‘Wanna keep figuring out what makes Filipinos laugh’: Talking stand-up comedy with GB Labrador

Gil Cadiz

Comedy Manila founder GB Labrador is marking his 10th year as a comedian by embarking on a tour of his one-hour stand-up comedy special showcasing the funniest jokes he has written.

He’s kicking off his tour by headlining PVBLIC RIOT, an event partnership with We the Pvblic, set to cause mayhem on Saturday, July 7 at 7 PM. Joining him in the show are the equally hilarious stand-up comics, Nace Cruz and Nonong Ballinan.

PVBLIC RIOT will take place at Bay Brothers Surf N’ Turf, a seafood & steak restaurant at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City that offers excellent food at value pricing in a delightful and entertaining atmosphere for groups and families.

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Aside from regularly headlining Comedy Manila shows here in the Philippines, GB has also headlined shows at Comedy Masala Singapore, Crackhouse Comedy Club Kuala Lumpur, Take Out Comedy Club in Hong Kong, Comedy Bah in Sabah, Malaysia, Comedy Club Asia in Singapore, Jakarta Comedy Club in Indonesia and LOL in Malaysia.

He’s also performed at Hong Kong Comedy Festival, Singapore Fringe Comedy Festival, Kuala Lumpur International Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

GB was featured at Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Asia Seasons 1 and 2, and Comedy Central’s Most Ridiculous Asia 2018.

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We the Pvblic had a little bit of Q&A with GB in which he shared how he became a professional funny man, his thoughts on the state of the local stand-up comedy scene, his future plans for Comedy Manila and what the audience can expect from him in PVBLIC RIOT. Read on!

In a nutshell, how did you get into stand-up comedy?

My plan of becoming the next Michael Jordan from Katipunan failed miserably, so the only option for me was to become a stand-up comedian.  I always wanted to know if I can make strangers laugh, so I signed up at a local open mic room back in 2008, a place where aspiring comedians can hit the stage and try their jokes. I kept working on my jokes, joined a couple of competitions and got enough laughs that got me gigs here and in the region.

At what age did you realize that you have a talent for cracking jokes in front of a crowd?

I started telling jokes at the age of eight. I remember sharing jokes I heard from my siblings. Being the youngest in a brood of eight, I’ve heard a lot of jokes that I always shared with friends in school… and when delivered right, I get laughs and it felt awesome.  Since then, I always try to crack jokes when with friends.

What’s your creative process in putting together your material for a show?

I’m always trying to find what is funny in everything that I experience in life. I write it down and try the joke at an open mic – to see if the joke is funny or not. I work on timing and delivery… and when the joke is getting enough laughs, then I perform the joke in a show.

What are your thoughts about the stand-up comedy scene in the Philippines? 

The stand-up comedy scene in the country is growing and evolving. Observational stand-up comedy is making comedians write their own material. This way, original Filipino humor is flourishing and better enjoyed by our audience. Our audience now prefer comedians that tell jokes and not just do insult comedy.

Who are the stand-up comics that you idolize?

I admire comedians who can write funny jokes about serious matters and the dumbest things. I enjoy watching Dave Chappelle, Jim Gaffigan, Babalu, Panchito, my parents, etc.  I’m a big fan of the local and international comedy scene.

You’re celebrating your 10th year as a stand-up comic. What are your thoughts? What are your plans?

It doesn’t feel like 10 years… I still have a lot to learn and a lot of jokes to write. I’ll be touring my one-hour act around Metro Manila, Olongapo and Baguio. I want to keep figuring out what makes Filipinos laugh. My plan is to keep doing stand-up and to keep challenging myself… and one challenge is, how to pay for my kid’s tuition by just doing stand-up.

What was your most memorable show so far, and why?

I’ve been part of big comedy festivals like Comedy Central and shared the stage with a lot of big artists, but the most memorable show is always the last show I did… and the last show I did was last night (June 27). There was a loud drunk mom in the audience and her kids were trying to shut her up with more beers.

As the founder of Comedy Manila, what’s your future plans for the group?

The plan is to keep doing shows – bigger and funnier – and to keep providing the stage to all aspiring comedians so that we’ll have more Filipino comedians that can represent original Pinoy humor here and abroad. Our dream is to bring a homegrown comedian to the international stage.

How would you convince more Filipinos especially the millennials to watch a stand-up comedy show?

If you’re reading this and you love to laugh, stand-up comedy is for you and you should watch a show asap. There’s a show happening this week… go! Stop what you’re doing. It does not matter if you go alone or with friends, the jokes will still be funny. Go and watch a comedy show and treat yourself to a good time because you deserve it. Buy a ticket especially if it comes with a free drink.

You’re headlining PVBLIC RIOT. What can we expect from your one-hour act?

My one-hour show will consist of the best jokes I’ve written in my 10 years as a comedian. I’ll be bringing all of my guns to the war… and I’m also bringing my guitar. On July 7, I’ll be on stage sharing the jokes that got me where I am right now… which is in my sofa answering these questions in my boxer shorts.

Laugh your guts out in PVBLIC RIOT, Comedy Manila Founder GB Labrador's 10th anniversary 1-hour stand-up comedy special…

Posted by We the Pvblic on Thursday, 21 June 2018

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