‘I’m not afraid of being cancelled’, says Marcelo Médici, who re-releases the play from 20 years ago

by

Anahi Martinho

In 2004, when the play “Cada Um Com Seus Pobrema” premiered, Marcelo Médici consulted a group of friends to find out if there were any jokes that were offensive to women. One of them felt uncomfortable with an excerpt, which he says he took from the show.

Twenty years later, the play is back on display in São Paulo, with minimal modifications, according to him. Marcelo plays the eight original characters, including an endangered gay golden lion tamarin who is elevated to the position of star when he prints the R$20 note.

Whenever he reassembles the piece, Marcelo evaluates whether the basis of the text still makes sense. Then, he makes the necessary modifications. He never had to completely edit a character or rewrite long passages. “The changes are always very subtle,” he says, and he only adapts one or another joke that tends to become dated.

Concern about sensitive topics and social minorities has always been in the text, long before cancellation became fashionable, he says. “I’m not afraid of being cancelled. Everyone will be canceled one day. My concern is bigger: it’s the commitment I have to myself, to my show, to being on the right side of the force”, he tells F5.

For him, the discussion about the limits of humor goes beyond obeying a set of rules. It’s about having sensitivity and humanity. “There’s always that speech about ‘this kind of thing doesn’t work anymore’. For me, it never did.”

Marcelo recalls that, back in the 2000s, when he was part of the cast of “A Praça É Nossa” (SBT), he asked Carlos Alberto de Nóbrega to remove a line from his character that he considered uncomfortable. The director complied with the request.

“The humor has to reflect the current times. If you watch a program from the 1970s, 1980s, you will see a series of things that would shock you today. New people who were born do not accept this type of approach”, he assesses.

“In the 80s, women were represented in embarrassing situations, always that stereotype of hot or ugly. But it was so embedded that maybe they laughed themselves”, he continues. “But we have to transform this thinking. Humor is a season, and we evolve.”

GUILLOTINE

The first court jester was guillotined because he made a joke with the king, says Marcelo. “It was the first cancellation”, he jokes, who despite considering himself a defender of political correctness, is wary of the current direction that humor is taking in a culturally polarized country.

“The comedian lives by provoking, so he will automatically always be on the straight and narrow. For me, the limit of humor is this: not committing any crime. If there is no hate crime, racism, homophobia, incitement to violence, I think that the limit is there”, he says. Still, he ponders, it is impractical to cover everyone’s pain.

“Even without offending any minority, I can make a joke about a day when I got rained on, arrived late, missed a professional appointment, and someone in the audience felt bad because they went through the same situation and couldn’t laugh about it, for them it was traumatic”, exemplifies.

“There is no limit to drama, for example. Drama explores slavery, wars, tragedies, the Holocaust, stories that need to be told, but with respect”, he says. “But humor has nothing to do with respect. There will be irony, acidity and criticism will be made in a different way”, she says. “That’s why there are topics that can’t be discussed.”

HUMOR IN CRISIS

“A sin”, is how Marcelo defines the current moment of humor on open TV. A member of the cast of “Vai Que Cola”, which is rerun in the early hours of Globo, the actor says he misses more comedy programs on TV with a greater variety of types of humor.

For the actor, Brazilian humor is going through a crisis. “We need programs that explore the various ways of making people laugh. There is so-called ‘intelligent humor’, which is more critical, but we also need more popular humor on open TV, this is historic in Brazil. Brazilians like it. Catchphrase humor, character”, he argues.

“Carlos Alberto [de Nóbrega] has been doing a lot of stand-up at Praça É Nossa. Nothing against it, I think it’s wonderful, but at the same time I think it’s a shame that we don’t have a new generation that creates characters.”

Marcelo, who unintentionally went viral in the early days of Brazilian YouTube with an interview on Programa do Jô, today finds himself far from the language of social networks like TikTok. At the insistence of his 20-year-old goddaughter, he opened an account with the Chinese network, but did not go through with it.

“It’s not my thing, I don’t think I really communicate with this audience. There’s a generational issue, yes. With the exception of Ary Fontoura, people my age haven’t jumped on this bandwagon. Theater depends on the audience, the pulse, the rhythm , theater is 5D”, he states.

Source: Folha

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