THE show started rather inconspicuously. Not many, in fact, gave it much thought, deeming it mere parrot of early gag shows as “Goin’ Bananas” and “T.O.D.A.S.”
Twenty-three years later, “Bubble Gang” lords it over free TV, cementing itself as the longest running show of its kind, locally.
It also has since made a star out of then little-known rapper Michael V. whose main claim to fame was “Maganda Ang Piliin,” a song meant as rejoinder to Andrew E.’s big hit “Humanap ka Ng Pangit.”
Now, more known as Bitoy, he is lauded the brains behind the show, a comic genius whose contributions, including a long line of hit parodies, sketches, songs, and, of course, characters, made “Bubble Gang” what it is today.
Among other characters he made popular on the show were Bea Bangenge, Karen Aguila, Donya Ina, Cecilio Sasuman, Demo Demonyito, Tio Petto, and Bonggang Bongbong.
For the show’s 23rd anniversary, “Bubble Gang” will recall some of these characters in a one-of-a-kind-episode dubbed “Bubble Gang: 23 Oras.”
“We gathered ‘yung mga characters para sa isang napakasayang journey, involving a lot of elements, may action, may comedy at konting drama,” Bitoy said in an interview.
According to the comedian, they made the special as exceptional as they can in an effort to give back to fans who continue to make the show a success.
Sila, ‘yung nagda-drive sa amin to give our best every episode,” said Bitoy. “Ramdam namin ‘yung pagmamahal ng audience namin sa show, kaya ‘yung drive naman namin to give the best that we could for them ay hindi rin mawawala.”
We asked Bitoy how he is able to sustain his passion for the show after 23 years and he said, “Bukod sa fans, well, masaya siya eh, masaya siyang gawin.”
Antonio Aquitania attested to this.
“Sa haba ng panahon na ginagawa naming ang show, walang araw na hindi masaya sa set at ‘yun din ang dahilan kung bakit ganado kami parati gawin ito,” he said.
But Paolo Contis, another long time regular cast member, admitted, “May mga araw na medyo hindi masaya kasi meron ding mga tampuhan, lalo na sa girls, pero ‘yun nga dahil parang pamilya na kami we are able to iron it out din.”
He added, “ang sikreto rin talaga ng longevity ng show ay si Bitoy, hindi siya nauubusan ng ideas, ‘yung comedy niya, it evolves. Tsaka he is team player – he listens to everyone.”
“Yun ang pinakamaganda dun kasi ang resulta nahawa kami kay kuya Bitoy, “added Chariz Solomon, one of the show’s resident beauties. “Lahat kami napu-push na gumawa ng best naming dahil sa drive ni Kuya Bitoy.”
So, is the show here to stay?
Bitoy retorted, “Well, nasa tao ‘yan, hangga’t gusto pa nila kami, patuloy kami sa aming ginagawa.”
“Bubble Gang: 23 Oras” will air Nov. 23. (Neil Ramos)