The audience was in high spirits for Mike Unson’s second stand-up comedy special, Second Degree Mayhem. The event, presented by Cardinal Events and Comedy Mayhem, was Unson’s second comedy special at Century City Mall.

Mike Unson

DrinkManila’s Pop-Up Bar got the buzz going with a free drink for VIP ticketholders who came to see the burgeoning movement that is Filipino observational stand-up comedy.

DrinkManila Pop-up Bar

Before hilarity ensued, host Giul Sanchez opened the festivities with Roy Antonio, who warmed up the stage with his jazzy take on Gary V’s “’Di Bale Na Lang” before finishing with two of his originals, both of which sounded ironically funky on an acoustic guitar.

Roy Antonio
Norby David
Jerome Cleofas

The guitar show continued with Norby David, best known for his work with Rivermaya and his current band Overtone, who opened with a tribute to OPM legend Ebe Dancel as he covered “Lakambini,” and followed through with his own song “Bangungot.” David closed with the Unson-requested Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” before teaming up with Antonio to jam on the classic Jackson-McCartney song “The Girl Is Mine.”

Eric Salazar

To kickstart the upcoming acts after the break, bottles of rum were raffled off care of DrinkManila, and both bottles were serendipitously won by a couple. Bevtools.com, also gave away a bottle of Suntory whisky and four rock glasses.

Bevtools.com gave away a bottle of Suntory whisky and four rock glasses

The crowd hooted and sang along as Jerome Cleofas, better renowned as a spoken word artist, took to the stage and sang “Ang Gusto Ko Lamang ay Lumandi.” Eric Salazar followed with his take on the country’s current political scene.

The revelry continued with Ruther Urquia’s wry observations on relationships and religion. He brought the house down with his ventriloquist act, Lolo Teddy. Urquia’s wit and talent really shone through Lolo Teddy as the tandem delivered advice to men and women of all ages while Lolo Teddy consistently scoffed at Urquia, to the crowd’s delight.

Ruther Urquia

By the time Sheena Peña started her set, the audience was already warmed up, and Peña’s dry humor and trance-like soliloquy had everyone’s hearts jumping with her take on parental management and out-of-town trips with fellow comedians. Chris Bacula stepped on the throttle further with his bits on love and relationships, and let his energy translate to the crowd. His take on breakups gave the audience something to remember him by.

Sheena Peña
Chris Bacula

All the front acts, of course, were appetizers for the headliner Mike Unson, who staged his comedy special with almost an hour’s worth of material about various topics, from living with his parents at 40 years old, to how the people in Derek Ramsay’s MTRCB commercial reacted to the intrusion, to why the serpent tempted Eve instead of Adam. With all of the wait time for Unson’s act, Second Degree Mayhem delivered by not pulling punches. It held the audience’s attention by focusing on material both topical (cops and robbers) and nostalgic (Japanese sentai), staying true to the event title in that the audience was left defenseless with raucous laughter. Unson sets up his jokes not only with his words and movements, but also through clever sound files with the help of Silverfilter (Cyril Sorongan). He also left bits for cinephiles with memorable lines, like his use of the well-written monologue in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The combination of well-mixed spirits and carefully delivered punchlines really did make for a crazy and excellent concoction. Mike Unson summed it up perfectly when he was asked to describe the event: “It was intoxicating.”

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