Pepe Viyuela: "When you laugh you feel like you can move on"

They say that laughter is a balm for the soul. A good laugh takes away our sorrows, abstracts us from our ills and, above all, makes us happy. When we talk about this matter we cannot do it without remembering the historical humor experts: clowns. Not in vain is there evidence that this trade already existed more than 4,000 years ago in China, where a jester named Yusze served in the court of Emperor Chiiu Shih huang-ti, builder of the Great Wall.

Precisely to honor these nice and funny characters, who traditionally have a huge red nose and a big heart, this Thursday is the International Clown Day. A date to commemorate this noble office that knows no borders, no races, no languages.

Photo: EFE / ARCHIVE

Let it be celebrated annually on November 5 It is not a coincidence and it touches us very closely to the Spanish. The date was chosen in honor the birth of Emilio Alberto Aragón, whom we all know as the mythical clown Miliki. The likeable comedian, along with the rest of Los clowns on TV, made a whole generation of children laugh and brought happiness to many homes.

The importance of humor and clowns in times of covid

In these times in which grief has taken over most of the planet because of covid-19, clowns and humor may be more important never. In The Confidential we have chatted with one of our most illustrious clowns, Pepe Viyuela, to capture the great value that the professionals who are honored today can contribute.

"At times like these humor is a lifesaver, something that we cling to so as not to sink and that allows us to look forward with hope ”, the actor thinks about the importance of humor in these hard times. For the proud clown laughter immediately turns to hope, “The moment you laugh you feel you can move on. It is as if with laughter we are charged with energy to continue moving towards the solution of the problems that we may have ”.

"If there is no laughter, you do not know when to start again": the challenge of comedy without an audience

Fran Sánchez Becerril

"In the current situation I think that laughing in community, laugh together, it's very important. The worse we are, the more we need laughter and a sense of humor to survive, ”says Viyuela.

In this sense, he points out that the type of comedy that is done can be combative against injustice or a balm to help us cope with what we suffer: “It can be both, it depends on who does it, it can carry a more satirical or more critical load. Be that as it may, it is always a reactive element against suffering, whether it bears a sting or is simply used as a balm; it is always very useful ”.

Pepe Viyuela. Photo: Raúl Magdaleno

So that this happiness caused by comedy comes out the actor claims the figure of the clown, “Which has been present in all cultures since the human being has self-awareness, because it is a kind of mirror in front of which we stand to see ourselves and accept us. In all cultures there have been shamans or witches who used dance or parody to overcome difficulties ”.

"At this time we need this kind of charactersMay they be able to exorcise us and get rid of this fear; or at least help us to overcome it ", says the actor while indicating that" the humor of the clown, which does not necessarily have to be white, invites you to laugh at yourself, to look in the mirror and laugh at your situation, your defects and your problems ”. "And if it is not possible to laugh directly, because it is very difficult due to the pandemic that is happening right now, it is possible to put the focus in another more friendly place that allows you to become stronger in the face of the problem," he adds.

He also points out that the humor that clowns seek “is not a narcotic humor, which makes us forget reality, but a sedating humor in a sense, which allows us to endure the terrible pain that we are living to reach another happier moment ”.

Taking into account the history of the clowns and their humor, Viyuela sentences: “We clowns are absolutely necessary. We have always been, but in times as difficult as these, we are even more so ”.

The pleasure for a clown to make laugh

The actor is attracted to being a clown "for the pleasure of making people laugh ". “We all like to have them laugh with us. Since we are children, the laughter of people draws our attention and more if it is caused by something we have done ”, he points out.

Pepe Viyuela. Photo: Raúl Magdaleno

“That immense pleasure that comes out on stage and receiving that wave of positive energy is very rewarding. The same is true of the return you receive in the street when they thank you that in difficult moments they have laughed with you, that you helped someone to move on ”, he explains.

According to the negative connotation of the word clownViyuela considers it "normal", although she does not share it. “We live in a society where success… more than success, the concealment of failure, is what is valued above all else; and the clown lives by failing and turning it into a party ”, he points out.

"I understand that it is negatively associated because we stumble, we fall, we make mistakes, we do not hide our mistakes, we dress in a quirky way and we belong to that sector of society that does not mind recognizing that we are vulnerable and does not mind saying that we have the right to fail and that we learn from failure ”, he concludes.