John “Sweet” Lapus has been making people laugh for two decades now – back when social media has not been invented and someone who cracks an insensitive joke doesn’t get crucified in Twitter of Facebook.
Now that social media is everywhere, John has steered clear of bashers. He has been spared from the kind of criticism Vice Ganda has been getting, courtesy of his Jessica Soho jokes.
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“I make sure my jokes and punch lines are based on reality,” he explains at the presscon for “Sweet in a Box,” his 20th anniversary show set on Saturday, June 15, 8 p.m. at the Music Museum.
He knows it’s hard to crack jokes against others, especially those who have nothing to do with the topic concerned.
To avoid stepping on sensitive toes, John always holds script reading sessions with his director (Philip Lazaro in this case) and writers.
“Wala pa namang sumama ang loob sa akin because of this., Thank God. Sa script reading, nababaril ang dapat barilin.”
John knows that it makes him less spontaneous than Vice or other stand-up comics like Chocoleit and Ate Gay, but that’s fine.
He won’t join the many who are criticizing in social media and other venues, though.
“I’ve been there, done that,” John explains. “Forte ni Vice ang pang-ookray. Bumilib ako sa kanya dahil nag-apologize siya.”
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Knowing Vice, John goes on, the host of “It’s Showtime” didn’t intend to poke fun at rape victims. The topic was just that sensitive.
Secret of longevity
Fellow comedians can take a cue from John on how to last at least 20 years in the biz:.
· “Don’t hurry. “A showbiz career is like a trip. Ako nga di ko alam ang itinerary ko.”
· Appreciate those who help you along the way. “Konti lang naman ang fans ko so might as well mahalin ko. Ako mismo ang sumasagot sa tweets to show my appareciation. Na-aapreciate ko ang mga taong sinasakyan ako.”
· Rely on talent. “Kapag talented ka, hindi ka mawawalan ng trabaho.”
· Believe in yourself. “If you do, you’ll know that everything na pinagdadaanan mo, good or bad, is temporary. Kung sikat ka ngayon, temporary lang yan. Kung di ka sikat, darating din ang panahon mo.
John has not just survived tough competition from younger comedians. He has reinvented himself, to the point that he is now looking forward to doing other things, like film directing.
Armed with the passion to outdo himself, John will never run out mountains to climb, hills to conquer.
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