rape jessica soho kundi ang pagging mataba nya..
gma reporters are really over reacting..
alam mo yung tagline nilang..
they arw journalist..pero di ata alam gawin ang trabaho ng tama..even vice ganda's side..di muna kinyluha before ipublish at ibalita..yan b ang journalism??

ang pikon ay laging talo

chrissychross said...

sorry na lang si Vice Ganda at nakatagpo siya ng katapat.... now nagsorry na si Vice, hopefully he learns to draw the line sa pagpapatawa niya at nagpatawad na si Jessica Soho (i don't know with Gabriela, women suffering from obesity and most importantly the rape victims)... let's end this at wala naman patutunguhan ito. let's move on!

Alex Leo said...

Ganito na ba talaga mag-isip ang ibang Filipino? Lahat na lang ba network war? Hindi na ba tayong puwedeng mag-isip na walang influence ang pagiging fan natin sa isang network?

I am an ABS fan, but I will never ever side with Vice Ganda. Kahit sa anong angulo, mali at mali pa rin si Vice.

To the owner of this blog, how would you feel if someone makes rape and fat jokes about your mother or your sister or anyone close to your heart? Would you say it's just a joke, we shouldn't take it seriously? This is something other people should think about. Would you be happy if someone does this to your loved one???

I am really disappointed with this blog. Your judgment has been clouded by irrational love for a network, which doesn't feed you nor make you a better person.

Shame on you.

Alex Leo said...

"If you watch and listen closely, the comedy routine is really making fun of obesity..."

Are you saying that it is OK to make fun of people who are, as you say, weight-challenged? I assume that you are also OK if gay people are made fun of the way Vice Ganda made fun of weight-challenged people?

Nalunod na talaga ang ibang Filipino sa network war. Nakakaawa.

jimmusan said...

diba dati sa showtime napikon din si vice ganda kay tado about the gay issue..same like jessica now napikon din siya di dahil sa rape but i think sa weight issue..just my opinion!

Stan said...

Thia should serve Vice Ganda a lesson. You can never use the reason "It's just a joke" when you hurt someone with your joke. Yung iba, nate-take nila ang mga panlalait jokes ni Vice Ganda, at yung iba ay hindi. Malas lang niya at isang taong may pinapangalagaang kredibilidad ang nagamit niya sa kanyang jokes. Tingin ko, matagal nang may issue sa mga pagpapatawa ni Vice Ganda pero ngayon lang may naglakas-loob na maglagay sa mga networking sites kaya lumaki.

Gaya nga ng sabi ng iba, maraming mga comedians na sikat na never nagconcentrate sa mga panlalait na jokes at patuloy na nirerespeto kasi alam nila kung hanggang saan dapat magpatawa na hindi nakakasagasa ng damdamin ng iba lalo pa at may inaalagang kredibilidad.

Jerone Simon said...

halata naman na fan ni vice to.
sa bubble gang, noong 2010 pa yun. At may nagreklamo daw noon about dito, kaya wala ng rape jokes sa bubble gang.
napaka one sided naman to kaya di ko na binasa lahat.
try to see the bad side also, hindi yong parang napakaganda ng ginawa ni Vice.

James Pelegrio said...

I challenge VG to do same level of mockery to his love ones or to Kris Aquino perhaps. Di ba niya kayang magpatawa ng hindi siya may binu-bully. What a pathetic!

Raymundo said...

i hope you get fat and get raped... oh sorry you're the type who will enjoy it, aawwwwww :(