Get up comedy booms in Venezuela, however politics are off stage By Reuters


© Reuters. Humorist Gabriela Ruiz performs for company at a bar, in Caracas, Venezuela, November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria


By Johnny Carvajal

CARACAS (Reuters) – Samuel Rodriguez’s pizzeria in Caracas doesn’t simply serve up sizzling tacky pies – it additionally dishes out jokes, providing a stage to younger comedians filling the void left by veteran comics who’ve fled Venezuela’s financial disaster.

Rodriguez, 36, performs himself a number of days per week in what he describes as a type of catharsis for coping with day-to-day issues, on the unlikely spot that’s one in every of a rising variety of venues in Venezuela’s capital attracting stand-up followers.

However politics is just not essentially on the menu.

The general public and comedians alike are worn out by points like fixed energy or water cuts and rising revenue inequality, Rodriguez famous.

“The topic of (what’s taking place in) the nation is just not touched on within the routines or within the jokes… persons are usually bored with it,” he stated.

The inflow of leisure venues, together with cafes, bars and eating places, comes after the federal government relaxed financial rules three years in the past, permitting extra transactions in {dollars}.

These new alternatives to get onstage, alongside an uptick in video-based social media similar to Tik Tok, have been a boon for younger comedians, locals say.

But for all of the gags about each day life, Venezuela’s new generations of comedians are inclined to avoid political jokes.

“(Venezualans’ humor follows) the type of North American comedy … which talks about on a regular basis life, not political points,” stated Laureano Marquez, 59, a famend humorist and political analyst.

Marquez, who has toured South America and is at the moment doing gigs in Spain, stated a “local weather of political repression” has additionally prompted comedians to keep away from sensitive matters.

Authorities have closed greater than 50 radio stations in Venezuela this yr, which non-governmental organizations say is an effort to regulate info and provides state media hegemony over communications and journalist guilds.

Jeneil Tovar, a 39-year-old publicist who moved to full-time comedy a yr and a half in the past, stated she is motivated by seeing the influence on her viewers.

“It is too rattling good if you discover a objective in your day-to-day work, getting the laughs,” she stated.

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