New director promises political satire will remain
THE LONGEST-running sketch comedy show in the country, Bubble Gang, has been revamped with new segments and new actors on May 27.
Bubble Gang premiered on GMA Network on Oct. 20, 1995 in a Friday night timeslot. The relaunched Bubble Gang has made cast changes, but actor, comedian, and recording artist Michael V. (a.k.a. Beethoven Del Valle Bunagan), who has been with the show since the very beginning, remains.
“The main goal is to entertain. And [of course], it’s a business. It has to make money, that means we have to sell to advertisers and the viewers. Given those parameters, we have to consider that the objective of the program is met by the talents,” Bang Arespacochaga, Assistant Vice-President at GMA, said in an online press conference on May 13.
Bubble Gang’s current director Frasco Mortiz — who came over to GMA after a stint in ABS-CBN where he worked on sketch comedy Goin’ Bulilit, among other shows — said that the show will “allow them [existing and new cast members] to shine” and give them “opportunities to do something new.”
Among the show’s cast members who were retained, aside from Michael V, are Paolo Contis, Chariz Solomon, Betong Sumaya, Sef Cadayona, Valeen Montenegro, Archie Alemania, Analyn Barro, Faye Lorenzo, and Kokoy de Santos.
Joining the show for its 27th year are actor and commercial model Kokoy de Santos (Gameboys), dramatic actress Faith da Silva, StarStruck Season 7 Ultimate Male Survivor Kim de Leon, dancer and YouTube personality Dasuri Choi, and comedienne Tuesday Vargas.
“We always want to discover new talents and give change to others,” Ms. Arespacochaga said.
“We [will] introduce new online personalities to do their material on the show, para hindi lang usual sketches or spoofs ’yung mapapanood nila (…so that viewers will not be limited to sketches or spoofs). May content na ang pinangagalingan ay from the personality (There will be content from the personality),” Mr. Mortiz said.
The show will also include more regular segments such as “Marites United,” where neighbors exchange gossip, and “Bes Friends” where Mr. De Santos and Mr. Cadayona play best friends who critique embarrassing posts on social media.
POLITICAL SATIRE REMAINS
Mr. Bunagan, the show’s creative director, also said that political satire will remain part of the show.
“Hanga’t hindi binubusalan ang karapatan ng mga shows para mag-express, I’m pretty sure makakapanod kayo ng sketches, gags, and satire regarding the government (As long as the right to express is not muzzled, I’m pretty sure viewers can expect sketches, gags, and satire regarding the government),” Mr. Bunagan said.
With the changing behavior of viewers, the show’s old and new episodes are accessible to stream online. Bubble Gang’s full episodes are also on view on http://bit.ly/GMAFullEpisodes and GMA Network’s comedy content YouTube Channel YouLOL (You Laugh Online).
“Nag-iiba lang yung pinangagalingan ng humor pero hindi nawawala ’yung need ng tao na maging masaya. ’Yung need din namin na magpatawa ay hindi mawawala (The source of humor may be different but the need for people to be happy is not lost. Also, our need to make people laugh will not go away),” Mr. Mortiz said of the show’s longevity.
“The objective of the show is to be funny, relevant, to be revolutionary, and evolutionary. As long as it meets those requirements, I believe the show will be here for a long time,” Mr. Bunagan said.
Bubble Gang airs on GMA on Fridays at 9:40 p.m. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman