Thu, 25 Sep 2003

Return of radio's 'king of comedy'

Zakki Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

"SK93.9FM Sentra Komedi, you're listening to Trafieska! Monday is Say Day. You may call and talk about anything," Uncle JC opened the segment.

"Yes, you can say anything about traffic," continued JC's partner, Funny Girl.

"Or why we are sending more men to the moon!" Uncle JC yelled.

"Oh, we got a caller. Yes, what do you want to say?"

And the caller said, "I'm in love with an Indian movie star, Shah Rukh Khan. What should I do?"

It is part of Trafieska, one of Radio SK programs, and it is in English. Since May 2, the once collapsed Jakarta comedy station Radio SK has revived from its three-year slumber.

Before it collapsed at the end of the last millennium, the radio station was famous among Jakartans for its distinctive concept of spreading humor over the city's airwaves.

The station was a legend, famous for being the training ground for most of the noted comedians appearing on television across the country.

Radio SK's "alumni" include Ulfa Dwiyanti, Trio Patrio (Parto, Akri and Eko), Trio Bagito (Mi'ing, Didin, Unang), Taufik Savalas, Komeng and Kiwil.

The station's production manager, Ius Yudi Tri Artanto, said that after being absent from joking around on Jakarta's air for about three years, Radio SK returned to deliver its tradition of bringing humor to the city's life.

"Most of our crew now are former SK's team players. We also approached SK's comedian alumni to contribute their time broadcasting on-air. Most of them welcome the idea," he told The Jakarta Post recently.

He added that the radio was preparing a routine on-air show for the comedians as well as significant opportunities for newcomers.

"It's quite a challenge for us to revive SK, due to the big name it has," Ius said, adding that he realized there were many SK fans and that they must have high hopes for the new station.

To adapt to the harsh competition, Radio SK is repositioning its image to aim at the middle to higher bracket audiences between 25 and 45-years old, whereas before it targeted teenagers from the middle to lower class.

Therefore, he said, Radio SK offered more smart humor programs, for example in its prime time it broadcasted Trafieska!, an interactive program in English, hosted by an American calling himself Uncle JC and a lady who goes by the name Funny Girl.

"Jakarta could be really depressing," Uncle JC told the Post on the sidelines of his show.

He said that people here were actually very nice and they could really use humor to lighten up their day.

Ius added that Radio SK aimed to establish a humor community in the city, who could see anything from a different angle.

"With humor, people could perceive the beauty of any problems," he said.

SK was first broadcast on 846AM in 1966, where it stood for Suara Kemenangan (voice of victory). Four years later, the radio changed its name to Suara Kejayaan (voice of glory) and since then specialized in humor. In 1985, the name changed again to Senyum dan Ketawa (smile and laugh).

In 1988, its frequency changed to 101.6FM. The radio kept its character until the day it collapsed on Dec. 31, 1999.

The broadcasting station had moved several times. It was headquartered on Jl. Pakubuwono, South Jakarta, until 1992. Then it moved to the sixth floor of Pasaraya Manggarai until 1996. From 1996 until its last day of airing jokes, it was located at Jl. H. Peeng 9A, Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta.

Now, SK stands for Sentra Komedi (comedy center) and stationed on the Penthouse Floor of Gedung Adhi Graha, Jl. Jend. Gatot Subroto, Central Jakarta.

Having a long history in the world of broadcasting and standing as a legendary comedy station in the city, it now has a slogan, "SK93.9FM Sentra Komedi, the second comedy station in the country, the only one in the world."