Libre De Reir (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Tragedia + Tiempo = Comedia (Tragedy + Time = Comedy) - full transcript

On the first day of class we meet the three different groups of participants: Women, Men, and LGBTQ+. While some warm up to class quicker than others, it is certain that they all have enough personal stories to create comedy with....

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
Ladies and gentlemen,
I recommend you axolotl syrup

for any type of cough,

caused by cold weather or humidity.

Against fungus, we have

Ketoconazole, Itraconazole,
propolis and sodium hypochlorite.

They say the formula for comedy is,
"Tragedy plus time equals comedy."

Where else could I find that
if not in prison?

I'm Sofía Niño de Rivera,

and I'll be visiting
two prisons in Mexico City,

to meet with three groups,

women, men and LGBT+,

and teach them how to do stand-up comedy.

And they don't know this yet,

but I'll pick the best among them

to leave the prison and go on stage,

and perform in front of a real audience.

What they're about to do
might change their lives.

I've taught in prisons before,

and I've witnessed
how comedy changes lives

and the way we relate to family,

friends and strangers.

The ultimate goal is that,

thanks to comedy,
they're no longer seen as just inmates,

but as what they really are, human beings.



Iraís, the visit is about to finish!
They'll leave you! Hurry!

Bring me a man if you can!

Have a couple of rounds for me!

Take care!


-Hi, how are you?

Good afternoon.


The youngest student.

The littlest student.

How old is he?

Two months this week.

What I love about the women's penitentiary

is that you can really see how women,
in general,

like to go into more detail
and share more.

The urge of knowing what happened next.
The "guess what!"

-You breastfeed?
-And soul-feed.

And fat-feed.

Can you tell me your names?

I'll write them down so I won't forget.

I won't learn your names on the first day.

Jaqueline Polanco.

Polanco. Okay.

I've been here for many years.

And there isn't a day
that I don't long for freedom.


I've been in prison for 18 years.

I'm a children's clown,

so it's very hard

to have a professional career
in this place.

They call me Thalía.

You two are sisters?


-Who's the big sister?

Age-wise or size-wise?

You, in the back?



I was sentenced to 13 years
and four months,

and in five months I'll be released.

My name's Francelia.


This is a challenge,
and I like challenges.

I'm like, "Yes, I can do this."

Tiara. With a T.

My sentence is six years and eight months.

But I hope to get out early,

after serving three years and four months.

I studied political science.


I've been in prison for two years.

They gave me 10.

I'm in Block C.

That's where...

they send whoever is not diligent.

Good afternoon.


I'm a painter and I love it.

Being in front of a camera
is very intimidating.

It makes me nervous.

Also known as "Mrs. Vain." Just kidding.

Welcome to this workshop.

I've been doing stand-up comedy
for 11 years.

I think comedy makes life much easier.

Learning how to laugh,
and how to make others laugh,

which are different things,
makes life easier.

Even if this is a comedy workshop,
you have to take it seriously.

If you're sent to solitary...

Yes? What is it?

I got caught working in the ward.

And I'm not allowed to work.

Someone asked me
to deliver an order to the big ward,

and I did.

I got caught,

and I got a warrant.

Tomorrow I'll be taken to the court.

I don't know
if they'll increase my sentence.

What did you do that for?

I don't get visits

so I had to find a way
to survive in prison.

I don't know if I'll be getting
a government check or what.

The government is supposed to support you.

All right, cool.

So you're screwed.


She explained why she was being punished,

and I don't get it.

Apparently, some people here can work,
and others can't.

You start learning how the system works.

It's so stupid and frustrating.


I feel like I'm melting away.

Reminds me of someone last night.


Did they cool you down?

No, stupid. I meant the thickness.


Miss, I learned a joke.

A woman picks up her daughter from school.

And they leave the school quickly.

Some boys run past them
and throw bread crumbs at the girl.

So the girl goes,

"Mom, they're throwing
bread crumbs at me!"

"Oh, Robin..."

The girl's name is Robin.

That's the type of comedy
we won't be doing in this workshop.

I thought you'd be less serious
than the previous group.

It's like a funeral in here.

It's just that you told us
to pay attention. So we are.

But you should see your faces.

Like this.

The LGBT community

has suffered a lot.

And doing comedy about it
is even harder than any other subject.

I think prisoners sort of give up.

They forget what they know,
what they've learned throughout life.

But learning something new
improves your self-esteem

and brings excitement.

Their life is so monotonous,
that nothing excites them anymore.

Gaby, get a good night's sleep, please.

Sleep before coming.



-You're so obvious.
-Come well-rested. Yes.

Now I'll take down your names.

Let's go. The first one.


I think I can do comedy

about social labelling and all the issues

that we carry around
when we decide to be different.


In a hospital ward

At 5:43, Simón was born

I hate that song.

They would always call me
"the great macho man."

Whenever the song was playing,
they pointed at me, and I hated it.

I always mix up my words.

Wow, I'm nervous.


-What are we going to do?

We can become one.

