Late last year, BH sent me a link to a video on the internet. He does this quite frequently and there is only so much I can watch about Palmeiras or politics or the economy, so I didn't open it right away. Later that night he said: no, seriously, you need to watch it. It was called "Depoimento" (filing a police report) and was on the youtube page called "Porta dos Fundos."
In the video, link here, a woman is at the police station describing being robbed. Or not describing, as the case may be. No matter how many times the detective asks direct questions like "what was he wearing" or "was he black or white?", she returns inoffensive vague answers like "He was wearing what I suppose he could afford" or "I'd like to think of him first as a human being." There is nothing the detective can do to extract the race of the suspect, the exact clothing he was wearing, or anything that would help locate the suspect. It is hilarious (to those of you who speak Portuguese) and I am always so amazed how comedians can keep a straight face.
Created in mid-2012, this comedy troupe Porta dos Fundos does all its work online. They don't have a live show. They don't have a TV show. It is all on youtube. They poke fun at most parts of daily life here, and have been so successful that a company they ridiculed online enjoyed the farce so much, it hired them to do two commercials for them.
I don't really know where their name comes from but I'm guessing they are using Backdoor in the internet sense. A way of bypassing internet security is my best non-techy explanation. BH says there is another definition of porta dos fundos, but this is a family page and I won't go into that.
Their Christmas special was more than a little on the edge when they suggested that the Virgin Mary had sex with the Holy Spirit and the Father to make the Son (Holy Trinity), and also showed Jesus negotiating to not be nailed onto the cross. The evangelists have not taken kindly to this and have a full-fledged campaign against the comedy troupe.
At this point, Porta dos Fundos is the fifth most popular (in terms of subscriptions) online comedy channel worldwide (source here). I crack up most of the time when I watch one of these. A friend sent me this one called Moda or Fashion which shows two women shopping for a new burqa. Without speaking Portuguese, it might be hard to get the nuances, but in the end the choices are black, black or black, and the one woman who risks a burqa with a "decolletage" (showing her eyes) is stoned by another shopper.
My all-time favorite is "Suborno" or Bribe. It shows a couple pulled over by the police, and the policeman asking, in a roundabout way, for a bribe. The driver doesn't understand, calls over his wife, who doesn't understand, and slowly a whole crowd builds up as they all try to understand the policeman subtly asking for some money.
This cracks me up the most because I had no idea there were so many ways to ask for money..."we could find a way to resolve this situation with an alternative solution that is beneficial to both sides" or "we could have a collaboration that would resolve this." Okay, those are my translations but it's worth a couple of minutes even if you don't speak Portuguese to see the faces of these people as they try to understand the officer.
As Jose Simão, my other favorite comedian/journalist says, it's a country of the ready joke. Piada Pronta. You don't have to look too far.