Select Praise for Andalucian Television, pt. 2

The second Andaluz television program that I must highight is Colga2 con Manu (¨Colgados con Manu¨), which could translate to either ¨Hanging with Manu,¨ or ¨[Getting] High with Manu.¨ Frankly, the difference is probably negligable. Manuel Sánchez, from Dos Hermanas (Sevilla), is what you might call a comedy phenom – at just 23 years old, he is the creator and host of the funniest, and one of the most popular shows in the region.

Much of Manu´s humor is derived from the way he talks; not only does he speak a very strong and localized Andaluz from Sevilla, but his accent is that of a typical kitschy and uneducated old woman. (This is not sexism.  Old, uneducated men and old, uneducated women speak differently, and Manu speaks like an old, uneducated woman.) The irony though, lies in the fact that the Andaluz dialect has always had the reputation of being the language of a crude and backwards people. Manu´s Andaluz is almost exaggerated (people from other parts of Spain are often left scratching their heads after hearing him talk), but instead of embodying the backwards and crude stereotype, his monologues and bits usually reflect extremely high intellect and razor sharp perception. Linguistically, this is the Spanish version of My Fair Lady´s Eliza Doolittle (while still Cockney) giving a university lecture, except also hilarious.

Most representative of Manu´s genius is his whiteboard bit, during which for 10 or 15 minutes he plays college professor and explains in astounding detail (and from memory, not flash cards) whatever he feels like, from the Periodic Table to Chinese dynasties to European Geography to Spanish grammar to Greek mythology to pollination. While these topics may seem dry and humorless to most people, Manu is guarunteed to put his personal uneducated-genius-old-lady twist to them have you laughing uncontrolably the whole ¨lecture.¨ That is, if you can understand anything he says.

Here´s a whiteboard bit on Spanish syntax. Good luck, even if you speak Spanish…

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~ by lincolnbrody on February 11, 2009.

One Response to “Select Praise for Andalucian Television, pt. 2”

  1. This sounds alarmingly like the bits performed by one Demetri Martin, recently granted his own Comedy Central show titled “Important Things,” that is rather funny. He’s had a couple of stand-up specials aired, as well, and though I can’t see the video (for I’m at work, and such objects of entertainment are blocked), it seems as though Martin has robbed this “Manu” of his lecture-style comedy, white board and all. Also, just to plug my own taste in TV, Demetri Martin appeared in the finale of the first season of Flight of the Conchords, though without many speaking lines, and more of just an odd presence added to whatever scene in which he appeared.

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