Bringing in the crowd is second skin to Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola, comedians who learned about pleasing the multitude in the best place possible – the streets. Jose, who grew up in Tondo, and Wally, who roamed the streets himself pre-showbiz, know when to up the laughter, when to hold back. They’re like marionettes who take the crowd in the direction they want it to.
But now, the “Eat Bulaga!” mainstays admit the butterflies in their stomach are fluttering extra stronger. They’re feeling the heat as their return to the Smart Araneta Coliseum for show “Jose and Wally Concert: A Party for Juan and All!” on Friday, March 15, draws near.
The memory of their sold-out show at the same venue almost a year ago, is enough to make the comic tandem flinch.
Read related story: Jose and Wally Take On Araneta
“Mas nakakanerbiyos the second time,” admits Jose. “Mas marami kaming gagawin dito.”
For one, they have more guests – their showbiz godfather Vic Sotto, Jose’s idol Bamboo, Ogie Alcasid, Wally’s favorite Gary Valenciano, Jericho Rosales, Dingdong Dantes, Pokwang and child sensation Ryza Mae Dizon:
Second, there are new songs to sing, new jokes to crack.
Also read: Jose & Wally; Wally & Jose: Take your pick
“We won’t go backstage anymore,” Wally promises. “Everything is on stage. Don na rin kami magpapalit ng costumes. Tuhog tuhog ang mga eksena. Walang sawa ang tawanan.”
But won’t the show be a repeat of what the audience sees in their daily noontime show “Eat Bulaga”?
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Jose and Wally shake their heads.
They will be interacting with various celebrities, except for Vic and Ryza, who Wally says will perform her signature cha-cha moves, this time to the beat if a different musical arrangement.
“Parating nag-aaway si Jose at Ryza,” an amused Wally relates.
“Sinasabi nga ni Ryza na show niya ito at guest lang kami,” Jose shoots back.
But he can’t hide his fondness for the chubby girl who topped the Little Miss Philippines contest at “Eat Bulaga.” It shows in the way he tries to please her in their “Bulaga” segment.
He tries to fashion toy balloons for her; he does what she asks him to do on stage. In other words, Jose is putty in the little girl’s hands.
But take note. The show is strictly Jose and Wally’s. The two are looking at the same family-friendly lines they deliver in “Bulaga,” where Jose and Wally are sensitive to the fact that young people are watching them on the small screen.
“Yung ginagawa namin sa comedy bar na kalokohan, hindi namin dinadala sa (TV) show. Maingat kami,” says Jose.
It’s not as easy as you think. Jose and Wally are no-holds-barred by night and wholesome comedians by day. But they’re getting used to the sudden shifts in behavior.
Most importantly, they’re having fun -- the kind fans will see at the Big Dome when Jose and Wally sing, romp around and crack jokes, once more with feeling.
And since their second Araneta show falls in March again, Jose and Wally hope to be doing the same thing every year from now on.
“Parang panata, bago magnilay-nilay ang mga tao for Holy Week,” Jose crosses his fingers.
That’s something for them to work on, and something for the audience to see and judge a few days from now.
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