culture, entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

1995 Flashback: Eat Bulaga Goes from 2 to 7

‘Eat Bulaga’ found a new lease in life upon moving to the GMA Network in January 1995. (Photo credit:  friedchickenbyaspineda.blogspot.com)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

The longest-running noontime variety show in the country found a new home twenty years ago.

On January 28, 1995, ‘Eat Bulaga’ premiered on GMA with a special live episode held at the now-Smart Araneta Coliseum. The change in network came after negotiations between producers TAPE, Inc. and ABS-CBN bogged down.

In the months leading to its departure, ABS-CBN proposed a deal that would transfer ‘Eat Bulaga”s rights to the Lopez-owned network. When it became clear that TAPE would not accept the deal, ABS-CBN dropped ‘Eat Bulaga’ and fellow TAPE-produced shows ‘Valiente’ and ‘Okay Ka Fairy Ko’ from its lineup.

ABS-CBN then responded by moving its erstwhile Sunday show ‘Sa Linggo nAPO Sila’ to weekdays under the name ”Sang Linggo nAPO Sila’. The newly-rebranded variety show made its debut on February 6, 1995, but lasted only three years.

It was with the Kapuso network where ‘Eat Bulaga’ found its greatest success. The show became the launching pad for the careers of the Sexbomb Dancers, comedians and current hosts Allan K, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola, and the youngest talk show host today in Ryzza Mae Dizon.

‘Eat Bulaga”s GMA years also featured several memorable gimmicks. Among those that stood out were ‘Laban o Bawi’, a game segment that gives the audience a chance to win P1 million, and ‘Pinoy Henyo’, a guessing game between two individuals.

But perhaps the most crowning achievement of ‘Eat Bulaga”s tenure with GMA was its charity work. The show found new ways to interact with its audience via the on-location segment ‘Juan for All, All for Juan: Bayanihan Op D Pipol’, the ‘Plastic ni Juan’ project, and the ‘EB Scholar’ initiative.

Today, ‘Eat Bulaga’ maintains its stature as the top noontime show in the country, regardless of rival. The cast and crew may have changed over the years, but one thing’s for sure: Tito, Vic and Joey will always be there to give some laughter and entertainment to viewers.

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