Veteran actor-comedian Michael V. hopes to guest “It’s Showtime” host Vice Ganda on “Bubble Gang,” which will again be relaunched on July 9.
During the media conference for “Bubble Gang’s” relaunch on Friday, June 30, Michael V. shared that Vice Ganda “has always been open to collaboration,” adding how the last time they got to talk, “The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin” star expressed his hope to appear in the Kapuso comedy show. “Sana mabigyan ng (Hopefully, we’ll be given the) chance [to have Vice Ganda on the show],” said Michael V.
Last year during one of “It’s Showtime’s” segments, Vice Ganda also revealed to former “Bubble Gang” mainstay Ogie Alcasid that he had dreamed of appearing in the award-winning comedy program. “Dream ko ‘yan dati, ‘yung [maging guest sa] ‘Bubble Gang’ (It was my dream before to be a guest on “Bubble Gang”),” he said then, adding that it never materialized because of the show’s high standards.
The “Pepito Manaloto” actor, when asked about a sketch he sees doing with the “Unkabogable Star,” said that “top of mind” is playing the sarcastic Mr. Assimo with Vice Ganda.
While no official undertaking has commenced regarding the collaboration—he said it’s the first time he has expressed his desire to collaborate with Vice Ganda for “Bubble Gang”—what’s sure, according to the comedian, is that both he and Vice Ganda are willing to make the dream combination happen.
“In a heartbeat, gagawin ko kung walang…magiging aberya (I’ll do it if there would be no problem),” said the “Bubble Gang” former creative director, adding how he and Vice Ganda have talked about the possibility of working together when they were both guests in one of Regine Velasquez and Alcasid’s concerts.
A new time slot
Prior to the media conference, it had been announced that “Bubble Gang” would be airing every Sunday at 6 p.m. starting July 9. The show is embracing the new time slot as it vies to reach a “wider audience,” and with that, take on the challenge of providing content that’s relatable to a lot more people.
“We made sure na dapat ‘yung mga topics na ginagawa namin (that the topics that we tackle) [are]…relatable sa mas malaking audience (to a bigger audience)…we’re pushing na mas maging relevant ‘yung show (for the show to be more relevant) by focusing on topics na talagang mae-engage ‘yung mga tao (that will really engage people),” shared director Frasco Mortiz, who pointed out the challenge of staying relevant in the age of social media.
Mortiz added that while the content will be “more wholesome” with the earlier time slot, they will maintain the show’s trademark—which he said is something that will have viewers say while watching, “Loko-loko talaga ‘tong mga ‘to, ginawa nila ‘to.” (They’re really crazy, they did that.)
Michael V. said that even from the start, their aim is to reach the “widest audience possible.” But with the new time slot and the opportunity to perform for a wider audience, he shared that they have to be “very, very conscious about the content that you’re creating for our audience.”
He also shared how their reach was limited after acquiring a reputation for being “adult-themed” also because of their late time slot, which he admitted they “embraced for quite some time.”
The “Family History” actor, however, pointed out that the show has always been more than its reputation, adding how characters he has portrayed before such as Tata Lino and Bonggang Bonggang Bongbong are all wholesome. “So I don’t think it’s going to be a problem adjusting to this new time slot and to this wider audience,” he explained.
Long-time cast member Chariz Solomon shared that she will allow her three kids, all under 10 years old, to watch the relaunched “Bubble Gang.” Solomon also feels that her presence can serve as an assurance to parents that their kids can also watch their show.
“Feeling ko, me being there [in the show] is telling something…’Uy…pwede dito [ang mga bata]’ (Hey, it’s also for kids),” said Solomon.
Live audience setup
While the show has already done filming in front of a live audience before, the relaunch is looking to feature this setup more. Mortiz shared that he felt the difference in energy among the cast with a live audience in the picture.
“Iba ‘yung energy na binibigay ngayon nung mga artist dahil may audience involved…ramdam mo na iba ‘yung energy e. On their toes silang lahat kasi may nanonood e,” the director shared. (The energy that the artists are displaying is different because there is an audience involved…you can feel that the energy is different. They’re all on their toes because there are people watching.)
Cast member Analyn Barro, who is not new to the live audience setup as she participated in the comedy show’s live musical “Parokya Bente Dos” in 2017, said that she prefers having a live audience.
“For me, mas maganda ‘yung may audience kasi bago siya, fresh content, fresh ‘yung mga naiisip ng lahat. And talagang alam mo ‘pag nakakatawa ka kasi tumatawa din ‘yung audience. Alam mo ‘yung feeling na ‘Uy, napapatawa mo sila.’ So, parang mas fulfilling…so, mas nagustuhan ko po siya [na may live audience].”
(For me, it’s better with an audience because it’s new, fresh content, the ideas all are coming up with are fresh. And, really, you would know when you’re funny because the audience is laughing. You know the feeling that “Hey, you’re able to make them laugh.” So, it’s more fulfilling…so, I like performing in front of a live audience more.)
A different lineup
Joining Barro, Michael V. and Solomon for the relaunch next Sunday are Kokoy De Santos, Paolo Contis, Betong Sumaya and new cast members Buboy Villar, Chesca Fausto and EA Guzman, who was not able to attend the media conference.
Asked about the shake-up in the casting, Michael V. thinks “it has a lot to do with the network,” adding how they should trust GMA which, he shared, won’t just “on a whim” remove cast members. Speaking about previous cast members, the comedian said, “Alam nila e (They know) what it takes to be part of the show, and they can always find their way back.”
Contis, on the other hand, shared how previous cast members or “graduates” of the show have been their guests almost every week. “So I think, right now…feeling ko, ang main goal ng network kaya mas konti kami is para mas marami kaming ma-guest,” adding that part of their adapting to the times is exploring in terms of the people they bring in the show. (I feel that the main goal of the network as to why we are fewer is for us to have more guests.)
He, however, admitted to feeling sad about people leaving the show, but clarified that their friendship with their former co-stars is not built on being in the same show. “We’re not taping friends, we’re friends,” explained the new “Eat Bulaga” mainstay.
Contis shared that before the comedy show officially relaunches on July 9, there would be a special episode on July 7, wherein viewers will get to witness their preparations for their pilot episode.
First aired in 1995, “Bubble Gang” marks its 28th anniversary this year. /ra
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