It took all three major TV networks, and its roster of stars, to approximate the greatness of the one and only King of Comedy, Dolphy.
That, in a nutshell, was what happened at Wednesday night’s musical tribute to Dolphy, dubbed “Alay Tawa, ” at the SM MOA Arena.
The late comic’s grandsons Rowell Quizon and John Quizon opened the show at 7:48 p.m. with serious ballads and stunning impersonations of various celebrities like Nora Aunor, Manny Pacquiao, Mommy Dionisia, and their Lolo Dolphy.
The show’s hosts represented the country’s top three networks: Judy Ann Santos, Bernadette Sembrano, Toni Gonzaga (ABS-CBN); Paolo Bediones, Lorna Tolentino, Edu Manzano, Ryan Agoncillo, Alex Gonzaga (TV 5); Marian Rivera, Carla Abellana, Dennis Trillo, and Rhea Santos (GMA 7), among others.
Maricel Soriano, who played the Comedy King’s daughter in the sitcom “John en Marsha,” hosted a segment, too.
The performers also crossed network lines to guest in this show which was staged to raise funds for various causes of the Dolphy Aid Para Sa Pinoy Foundation, namely: the Philippine Red Cross, Eye Bank Foundation and Project Hope in a Bottle.
(A P500,000 check was given by the late comedian’s son Eric Quizon to Nanette Medved-Po of Project Hope in a Bottle for the construction of a classroom at the Emilio Jacinto Elementary School in Tondo.)
Among the featured performers were: Sharon Cuneta, Mart Escudero, Daniel Matsunaga (TV5); Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Ai-Ai de las Alas (ABS-CBN); Michael V, Ogie Alcasid, and Janno Gibbs (GMA 7).
A certified showstopper was the showdown between Kapuso Mark Herras and Kapamilya Gab Valenciano—a tap dance tribute to Bayani Casimiro and Dolphy.
Of course, Dolphy’s real children Epy, Vandolph, Ronnie and Eric (as well as grandson Boy 2) joined in the revelry.
The Quizon siblings, along with the King’s youngest daughter Zia, also performed “Family”—from the musical “Dreamgirls.”
In one of the show’s emotional highlights, La Aunor recited lyrics from Florante’s song “Handog.”
Another sentimental segment was Vic Sotto’s pre-recorded rendition of “Send in the Clowns,” which left Dolphy’s longtime partner Zsa Zsa Padilla in tears.
The other stars, who appeared in pre-recorded segments, were Sotto’s “Eat Bulaga” co-hosts Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola, the cast of “Bubble Gang,” Eugene Domingo, Rosa Rosal, Gloria Romero, Nova Villa, and Vilma Santos, among others.
The “Going Bulilit” kids participated in a skit that recalled Dolphy’s old sitcoms “John en Marsha” and “Home Along da Riles.”
The big bosses of the three networks Felipe L. Gozon (GMA 7), Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III (ABS-CBN) and Manny V. Pangilinan (TV5) also gave video tributes.
Gozon’s message was particularly meaningful: “Dolphy belongs to all of us.”
The show ended at 11:15 p.m. with Zsa Zsa joining the entertainers in singing “What a Wonderful World,” as Dolphy “performed” along with them on the video wall. White confetti then rained on the audience.
The show will be aired by all three networks simultaneously on Sept. 30 at 10:30 p.m.