Pick-Up Lines Battle is one of the more popular and awaited segments (by fans) in the long running Friday nights Philippine gag show Bubble Gang. Besides the strange charm and stupendously cheesy delivery of similarly cheesy pick-up lines by the "pickapista" contenders to become the ultimate pick-up king, the Bubble Gag's skit greatest strength and punch line is the sport's undisputed and undefeated winner, Boy Pick Up. Let's take a look at how this Bubble Gang skit and character became the a phenomenal success.
Delivering pick-up lines has long been an optional part of the dating scene or the flirting game. By definition, pick-up lines are supposedly catchy lines used to catch ("pick-up") the attention of a stranger of interest. A pick-up line is a success once the girl took notice and starts engaging in this small talks. Not everyone can be good at it though. The success of a pick-up line depends on the person delivering it, person receiving it, how it is delivered, and what message it delivers. Failure of falling under all four factors will end up with an instant rejection. As times past by though, comedians have found humor on pick-up lines. From the absurd cheesy pick-up lines to even the most perverted ones, delivering it seems to be more effective if it was meant as a joke. There have been a few cases that various comedic shows used the pick-up lines method of delivering humor, but Bubble Gang is probably the first to make a complete segment entitled and dedicated to delivering cheesy pick-up lines.
Bubble Gang's Pick-up Line Battle was inspired by the underground Filipino rap battle which was also known as fliptop battle which became comemrcially popular back at 2010. As a fan of Bubble Gang, I saw how the Flptop Battle segment evolved into the Pick-Up Lines Battle. Bubble Gang first invited actual fliptop contenders in Bubble Gang's more television-friendly version of the fliptop battle. Fliptop battles are said to be the mix of new form balagtasan, poetry, rap and trash talking. If you watched original Fliptopb battles over at Youtube, you will definitely find out that Flip Battles is a battle of quick wits and derogatory remarks, a game for not the easily-pissed individuals. Check out Bubble Gang's Freestyle Rap Battle, the predecessor to Pick-Up Lines Battle:
Being too censored out and toned down, Bubble Gang's Freestyle Battle may have interest its viewers with the underground Pinoy rap culture, but was effective as a long running gag. This is why Bubble Gang invited actual Freetyle "Fliptop" rappers to pit them against the ridiculously absurd and stupid version of Bubble Gang's freestyle rap... which doesn't made much sense, but it eventually became "funny". This is probably enough cue for the creative writers of the GMA Network gag show to come up with something "new" and thus Pick Up Lines Battle was created.
When Pick Up Lines Battle first made its appearance in Bubble Gang, it featured the same freestyle battle but with pick up lines battle which was always entertaining especially when the ones delivering it were actually good. The winner of the two rounds will face off with the undefeated king of pick-up lines which is played by Ogie Alcasid. The punchline here is his actual existence. The winners and the earlier competitors mostly have good pick-up lines and usually superb delivery of which, but here is this Boy Pick-Up who doesn't have a sense to any of his Tagalog pick-up lines. That fact itself and when you here his pick-up lines will make you scratch your head but later cracks you up when the audience exalt his pure brilliance with his pick-up lines. Boy pick-up's pick-up lines are not meant to be funny but they eventually become one. With this, Boy pick-up's brand of humor falls under the anti-humor category.
A little info about anti-humor:
Anti-humor is a type of indirect humor that involves the joke-teller delivering something which is deliberately not funny, or lacking in intrinsic meaning. The audience is expecting something humorous, and when this does not happen, the irony itself is of comedic value. Anti-humor is also the basis of various types of pranks and hoaxes. It is considered to be very postmodern. The humor of such jokes based on the surprise factor of absence of an expected joke or of a punch line in a narration which is set up as a joke.
But there is a limit to the anti-humor charm just like any other kind of joke. This is what I've been recently noticing with Bubble Gang's Pick Up Lines Battle. I think that some of us started to expect or wanted more sense in Boy Pick-Up's non-nonsensical pick-up lines, if that made any sense to you? Hahahaha. There is a limit to how many times we can tolerate "Kasi ang kuwan ni kuwan ay ganito". I prefer it when his nonsensical pickup lines has some pop culture reference or relevance, like a one particular episode when Boy Pick-Up answered Neneng B. with "Eh, kasi bata.", with "Weh?!", or with immediately following Neneng B.'s "Bakit" response with "..ngayun ka lang?" ("Bakit Nagyon Ka Lang" by Ogie Alcasid).
Hopefully, the creative team of writers of Bubble Gang can come up with more sensible nonsensicals for Boy Pick-Up. Something that isn't connected but still would be funny. I even saw some comments on various social networks claiming that ever since Boy Pick-Up became popular, he slowly became cornier and cornier. You know what, in some extent, I agree. Bubble Gang's Boy Pick-Up has become so popular that the character is used outside its regular zone in Bubble Gang, thus people being exposed to anti-humor making them more resilient to the effects of the comedic genre. Pick Up Lines Battle along with Boy Pick Up will eventually be phased out just like any other comedy skits, but hopefully it goes out with a bang. The big question is, will it successfully conclude with a film starring Boy Pick-Up like Yaya and Angelina? Guess, we'll have to find out about that soon enough.