By Nani Aloha
Each and every morning at 6AM Hawai`i time on Twitch.tv, comedian Andy Bumatai greets his online viewers with a big smile and a mug full of coffee.
The Daily Pidgin LIVE show is uniquely Andy in many ways, not the least of which, is the attached moniker, “A Chat show with Aloha”. In other words, Andy encourages everyone in the chat to treat each other with kindness, courtesy and respect, resulting in a show that’s very enjoyable and relaxed. In the chat, we use “small kine” Hawaiian Pidgin English, though it’s certainly not required. The Pidgin helps those who want to visit Hawai`i, or those missing the islands, to feel right at home. Andy includes local music, blends in his unique “mini movies” that feature Hawai`i’s beautiful landscape, fun polls of his audience and once in awhile, guest interviews. Individuals appearing on the show have included, International “Whaling Wall” Artist Robert Wyland, Broadway Star Loretta Abliss, Surfing Legend Gerry Lopez, and a local favorites, Singer Melveen Leed, Lonomusic and Photographer PhotoLukeHawaii, to name a few.
The show is really the perfect little escape from all that’s currently going on in a world dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic; a world full of fear, anxiety, upheaval, and stress. Unfortunately, sometimes that negativity expresses itself in the form of a troll in our online chat. What is a troll? A troll is a person who posts inappropriate, controversial or polarizing comments in an effort to cause animosity or provoke a response in the group. Since we know this, we also know the best way to get rid of a troll is to totally ignore them. Andy encourages his audience to do just that. Ignoring them, and at the same time keeping kindness in your heart, is the best practice. The kindness part is so you donʻt pass on what they are passing because someone passed it to them. It works.
So how did this show begin? It was a happy accident. On Thursday afternoon, April 30, 2020, Andy was at home, like the rest of us, but he was looking into a bedroom full of equipment. Cameras, show lighting, microphones, computers, switches. Remnants from his national television talk show, NightTime with Andy Bumatai which had come to an abrupt end when the Corona virus came along and did a good job of frightening away all his sponsors.
He sat down in front of his computer to do some production work for a new version of The Daily Pidgin Show that he regularly posted on YouTube. Computers ON, Cameras ON, Lights ON, Microphone ON. Suddenly, names and short greetings began popping up on his computer screen. Thankfully, his equipment recorded the moment. “What is that about?” “What is this?” he said out loud. As more Alohas flooded his screen, he began recognizing some of the names from years of producing and posting shows.
Andy then realized he was LIVE on YouTube and began talking into the camera, “Oh man! hey, howz it guys, you know what, I’m TESTING this…I’ve been going Live on Facebook recently and it’s supposed to go Live on YouTube at the same time, but it never has…until today.” Jerrell chatted, “glad you were dressed” Tracy chimed in with, “At least you not in your BB Dees” Laughing emotes and sentiments of enjoyment over Andy’s comedy through the years filled the chat. A small group of about 20 people quickly grew to 148 within fifty minutes. Finally Andy said, “Well, I’m just rambling, I’m going to shut down now.”
Cinthia quickly chat, “Wait, don’t stop the pidgin show! You can wing it tomorrow too.”
Triple J wrote, “Don’t go braddah we like watchin.”
Artistic Auntie Bagel, “Rambling is good.”
Vancemo, “The rambling is pretty damn good!”
Uncle Black, “All natural…not scripted…Love it.”
Andy looked straight into the camera and said with a smile, “Okay, tomorrow, 3:00 Hawai`i Time, we going try dis again…fingers crossed.”
Early that morning Andy had thrown on one of his favorite t-shirts. It read, “No Aku Birds” which turned out to be so apropos. Aku birds are those that swoop in, grab food, then take off in flight. In Hawai`i, “No Aku Birds” is slang for people who come to the party but don’t bring any food or beer, but eat plenty food, drink the beer, and leave. That’s the direct opposite of who Andy is. He brings the comedy, then brings more, and as everyone’s rolling on the floor with laughter, he spreads the Aloha more by hanging out when folks ask to “talk story” with him.
Andy not only came back the next day as everyone asked, he also came back the day after that. In fact, he’s been doing the show EVERY DAY since. Amazingly, he’s now closing in on 200 days (in a row) of broadcasting the Daily Pidgin LIVE show. We have a good time with “plenny laughs”. It’s a great way to start your day. Come join us! Andy is on a fresh and fun platform, Twitch.tv 6:00 am HST LIVE Every day. Here’s the link:
By the way, if that time is too early for you, no worries, you can watch Andy on the replays posted at www.youtube.com/andybumatai Or, Come catch Andy LIVE on YouTube, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3:30pm Hawai`i Standard Time.