Accolade for the comedy kingBy Behn Cervantes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE country mourns the death of Philippine comedy king, Dolphy Quizon. After all, he was “king” for decades. I wasn’t really a fan, although I watched some of the master comedian’s films. From being a dancer at Clover Theater, I admired his phenomenal ascent to the top.
Dolphy outlasted many stars and movie trends. He remained popular no matter the political season. I didn’t particularly like his brand of physical humor, because he kept caricaturing transvestites (Roderick Paulate and Ronaldo Valdez were better in the comedian’s signature gender-bender roles). I liked his dancing skills, though.
I didn’t appreciate his obvious copy of frenetic Jerry Lewis, although it was a habit of local stars to ape Hollywood’s box-office stars. He belonged to an era in Philippine entertainment when we had local counterparts of Fred Astaire, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Perkins and Audrey Hepburn.
Fortunately, Dolphy had a great sidekick in Panchito Alba, who was as rough as Dolphy was smooth. They were a wacky combination until the day Alba passed away.
The comedy king had charisma, and he was a well-known lover of many beautiful women, like Zsa Zsa Padilla, Alma Moreno, Lotis Key and Pilar Pilapil.
I was most impressed by his answer when he was approached to run for a national political position: “Paano kung manalo ako?” Many movie actors run for elective positions when they begin losing their hold on the audience—and when they win, many of them don’t amount to much as public servants!
Dolphy has left a rich legacy. So, I recommend that Malacañang establish a new award for entertainers to be called Pambansang Artista, which is national in scope but is not necessarily the coveted National Artist award.
The suggested accolade should recognize top entertainers who have created a niche for themselves based on popularity, box-office performance and audience appreciation, and can honor the acclaimed likes of Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Eddie Garcia, Joseph Estrada—and Dolphy!
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