comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Bubble Gang 20th Anniversary Special This Friday

The logo for the 20th anniversary season of ‘Bubble Gang’. The anniversary special airs this Friday on GMA. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The 20th anniversary of ‘Bubble Gang’ will be celebrated this Friday.

For this year, the annual ‘Bubble Gang’ anniversary special will be treated as a documentary, produced by none other than the GMA News and Public Affairs department. The documentary will highlight the rich history of the 20-year-old gag show, featuring interviews from past and present cast members, as well as behind-the-scenes personnel.

As always, the special will not be complete without the trademark sketches that have made ‘Bubble Gang’ so endearing. The skits will not only feature the current cast, but also some of the former mainstays as well.

Currently one of the country’s longest-running programs, ‘Bubble Gang’ first premiered on October 20, 1995. The show has attracted a loyal following over the years, and continues to gain new fans as technology and popular culture evolved.

One of the show’s driving forces is Michael V, who along with Antonio Aquitania, has been part of ‘Bubble Gang’ since its first episode. Bitoy is currently the show’s creative director, formulating most of the show’s endearing skits.

Just recently, Michael V released ‘The Bubble Bible’, a book that features humorous quotes from some of Bitoy’s memorable ‘Bubble Gang’ characters. In essence, ‘The Bubble Bible’ was considered a tribute to the entertainer who has made ‘Bubble Gang’ the country’s longest-running gag show, and a culmination of the show’s 20th year.

‘Bubble Gang”s other current cast members include Boy 2 Quizon, Betong Sumaya, Mikael Daez, Paolo Contis, Sef Cadayona, Rufa Mae Quinto, Chariz Solomon, Jackie Rice, Sam Pinto, Gwen Zamora, Max Collins and Andrea Torres. Supporting players include Diego Llorico, Mykah, Moymoy Palaboy, Denise Barbacena, RJ Padilla, Arny Ross, Joyce Ching, Jan Manual and Juancho Trivino.

To date, ‘Bubble Gang’ has aired 1,003 episodes during its 20-year history. The documentary this Friday will be the show’s 1,004th.

The hashtag for this year’s anniversary special will be #IMBG20. For those unaware of how ‘Bubble Gang’ started, this should help them understand how it all began, and how it evolved into the gag show it is today.

The ‘Bubble Gang’ 20th anniversary documentary airs this Friday after ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Tropa Moko Unli is Hot, and Bubble Gang is Not

After only two episodes ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ became a trending topic on Twitter, fueled by the revival of the ‘Battle of the Brainless’ skit.

They may have aired two episodes so far, but TV5’s newest gag show ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ is quickly becoming a hot trending topic in social media, not only in the Philippines, but also globally. So much so that it has the potential to put the long-running gag show ‘Bubble Gang‘ of GMA out of the airwaves, just like what that program did to the Kapatid network‘s original gag show ‘Tropang Trumpo‘.

It can be argued that Ogie Alcasid‘s decision to leave GMA and sign with TV5 was a blessing in disguise. After all, Alcasid spent 18 years as part of the ‘Bubble Gang’ cast after initially leaving ‘Tropang  Trumpo’ alongside buddy Michael V. However, Alcasid appears unsatisfied in playing the sidekick role, thus he moved over as a Kapatid talent and was tapped to be the ‘face’ and leader of the ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ gang. Alcasid was joined by fellow ‘Tropa’ Gelli de Belen, and by bringing in younger talent from the ‘Lokomoko‘ gag show, it unified both of TV5’s past and present gag shows into one, which became ‘Tropa Moko Unli’. And so far the union has been beneficial.

The strength of ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ lies on a carryover skit from the ‘Tropang Trumpo’ days. The decision to bring back the classic ‘Battle of the Brainless’ skit has been met with both critical and popular acclaim; the segment itself was also a social media hit. In addition, a parody of ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, entitled ‘Lasa May Toyo’, also contributed to the show’s popularity. For tomorrow’s episode, Alcasid will play host to the ‘Show Show A All the Way’, a parody of ‘The Medyo Late Night Show’ starring Jojo Alejar.

While ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ is gaining momentum, ‘Bubble Gang’ is losing steam. GMA’s long-running gag show is suffering from the lack of interesting skits, the worst of the bunch happens to be Diego Llorico’s ‘Atlit’ segment which took out the more popular ‘Ba’t Ganun?’ skit. The retirement of ‘Boy Pick Up’ and other characters played by Ogie Alcasid also factored into the show’s loss of audience. While Michael V. tried to make things interesting with his ‘Tata Lino’ and ‘Mr. Assimo’ skits, it is apparent that ‘Bubble Gang’ is past its prime, and with its placement on the late night Friday slot opposite ABS-CBN and TV5’s newscasts, audiences seem more interested in watching the news than a gag show like ‘Bubble Gang’.

‘Bubble Gang’ needs to get out of its so-called ‘group of death’ if they want to extend the show’s proven longevity. A move to Saturday nights is a logical move; GMA can place the program in the more favorable 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. slot where the program once enjoyed its peak of popularity. And it should benefit the program, considering that ABS-CBN’s ‘Banana Split’ and the aforementioned ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ airs on Saturdays, thus giving ‘Bubble Gang’ some much-needed competition. The revival of the popular ‘Ba’t Ganun?’ and the creation of more interesting and relative characters is what the program desperately need.

With the popularity and social media trending that ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ has enjoyed so far, they may have the potential to oust ‘Bubble Gang’ as the most popular gag show in the Philippines. And they seem poised to do so, just as ‘Bubble Gang’ did with ‘Tropang Trumpo’ back in its heyday.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

Boy Pick-Up Gives Up

Two weeks ago, Boy Pick-Up (Ogie Alcasid) suffered his first defeat to Boy Basag (Ogie Alcasid) in Bubble Gang‘s ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch. I even predicted that the sketch will be put to pasture after that. But last night the sketch made its return, with Boy Pick-Up given a chance to redeem himself.

This time Boy Pick-Up had to go through the eliminations. His opponent was Push-Back (Boy 2 Quizon), who brought along Sukli and Bagoong (Moymoy Palaboy) as his back-ups. Like the previous sketch, Boy Back-Up (Eri Neeman) did not accompany Boy Pick-Up, instead Boy Bakla (Diego Llorico) subbed in. In another surprise move, MC Bits (Michael V) introduced a different moderator named Inday Why (Ellen Adarna). Throughout the sketch, the erstwhile moderator Neneng B (Sam Pinto) was seen in the background near Boy Pick-Up.

Like in the previous editions, the eliminations start with a game of rock-paper-scissors, something Boy Pick-Up wasn’t familiar with. Two rounds of play commenced, with Push-Back and Boy Pick-Up taking turns. But instead of the familiar ‘Bakit?’, ‘Why?’ was used throughout the pick-up rounds, hence the new moderator’s name. As expected, Boy Pick-Up won the eliminations, giving him an opportunity to redeem himself against Boy Basag, who was joined by his back-up Bisugo (Betong Sumaya).

As expected Boy Basag chose Boy Pick-Up to go first. But like in the previous sketch, no one from the audience were enthusiastic of Boy Pick-Up’s line, while Boy Basag’s was given a round of approval. After only one round, Boy Pick-Up made a surprising decision to quit, saying he does not have any more pick-up lines to offer. Eventually Boy Basag was named the winner, but not before grilling Boy Bakla with an embarrassing pick-up line.

Again I would reiterate that this sketch had run its course. The writers at Bubble Gang had finally made the realization. By telling the story about Boy Pick-Up’s ‘resignation’ from the competition, they also hastened the sketch’s ‘retirement’. For the past few days since Boy Pick-Up’s first loss I thought about the sketch as a ticking time bomb, knowing that the last few sketches will give an idea on how Boy Pick-Up would finally call it a career. Also with regards to Boy Basag, I think he became a perfect foil to the popular Boy Pick-Up, but had he been brought along earlier in last year’s Boy Pick-Up: The Movie instead of Bagwis (Dennis Trillo), it would have made sense. Still, it didn’t mask the fact that the sketch’s days were being numbered.

While I contemplate about the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch and its ‘retirement’, why not you view the clip from last night below.

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