Jose and Wally’s ‘Wow Mali’ revival just as funny, but ‘more careful’
As Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola take the helm of the upcoming revival of “Wow Mali,” the television host-comedians assured viewers that the prank show’s segments will be as hilariously entertaining as ever but without bordering on being offensive.
“That’s the challenge. We have to choose our pranks carefully … they’re just for fun, not something that can potentially hurt someone,” Wally told the Inquirer at a recent press conference for “Wow Mali: Doble Tama”—the sixth iteration of the iconic show, which was originally hosted by Joey de Leon for almost 20 years.
With the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) becoming seemingly more proactive in flagging down television content and language it deems inappropriate, it is only prudent, the hosts explained, to make sure that their comedy program remains wholesome.
“Mahirap na kasi maraming banta, maraming mga mata,” said Wally who was recently summoned by the MTRCB over his use of “profane words” on the noontime variety show “E.A.T.” “With the help of the creative team, we meticulously scrutinize the script and the pranks. We’re happy that we have a good team that we can trust.”
But of course, pleasing everyone is impossible, Jose and Wally admitted as people will react differently to being pranked. And that’s something they’re prepared to handle. “We’re ready. If someone’s not OK with being pranked… kung may napikon, the staff will be there to help us,” Wally said.
Besides, as longtime comedians, such situations are no longer new to them. But thankfully, Jose and Wally haven’t encountered anyone who didn’t end up laughing upon realizing that they were just being pranked.
“Some people will get offended; that’s something we used to experience in comedy bars. But we find ways to appease them,” Jose said. “But here, we see that people are happy after. They say hi and give their friends shoutouts when they find out that they’re on television. They know that it’s comedy; it’s nothing personal. What’s important is that no one gets hurt.”
Feedback from viewers is always welcome, they agreed. But social media users who post negative comments for the sake of it are better off being ignored.
Joey’s green light
“We take those things seriously if they’re constructive and we know we would benefit from them. But if it’s just personal comments, we don’t mind them. You will have a tough time if you take everything to heart… ‘di ka na makakagalaw as a comedian,’’ Wally said.
Coproduced by APT Entertaiment and Cignal TV for TV5, “Wow Mali: Doble Tama ‘’ airs Saturdays at 6:15 p.m starting Aug. 26. The show will also air on Buko Channel.
The first question that entered Jose’s mind when he received the offer to cohost the show was, “Alam ba ni Tito Joey?” “This is ‘Wow Mali.’ The show ran for 20 years. But before we pushed through, nagpasintabi kami. And thankfully, he trusted us… The only thing he told us was that, ‘Kung kayong dalawa ang gagawa, OK sa ‘kin,” Jose related.
“Wow Wali,” which first aired in 1996, is now a pop-culture slang for practical jokes, bloopers and pranks. “Na-Wow Mali,” so to speak. And while this new version promises new twists, the concept will be more or less the same.
“They brainstormed about what to do and how to come up with something different without veering away from the original concept. May konting level up,” Jose said. “We’re more used to live hosting or work. So once we’re out there, and the camera is running, new ideas come to us. And luckily, the team is always open to our suggestions.”
The biggest difference is that Wally and Jose will actually be on site for some of the segments and pranks. “We go out, participate in the pranks. That’s on top of doing the intros from the studio,” Jose said.
These days, prankster vloggers are a dime a dozen on social media. How will “Wow Mali” set itself apart from the pack? “That’s one of the things we told the team. The show shouldn’t be similar to what’s readily available online. We should come up with a different attack,” Joe said.
While they can’t divulge details about the show’s new segments, Jose and Wally did let on that one of them will be inspirational. “It’s not just about pranking people. There’s this portion where we give back to people to do good things. May kurot sa puso.” INQ