Search for Dolphy’s successor heats upBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Top funnyman Dolphy is gone—now, long live the new King of Comedy? Great, if we can find him!
Fact is, ever since Dolphy fell ill some years back, producers have been looking for his stellar replacement. Early on, Vic Sotto was spotted as a good bet for Prince of Comedy. After all, he had become popular, first as a member of the Tito, Vic and Joey trio and on “Eat Bulaga,” then on his own as a comedy film star via his “Enteng Kabisote” franchise and on TV as the host of a number of shows like “You Want To Be A Millionaire.”
Yes, Vic is definitely a major player in the search for Dolphy’s “successor.” Note that Vic’s nickname in the biz is “Bossing”—a testament to the clout and creative control he’s acquired over the years. Also please note that, like Dolphy, Vic is a celebrated “appreciator” of beautiful women (Dina Bonnevie, Coney Reyes, Pia Guanio—other contenders and aspirants, the line forms on the right).
In addition, he also favors the “silent water runs deep” approach, not just in his pursuit of beauty, but also in his comedy. Like Dolphy, Vic goes for the poker face and “dry” punching of laugh lines (to our great relief, by the way, since we’re so sick and tired of many local comics who mistake energy and volume for wit.)
Yes, Vic is definitely a front-runner in the race for Dolphy’s crown and throne. Which must have been why, before he retired, Dolphy agreed to costar with him in a comedy flick. Was he passing the torch to the next generation? That’s how some people saw it, and Vic’s stock in the comedy trade rose even higher after that unofficial “annointment.”
To make the search more fun and less than a fait accompli, let’s lasso in other actual and potential comers:
Joey de Leon is also popular, as are Ogie Alcasid and Michael V—instructively, they often perform as a tandem, which could lessen their cachet as solo players. Yes, Dolphy did also have a comedic sidekick in Panchito, but it was Dolphy who became King of Comedy, not Dolphy plus Panchito.
Thinking more impulsively now, some people say that, because some of her movies have been big hits, Ai Ai de las Alas should be named Queen of Comedy. That may make some sense from a “financial” point of view, but the very idea of Dolphy being “succeeded” by Ai Ai simply doesn’t wash.
Who else? The fact that Vice Ganda has been associated with hits like “Showtime” and “Praybeyt Benjamin” definitely makes him a comer in the field of TV-film comedy. But he still has a long row to hoe before he can truly measure up to Dolphy’s, uh, dialectics. Ditto for Eugene Domingo and the rest of the goony gang!
You know what we would really like to happen? That more people join us in focusing on a junior potential Prince of Comedy who, with the public’s support, could most logically emerge as Dolphy’s authentic successor because he’s no other than the late comic’s own son, Epi Quizon!
This is definitely not to say that Epi’s only claim to stardom is the fact that Dolphy is his dad. For some years now, we’ve been admiring the way that he has been developing as a comedic and dramatic actor. He definitely has much more going for him than just his “royal” lineage.
And he’s a dead-ringer for his dad when Dolphy was young and lean, and raring to show what he could do to make people laugh.
Well, now it’s Epi’s turn to do that, and he could make it really big if Dolphy’s many fans transfer their allegiance to him and support his first big starrer. Which should be nothing less than his dad’s film bio!
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