Gaby "One" and Gaby "Two"?

Or Gabylu, like I call you.



I've been here for two years.
That's how long it's been.

I really like knowing

that I can make people laugh
about my tragedy.

-Yes, here.

I've been in jail for 37 years,

for stealing a bike in 1985.

They increased my sentence to 210 years,
and, thankfully, they lowered it to 90.

I'll get out in 2045,
if God lets me live that long.

I did something I shouldn't have done
in Dormitory 6.

I committed murder.

And about three months later,

my mom, my dad and my brother
came to visit me.

And what happened?

As they were leaving,
walking out of Dormitory 6...

They got killed. Someone shot them.

They're gone.

They took revenge.

I've been in here my whole life,

but I'm doing
something different with it now.

It's extremely important for you to know
that what you'll learn here

is gonna change your life.

In the next six weeks,

you'll learn how to write
a five-minute routine.

All right.


Which dance did you like?

-The chair dance or Britney's?
-The chair dance.

How come?

It's more sensual, more slutty.

-Right up your alley.



You're so well-behaved.

Hello, miss.

How are you doing?

-Good, miss!

First of all, welcome.

I do stand-up comedy,

and that's what I'll teach you.
I'll write it down.

I feel like an elementary school teacher.

Okay, so "Stand-up comedy."

My theory is
that comedy makes people listen.

So, every tragedy in your life,
every negative thing,

will be your material.

And that's a great way of living.

Unfortunately, as a woman,

you get a different vibe

at a male penitentiary.

Men don't loosen up as much with a woman.

If I was a man, things would be different.

Our first goal is to be original.

What sets you apart is your own story.

Many comedians talk about airplanes,

city traffic,

or love.

These are common topics,
but what makes them unique?

Their own take on it.

Take this place.
You're all in the same place.

But you don't notice the same things
or experience them the same.

This prison's a world in itself.
You may think it's just a prison

but it's not.

How many in the block?

Four hundred.

No kidding.

Is it a building?


-What's the difference? They can't go out?

It's like a prison inside a prison.

You're in prison but...

In a smaller prison.

Separated from the rest.

-And solitary is worse?
-Yes, another prison

inside a prison, but smaller.

How many prisons within prisons are there?

As many as you can imagine.

You can keep going lower and lower.

Yes, it's ugly.

All the way to suicide.

Stop it!

No, I'm serious.

And even further.

You learn to be free,
to value your freedom,

when you're here.

One by one, tell me your names.

Or your nicknames. That's fine too.

Let's go.


I try not to have expectations.

So I won't get disappointed.

I like to seize opportunities.

I'm a bit nervous, but I'm ready.

José Luis.

I'm very emotional and cry a lot.

I'll be laughing about my tragedy
and next thing you know I'll start crying.

I have to learn to control that.

Jesús Solar Serno.

I was sentenced to 41 years
and three months.

After 24 years in jail,

you adapt, because you have to.


This is amazing.

My life has been full of tragedy
and mishaps.

So it would be great

to make people laugh
at my tragedies turned into comedy.

Juan Carlos. They call me Carlín.

I've got some experience on stage.

I'm a clown, that's my art.

I learned on the streets,

doing street circus.

Learning is always a positive thing,

as a clown or otherwise.

My name's Juan Luis,
but they call me Honda.


I'm in Block 8, in Santa Martha.



I'm epileptic, unfortunately.

And fortunately,

because of this illness,

I still get seizures,
but you're my nurse, aren't you?

When I was a kid, my dad was epileptic.

So, from an early age,

I learned how to take care of him.

I learned these kinds of things

when I lived with him.

When I met him, I saw that people
didn't know what to do

in these situations, when he had seizures.

One time I saw people slapping him.

I empathize with him
because my father was epileptic.

He offered me his friendship


Real friends exist,

if you choose them right.

Go, Santa Cruz!

A place like this teaches you many things.

What I've learned from him

is that, if you walk in fear,
you won't live a quiet life.

So I've learned to walk

with confidence

in order to feel safe.

That's the advice he gave me.

We think family are those people
we share blood with,

but a family can be made up
in many different ways.

To me, he's family, my brother.

We share a lot,
spiritually and personally.

That's brotherhood.

And I think that's the most valuable thing

for a person,

for both of us.

We know each other so damn well.

Give me a hug.

-I love you.
-Me too, man.

As people say, laughter is freedom.

When you laugh, you forget everything.

That's the gift of comedy.

You make people laugh,
and you feel powerful.

Comedy might seem easy,
but it requires a lot of technique.

Let's start with the types
of stand-up comedy.

Okay, here we go.

Types of stand-up.

Jokes, observational...


Coffee shops nowadays name their coffee
after imaginary things.

"Unicorn Frappuccino."

"Dragon Drink Fresher."

"Clitoris Chocolate."

Things that aren't real.

Or fall into the category
of "I swear it does exist..." No.

Don't be ridiculous.

Next we have anecdote,

humiliation, comic defect.


Nobody likes pretentious dicks.

