The show must go onBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In his dressing room at the Teatrino, minutes before he went up the stage, stand-up comic Jon Santos admitted that it could be difficult making people laugh at a time when the entire nation is praying for the ailing King of Comedy, Dolphy.
Santos is currently in the middle of a series of shows, “Im. Person. Nation,” at the Teatrino in Greenhills. (The shows, which will benefit various causes, will run for three more nights—July 13, 20 and 28.)
“In times like this, I’d often ask myself: What would Mang Dolphy say? I think he is also a firm believer in the adage: ‘The show must go (on),’” Santos told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an exclusive interview.
He described Dolphy as a “consummate professional who would perform even when he had personal troubles.”
Santos first worked with the King for a TV special, “Gabi ni Dolphy” in the 1990s. “I was a struggling newcomer then,” he recounted. “I was dressed as his [partner] Zsa Zsa Padilla and he playfully put his arm around me and called me ‘my misis.’”
Santos was awed by the legendary comic’s humility. “He showed his appreciation of my work and was generous with compliments. He told me that my monologue had heart,” Santos recalled. “That’s why I have no insecurities about new comedians because I was welcomed with open arms by the veterans when I was a neophyte myself.”
Aside from Dolphy, other big comedy stars like Willie Nepomuceno, Joey de Leon, Mitch Valdes, Nanette Inventor and Tessie Tomas have gladly shared the stage and screen with Santos.
“They never stood in the way of an open door,” he said. “Tessie gave me costumes and jobs. Nanette and Mitch gave me their friendship.”
Santos, who is now a talent signed with Viva Entertainment, will join the “Comedy Divas”—Valdes, Inventor and Tomas—in a series of shows at the Resorts World this September.
“It’s our much-anticipated and long-awaited bonding session,” he quipped. “After Manila, we hope to take the show on the road—in the provinces and in the United States.”
As he was being transformed into Gov. Vee at Teatrino by makeup artist Alex Formento, Santos said he’s constantly tapped to guest in the concerts of younger stars, including other Viva talents like Sarah Geronimo, Anne Curtis and KC Concepcion.
“I told KC: ‘I guested in the European and North American concert tour of your mom (Sharon Cuneta).’ Recently, I was directed by Ram Nievera, Martin’s son, for a video. I appeared in the movie ‘Moron 5 and the Crying Lady’ with Luis Manzano, Vilma Santos’ son. My Lady Gaga costume was designed by Robin Tomas, Tessie’s son. I now work with the children. I’m amazed that I am still around after all these years.”
New chat show
The manic comic is also hosting a new chat show on cable, “The Jon Santos Show,” set to debut on the Viva Channel today.
For an episode, he interviewed composer Ryan Cayabyab while playing his character “Pop Lola” Armida Siguion-Macareyna.
He has a wish list of celebrity-guests in the show: “Kuring, Meeryam,
Gov. Vee, Dyuning, P-Nyoy.”
He admitted that it would be a blast if he would get to interview the real Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos while he was dressed up as Gov. Vee.
“But I am sure I will struggle with being star-struck whoever sits in front of me,” he conceded.
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