All About Gila Review: Proves Gila is Still as Relevant as He Was 20 Years Ago

All About Gila (Todos Se Gila) is a Spanish language standup comedy special on Netflix, which gives a fun and moving tribute to the evergreen comedian Miguel Gila. It also marks 20 year anniversary of Gila’s death, and celebrates him in a manner he would have much applauded. With a length of 1 hour and 16 minutes, All About Gila has various comedians perform Gila’s some of the best sketches and monologues with some contemporary twists. All About Gila also opens the late comedian’s best work to the non-Spanish speaking audience, helping his words reach new audiences across the world.

– All About Gila review does not contain spoilers –

All About Gila: the Comedian

Miguel Gila Cuesta was a Spanish comedian and actor who was active between 1954 and the 1990s. He was a satirist and often his monologues, which he performed using a telephone, included commentary on the Spanish government and war. He was involved in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) as a young man, and was sent to jail several times. These experiences he frequently used in his standup routines and monologues. In All About Gila, these monologues have been performed with much creativity by the comedians.

All About Gila starts with actor Dani Ravira picking up a 20th-century dial up telephone, sitting in a park with his dog. The absurdity of this scene is elevated as each comedian, in different settings, gets the same call on the same telephone. The telephone is significant as it used to be the main prop in Gila’s monologues, where he would talk to imaginary characters in surreal, absurd scenarios. In one of the most memorable sketches, Gila talks to the enemy and asks them to stop the war for a second as Gila can’t listen to his voice over the phone.

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The host David Broncano starts All About Gila performing the birth monologue, where the people who adopted him “flushed their toilet with mineral water. Their x-rays were in oil on canvas, painted by Goya.” At this the audience cracks up, half from remembrance and nostalgia of the joke. That none of these jokes are new may surprise people who don’t know the impact Gila has had on the Spanish people, especially the generation who grew under his benevolent and funny shadow.

All About Gila Review: Proves Gila is Still as Relevant as He Was 20 Years Ago

The most famous monologue, calling the enemy, is performed by Ernesto Sevilla, who dials up the enemy and asks, “Can you stop the war for a moment?” and asks them to come to attack them on Sunday afternoon after the football game. Here, by making war that disrupts normal life, in an everyday scheduled thing, he shows that it is a war that’s absurd and meaningless and not this monologue.

In another moment, Sevilla says that he likes was, as he can double-park the tank anywhere he wants. As we see many footages of Russian tanks swarming around in Ukrainian cities, the irony of Gila’s joke is not lost, in fact, it is still as relevant as it was during the Spanish Civil War.

Satire hidden in rib-tickling comedy

Infused with the performances is a recording of a 1976 interview with Miguel Gila, where he talks about his childhood, and why he tells jokes about the war in such a surreal manner. Another performer, Ana Morgade, takes an extremely roundabout way to talk about the housing crisis. One of her friends who has recently moved says, “Too much noise and pollution. I moved to the outskirts.”, to which she replies, “The outskirts of what? Portugal?” (Portugal is the neighbouring country to Spain). As you watch the show and laugh out loud, you realise most of the jokes are relatable to present day and age.

In between the sketches in All About Gila, he talks about the uselessness of school education in real life, “they teach in school so you can do crossword puzzles when you are older…pythagoras theorem” and whatnot. He talks about his objective behind his comedy, that it has a purpose, a role to play…in criticising the system, it has a touch of satire or irony. Gila also talks about individuality, expressing oneself as one feels, not being a hypocrite and being true to oneself.

All About Gila Review: Proves Gila is Still as Relevant as He Was 20 Years Ago

All About Gila does a very good job of expressing not just Gila’s sense of humour, but also Gila as a person and his contribution to the collective memory of the people. It is obvious that everyone knows every joke told in All About Gila, but they are not there just for the comedy, but to witness a part of their lives being replayed, a part much loved and remembered.

The ending of All About Gila is equally beautiful and musical, with El Kanka singing a melody incorporating some of the most famous lines by Gila like, “Is this the enemy? Put him on?”. It is a celebration of Miguel Gila and his influence on the Spanish people. He is apart of their collective memory and lives on in these jokes and monologues, things that one can throw around in a conversation and immediately laugh.

All About Gila will make you laugh, you will definitely want to know more about him and probably watch his sketches, but sadly there are not many in English. In this sense, Netflix has done an amazing job of making available his best sketches to an international audience. All About Gila is a good watch, you must give it a try if you are feeling down or in need of an upliftment. All About Gila is available to watch on Netflix.

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Few of the best Spanish comedians come together to give tribute to the timeless comedian Miguel Gila in an absurd and extraordinary fashion in the Netflix special All About Gila.

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Few of the best Spanish comedians come together to give tribute to the timeless comedian Miguel Gila in an absurd and extraordinary fashion in the Netflix special All About Gila.All About Gila Review: Proves Gila is Still as Relevant as He Was 20 Years Ago