Indro Warkop on April IssueProfile11 April 2017
By Larasati Oetomo
“Dono and Kasino taught me a priceless lesson about what being a comedian means. They taught me that a comedian is obligated to be an eloquent spokesperson for the people in their generation.” – Indro
For Indro, life itself is a comedy. There is always some humor within the realism of life, in the veins of everyday life. That is the reason why he thinks of comedy as the spirit of the kin and identity of the folks. “Each group of people laughs for specific kind of joke. For example, if we present American jokes to our local tribes, would they laugh? No. Even the Sundanese laugh for different jokes from our fellow Javanese friends. It is the uniqueness of comedy as an artwork.” Paradoxically, Indro argues that comedy is ‘one of the most serious forms of art’ because it deals with tragedies and problems of the society. As if in Warkop DKI, Indro and his former comrades Dono and Kasino see comedy as a movement. Together they presented critiques and satires, wrapped in light humor and comical acts.
There are three things in the world that amalgam within Indro’s present self: his parents, his experience as a scout boy, and Warkop DKI. Indro is beyond grateful to work and grow with Warkop DKI. Treasured the moments they share together as priceless, to Indro it was the legacy of wisdom from Dono and Kasino that has shaped who he is today. “Both of them are academicians. They always encourage me to think critically, to always stand with the people. Dono told me, ‘as the privileged, you have to speak for the people—hence your life holds meaning.’”
Indro also shares with us the key to his everlasting companionship with Dono and Kasino. “We don’t believe in oneness; we believe in togetherness. We are driven to think as a collective at work, without disregarding our individuality in choosing who to be in our personal life.” The core foundation of their work is to translate serious issues into acceptable discourse for everyday conversation. This core foundation is the philosophy behind the name ‘Warkop’ (abbreviation of Warung Kopi; a local coffee mini stalls where folks gather).
“I have never seen a place where people are so free to speak their mind other than in Warung Kopi. It is the place where ideas are channeled and conversations flow endlessly. It is a treasured heritage of our kin,” Indro explains. Together with his comrades, Indro thrives to share the philosophy under the name ‘Warkop’. And yes, the conversation lasts until today.