Joey de Leon’s life: Work, save, travel
The last time Joey de Leon did a sitcom was in 2000, when he top-billed GMA 7’s “Kiss Muna” with Ara Mina, Klaudia Koronel and a young Rayver Cruz. Joey has since been reluctant about accepting offers to do similar TV projects because, “Taping sitcoms is time-consuming.
“I could spend that time on traveling instead. That’s why I’ve been mostly hosting gigs,” Joey told reporters at the press con for TV5’s new comedy series, “One of the Boys.”
The veteran TV host-comedian explained, “An episode of ‘Wow Mali,” for example, takes only one to two hours to tape. But a sitcom can take about 10 hours.”
This makes “One of the Boys,” which also stars homegrown TV5 talent Eula Caballero, Joey’s comeback of sorts in the genre. Asked what made him change his mind, he simply said, “The show is different.”
Joey has just one request: “I told [the production team), kapag may biyahe ako, lalayas ako. So we have to work double time.”
His loyalty to the Kapatid network could have also come into play. “I was one of the first artists to do a show here,” Joey pointed out. His gag show, “Wow Mali,” has been running for close to 18 years now. Joey’s first program with the network, he related, was the talk show “Stay Awake,” with Jimmy Santos.
In “One of the Boys,” Joey plays Daddy Jerry “DJ” Silang, former London-based overseas Filipino worker who’s regarded as a father by the employees in his automotive shop. He has a close relationship with his tomboyish daughter, Gabi (Eula).
Despite staying away from sitcoms for a long while, Joey didn’t have much trouble getting reacquainted with the working process. “Even if you’re not in a sitcom, as long as you watch one, you’ll retain the feel for it. I’ve done that many times,” he said. Joey has done about 60 TV shows, at the latest count.
More than a TV host and a comedian, he prides himself in being a writer; he’s not the kind who would rely completely on a script handed to him. “I often cowrite the scripts,” Joey said. “Sometimes we tweak them when there’s something new going on in the news, or if there’s a new fad. Kailangang mabilis ka magpalit.”
What he wants to be best known for, is a writer. “Many comedians just have funny faces or names, or they’re good at delivering lines. Only a few can write. If you could write material for yourself and other comedians without feeling insecure, mabigat ka… saludo ako.”
Though he has been in the industry for over 40 years, Joey said he is not one to rest on his laurels. “Kailangang sumunod kung ano uso—kung walang uso, ikaw ang magpapauso,” he said. “That’s why I continue to write. I try to find comedy in the smallest things. Malikot ang utak ko. I don’t drive, so I’m just in the passenger seat most of the time, observing everything we pass by. I read all the signs.”
Another thing that gets his creative juices flowing, Joey said, is traveling. “It’s the best way to find out what’s new in the world,” he said, adding that he goes abroad around five times a month.
“We go to Hong Kong and Macau… we can’t do long-haul flights like we used to—sumasakit na rin ang balakang! May konting rayuma na rin (it’s hard on the hips… we’re rheumatic)!” he jested.
His mantra in life: “Trabaho, ipon, travel… sarap (work, save, travel… wonderful)!”
Also starring the boys of Juan Direction, Nadine Samonte, BJ Forbes, Empoy and Benjo Leoncio, “One of the Boys” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m.
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