The Jantuk: Betawi’s Stand Up Comedy

In modern comedy art, it is known as stand-up comedy or jokes performed by someone standing on stage. Tells about comedy material that entertains the audience in front of it. Apparently, comedy arts like this already exist in the Betawi cultural tradition.

In the Betawi cultural tradition, it is known as Topeng Jantuk, or the play Si Jantuk. This art was popularized by legendary Betawi artists Haji Bokir and Jiung. The Si Jantuk Mask performance is part of the closing of the Betawi mask art which is performed all night at weddings and other events.

Through this performance, the audience can absorb the original Betawi language. The mask of Si Jantuk usually begins with music from the gamelan and singing performed by sinden. Not long after, there appeared at least three dancers who waddled to the rhythm of the music.

Quoted from Antara, Betawi culturalist from the Betawi Cultural Institute Atien Kisam said that Jantuk himself was a character of a Betawi figure. He is a middle-aged man who often gives advice to married couples. The advice material, said Atien, is related to domestic life issues.

"In the past (Jantuk's play) was very, very loved. People needed marriage advice, because married people weren't just going through the ark of the household, but if there was a wave of problems, we had to be able to deal with them.”' said Atien.

Atien said that currently the Jantuk play is rarely found in weddings or other performances because the culture has begun to disappear. According to him, playing the character of a Jantuk is considered difficult and requires special skills.

One of the skills that must be mastered by Jantuk actors on stage is being good at rhyming. However, from the rhymes he gave contained advice to the bride and groom who would carry out the wedding.


“Manusia tanpa cita-cita adalah mati. Cita-cita tanpa kerja adalah mimpi. Idaman yang menjadi andalan adalah kebahagiaan.”
- Ali Sadikin -
Gubernur DKI Jakarta 1966 - 1977
“Emang rejeki kagak kemane, tapi kalo lo gak kemane-mane mana mau dapet rejeki.”
- H. Benyamin Sueb -
Seniman Betawi