Vain, stuck-up dicks.

That's why I'm happy with my modest dick.


Yeah, man.

It's not like those fast food restaurants

that advertise
double meat burgers with bacon.

No. My dick is modest.

Slim meat.

Will it satisfy you?

Probably not.

But I made no promises.

My dick is modest.

And then there are irreverent,
character and specialist stand-up.

All right.

Anecdote stand-up.

The comedian uses
their own personal experience

to write comedy.

You can use anything

that happened to you.

And you can also use anecdotes

of a family member,
your uncle, your cousin.

But you can't steal
another comedian's anecdotes.

We know what happens when you steal...

-You end up in jail.

Who knows what could happen?

You get in but never leave.

Humiliation stand-up.

Want me to hold him
so you can write, Nancy?

Here, I'll hold him.

Here you go.

Come, little one.

There's a baby in the class.

And he's the most amazing baby
because he hasn't made a single noise.

The first method is to humiliate...

He farted.

Humiliate someone famous.

Like AMLO?

AMLO? Yes, you probably won't need
to explain who that is,

but if it's someone
from back in your days...

Thank you!

When are we having dinner?

Now that's humiliating!

That's an example of humiliation.

Okay, do I get an A?

Roque, you seem confused.

No, I...

I humiliated a famous person once.


The one who stole from Echeverría.

Efraín Carrizos, in the east penitentiary.

-You humiliated him?
-I did.

I hit him with a slingshot in the block.


I meant verbal humiliation.

Yes, all right.

-He's been here a long time.
-Yeah, I know.

And prisons nowadays are nothing
compared to what they used to be.

-You've been here...
-Like 37 years.

I was still swimming
in my dad's balls 37 years ago.

Thirty-seven years!

Roque is teaching us
everything not to do in here.

The rule in this type of comedy

is that you have permission
to mock whatever you are.

If you're gay, if you have cancer,

if you're fat, ugly, poor...

Whatever it is, you can make fun of it.

-If you're in jail.

-Were you talking about me?

I wasn't referring to you in particular.
I meant in general.

Now, what does stand-up consist of?

That's the gist.

Stand-up consists of a premise.

And what we call a punch line.

The premise is what the joke is about.

The punch line is what makes people laugh.

Now, every premise

must finish with a punch line.

Okay? It sounds difficult.

Or do you think it's a piece of cake?

No? Yes? Okay.

Would it be something like...

Everybody thinks prisons are filled
with bad people,

the most wicked people.

But in reality it's filled with fools,
because we got caught.

Exactly. That's it.

One of the rules in stand-up,

and in life, is to point out the obvious.

If you mock yourself first,

no one else can mock you.



-Oh, man!

You have to escape prison. Just kidding.

Damn, they found the tunnel I was digging.

You have to write

at least five things that you hate.

You'll read them out loud.

And slowly, it will take shape.

By the end, you'll say,
"I can't believe I wrote this."

-I have a brain.
-I have a brain!

-Yes, I can use it.
-And I can use it!

It's alive!


The point of this activity

is that, out there,

people realize
there are human beings in here.

We all make mistakes,
but these mistakes don't define us.

I'm a human being.

A criminal human being.

That's why this is important.

Not a criminal human being.

A human being who committed a crime.

You have to keep it positive,
because if you only talk about tragedies,

it'll scare people off.

Or turn tragedy into comedy.


The key is to turn tragedies into comedy.

If you want to talk
about something deeper,

like your crimes, or anything like that,
you can.

-I don't need to cover my mic?

Unless it's something
that'll add 30 years to your sentence.

Who is thinking, "This is not for me"?

Or "I don't like this"?

I want people who want to be here
and aren't just killing time.

Does anyone want to leave?

You'd better not be lying.

I told someone once,

"One day I'll laugh about all the things
I've been through."

I know I will be a great comedian.

Most jokes are about people's misfortunes,

and they're funny.

So now I'll use my misfortunes.

As a Mexican,

I feel almost obligated

to turn tragedy into comedy.

We struggle, we suffer a lot.

Turning what you long for
into comedy, and laughing about it

is great.

It's hard, but it must be done,
because, ultimately,

we don't have much control over our life,
we can't change it.

But we can change how we perceive it.

We didn't choose to be here,

but we need to deal with the shit
we have within and outside.

I'm starting to see the light.

I used to see things like these screens,
all black, all dark.

I'm starting to feel alive.
I smile at people.

It's something different for my life.

The first days are always weird
because they look at me funny.

But soon they'll loosen up.


I'm really curious to see what they write
and how difficult it's going to be.


His name is Coco Celis
and he's a great comedian.

He said,
"If she's ugly, I won't come out."

-How long have you been together?
-Twelve years.

Wow! That's hilarious, dude!

My stupidity fucked up my kidney,
my intestines and my blood pressure.

"Tell them you're a better break-dancer."

-You're saying...
-No. We don't...

Listen to me, asshole!

I'm a lawyer

and my goal is to get Jesús,
who is my partner, out of prison.

And I'll succeed.