The way of a clown: Vice Ganda sets tears aside
Over the past few years, Vice Ganda has coined various phrases that have become part of the local pop culture slang: “I-Dawn Zulueta mo ako,” “unkabogable,” “PBB Teens”… During his packed solo concert Friday night at the Big Dome, Vice introduced a new one: “I-Vice Ganda mo ako!”
In an interview with Inquirer just a week earlier, Vice said, “It means, simply, to make people happy.” He vowed that he would make every centavo that fans would spend for their tickets count. Based on the eruptions of shrieks and laughter that shook the Smart Araneta Coliseum intermittently, Vice delivered.
In the opening production number alone, Vice showed off his trademark long limbs in a black tanga and thrilled the crowd as he started his dance song, “Karakaraka”—twirling, striking poses, even flipping in the air in a body harness, before being lowered onstage to bust out his dance moves.
The multifaceted performer sang, danced and, of course, made everyone laugh with acts that highlighted his brand of comedy, which is grounded in the inanities and ironies of show biz and politics.
In the segment, “I-Vice Ganda Mo ang Senado,” he emerged in a futuristic, silver Filipiniana outfit, pretending to be a newly-proclaimed senator. “Gusto kong magpasalamat sa lahat ng mga naloko ko at bumoto sa’kin,” he said, “sa lahat ng mga mangmang… sa mga ’di nag-isip… Maitutuloy ko na ang mga plano ko para sa sarili ko at pamilya ko maliban sa inyo!”
Every so often, Vice veered away from prewritten material to give way to more spontaneous exchange with the audience or his guests. He had everyone in stitches as he hacked unwitting subjects with his razor-sharp tongue. One public figure who didn’t escape the lashing was Vice’s flavor of the month, Sen. Nancy Binay.
He jested that he would court Binay should he win the 2016 presidential election, and added: “Siya ang gagawin kong First Lady… Ang mga tipo niya ay malapit sa mga tulad kong kabayo— Black Beauty.”
Vice jested that he has been receiving many tweets about Binay that he dreamt about her. “I couldn’t see the dream.” The audience lost it. “Nakita ko siya sa Boracay. Nakikipagtalo siya sa isang tattoo artist. Nagpa-henna raw kasi siya pero ’di niya makita.”
He poked fun at former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. “’Wag niyo nang i-video at ilagay ’to sa YouTube, ha? Mamaya mapanood at marinig pa ni Gloria na sinabihan ko siyang mukhang daga. Eh, alam mo naman si Gloria laging nasa tapat ’yan ng computer kasi nga mouse!”
Vice ended the segment by stressing: “Lahat po ito ay biro lamang… Nagkataon lang na ’yung iba, malapit sa katotohan!”
For the next segment, Vice changed into a long, sparkly, white-and-blue gown and assumed the persona of a beauty queen. He plucked Georgina Wilson from the crowd and brought her to the stage, where they did an over-the-top walking lesson, and a mock question-and-answer portion.
What’s Vice’s tip on facing a tough question? “Magtalinu-talinuhan ka. Dapat ’di nila maintindihan ’yung sagot mo para makaganti ka!”
The third and final act, in which Vice turned into a blonde 1990s sexy star with an oversized chest—which he slapped whenever he mentioned the word “unkabogable”—was the most hilarious, and certainly the “greenest.” None of the jokes would ever make it in print. But just for a peek, the segment featured Vice doing an uproarious routine on what Kris Aquino, Boy Abunda, Willie Revillame, Kuya Kim Atienza, Gus Abelgas, Charice, Aiza Seguerra and Jessica Soho would be like as bold stars shooting a bed scene.
Special guests who joined the riot onstage were Daniel Padilla, Dawn Zulueta, Enrique Gil, Paulo Avelino, Ai-Ai delas Alas and Regine Velasquez—who performed “Sana Maulit Muli” with Vice, plus a medley of Adele hits (against doctor’s advice on account of her acid reflux condition).
One of Vice’s closest friends from way back, Coco Martin, dropped by— obviously a surprise. “We had a bit of misunderstanding, but we’re okay now,” Vice said.
Before the night ended, with an emotionally-charged version of “Skyscraper,” Vice turned weepy as he thanked everyone who supported his career on television and in the movies. It might sound like a cliché, Vice noted, but comedians were some of the loneliest people on earth.
“It’s true,” he said. “’Yung baklang nakangiti, malikot, madaldal imahe lang ’yun, eh… Hindi naman kasi talaga ako masaya kagaya nang saya na nakikita niyo… Kailangan ko lang maging masaya para maging masaya kayo.”
We weren’t so sure what had prompted that. But if Vice is indeed going through a rough patch right now, he sure did a good job setting it aside. Because for about four hours, being at his concert was like being in a comedy bar, but with thousands more people laughing with you.