Switching Channels

Vice Ganda goes solo in evening show

Vice Ganda (Photo by Marlo Cueto/NPPA Images)Vice Ganda (Photo by Marlo Cueto/NPPA Images)Earlier this year, I wrote this about Vice Ganda's performance in "Showtime": "I don't know where he gets the energy and gift of repartee but it is his performance as a host and a judge that keeps this show moving. That's hard to do considering that "Showtime" runs for close to three hours and he is on screen most of the time. He is a whirling dervish and easily outshines co-hosts Vhong Navarro, Kim Atienza and Anne Curtis. "Showtime" might as well be renamed "The Vice Ganda Show." He is a great singer too.

With his exceptional performance on "Showtime," ABS-CBN has rewarded Vice Ganda a Sunday evening show. It's called "Gandang Gabi, Vice" which is basically a variety show like "ASAP" and "Party Pilipinas." However, unlike those two noontime shows which feature continuous musical numbers and boring interviews, Vice's version has more to offer.

For one, "GGV" has a structure, something rare in a variety show where anything goes. Although much of the production is extemporaneous, it's obvious that Vice is working from a "script" in the loose sense of the word. The episode I watched had three female stars as guests — Toni Gonzaga, K Brosas and Gladys Reyes. Though I regretted all three are ABS-CBN talents (it's a given not to invite stars from GMA), their guesting was creatively done.

For their intros, they were asked to hide behind a big umbrella with a question mark. There's the usual chitchat and tsismis but each one had special numbers.

Toni displayed her talent as musical impersonator, singing a la Jaya and Zsa Zsa Padilla. Later, she and Vice talked about how her boyfriend, Paul Soriano, was a bit jealous of her lovey-dovey scene on the big screen because it was too realistic. Vice then asked Toni to give a sample of her acting prowess by doing a romantic scene with a member of the audience.

K does some kind of advice program on radio so Vice invited a female in the audience to ask for K's advice. The woman then said she had a gambling problem. This became a lead-in to K and Vice singing about the dangers of gambling addiction.

Gladys, on the other hand, gave advice on how to keep a relationship alive. She and her partner have been together for 18 years. They first met when she was 14 and he was 12, leading her to remark that he was probably newly circumcised.

Then, using her experience as MTRCB board member, she had two types of advice for couples. PG-13: Don't dress up in front of your husband so he doesn't notice your physical imperfections. R-18: Huwag magsuot ng pantulog, magsuot ng pampagising. In other words, dress in an outfit that will wake your partner up.

The main attraction of the show is, of course, Vice Ganda and his gift of gab few comedians can match. Even on "Showtime," he already displayed his powers of adlib. I did comment in a previous blog that Vice cracked gay jokes I found inappropriate, especially in a morning show. Ironically, on his evening show, he does not indulge in sexually-charged gay jokes. Unlike noontime shows, including "Showtime" where the audiences are seated away from the hosts, the audience of "GGV" is located near Vice so he is able to get to them quickly.

Aside from his sense of humor, Vice sings well. In an unusual number, he does a duet with a male member of the band. I dreaded this because I thought he would flirt with him and come up with gay jokes. To Vice's credit, he behaved and ended his song without any incident.

On top of the main guests, Vice also featured Paolo Gebulan, who could reach very high notes and sounded like female diva. He discovered him on YouTube. He also got three members of the audience to participate in a "Reach the Highest Note" contest.

"Gandang Gabi, Vice," truly entertaining.

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