It was “hail, hail the gags are all here” at the Beverly Hills Country Club on a recent Saturday night.

We were spurred by the charity roast or maybe the cluster urge, if not, simply the desire to revel together — as members of the media chomped roast notion.

It started with the live roast, which came in may shades: tiptoe humor nodding deferentially to the 7 roastees, rising to verbal heights, male roasters that were beyond brilliance whose pauses got screams and wit barbs, remarks that were cutting and furious.

Some feathers were ruffled, egos deflated and there were bruising stabs at the heart.

Whoever thought it was an evening to gather a large number of friends and peers purely to honor and let the roastee know the depth of their affection, must be living in the 14th century.

The roasters practiced a thousand and one ways to cook them on that comic war..

It was a fair game – the cast of character are astonishing: lawyers, civics, leaders, a philanthropist, a beauty queen, a flamboyant fashion designer and a vitriolic journalist.

There were no holy cows, the coup de gras were cruel. The more important the person, the more biting the insults — fast, furious and boiling until the comebacks come like an avalanche and evened the score.

Age was served, as well as youth yet with all its angst.

You discover that comedy is a lonely art, but it is also fragile. A taste of funny is hard to define.

The perception that it’s the very air that media people breathe is only an assurance that this ignorance is in good company.

The media is vulnerable.

A known comic thinks comedy is simply about getting even — a tragedy plus time.

The laughter had to be real, the jokes had to be funny.

There are no such rules about humor or comedy because it can do a thousand and one form of humorous expressions.

Humor isn’t always funny, because what is funny is relative.

It could be basically innocent, warm-hearted, playful or affectionate — a  bitter satire.

The humor of insult can be degrading and depraved.

A great deal of humor falls off the tree of life, but not all of them are picked.

Funny things happen to us, or we observe them happening to others and they make us laugh.

It alleviates the pain we constantly suffer from. If we were to concentrate on the tragedies of life, isn’t  humor a social lubricant that helps us get over some bad spots?

It’s strange, but I will accept any allegation of my deficiencies, whether cosmetic, intellectual, virtuous. But I will never yield to the charge that I have no sense of humor.

I’ve always had the tendency to make light of things: widowhood, failed relationships, betrayals of friendship.

On Saturday, spring came to our soiree with more than a hundred guests.

We held our annual celebrity roast and induction of hold-out members.

On hand was the greatest living legend, Maestro Dexter Grey and his wife Dr. Erlinda Grey.

Her serene Princess Eleanor was the special guest of Van and Marilou Dichoso, and thoughtful, supportive friends of the FAPCA.

Having produced the show, I’m to blame for bad seats, the wilting salad, a single bad note played by the band, unrehearsed mistakes, and the surprising paucity of complainers.

To all the people who helped in this labor of love, deepest thanks from the comedians of the club who are funnier than you.


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