At the height of the Vice Ganda and Jessica Soho “rape joke” controversy, one could not help but wonder what Dolphy would have said about what Filipinos find funny these days.
As comedy icon Joey De Leon said in an interview, the Filipino brand of comedy has evolved from simplistic to sophisticated. From mainly slapstick and literal jokes, you now have to “set-up” gags and punch lines to get some laughs.
“Comedy bar” jokes have gone mainstream and audacious gay performers are now dominating the scene with Vice as the frontrunner—their jokes quick and witty, full of sarcasm but also often crude and insulting.
And this is why we miss Dolphy the most.
Throughout his six-decade career, the Comedy King made countless people laugh without having to resort to controversy or at the expense of insulting others.
He was funny, but respected; famous but grounded, never elusive and always accommodating to all.
It has been a year since his death, and comedy (and comedians?) has never been the same.
Dolphy once said: ‘I want people to remember me as a simple person, a good person whom people will talk about nicely—walang masasabing masama. That’s the best legacy I can leave for my children and grandchildren . . . a good name. And also, I want people to remember me with a smile.’
On his first death anniversary, the Quizons opted to forego any big concerts or tribute shows and decided to hold a simple mass instead.
“It was my brother Eric’s suggestion that we just hold a Mass for the family and have a simple celebration,” character actor Epy Quizon told The Manila Times. “The Mass will be held at Dad’s resting place at Heritage, and it will only be for family and close friends; but it doesn’t mean that we will be stopping anyone from visiting him. Only the Mass will be private,” he added.
Epy said the simple commemoration would be what his dad wanted. “Simple lang naman kasi si Daddy, as long as the family is together he is happy.”
Their siblings abroad will not be able to come home but will also be holding a mass for their father, he added.
“If [the fans]really want to celebrate with us, we will have a fun run, ‘Botak at Kadla ni Pidol, Tulong para sa Kalusugan’ on July 21, at the Quirino Grandstand. This will help raise funds and continue the projects of Dolphy Aid Para Sa Pinoy Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting key issues of our times—health, education, children, environment and cultural preservation,” Epy said.
“Then on July 25, his birthday, we will be a having small get-together at the Museo Pambata where his statue is. Much of what we do is to raise funds for the foundation, and donate money to Red Cross.”
There are also plans for a medical mission as well as to donate a classroom to a school in Tondo, Manila where Dolphy grew up. Epy says it is their way of continuing his father’s legacy of helping other people.
When asked about his fondest memories with his famous father, Epy became quite emotional. “I really couldn’t think of one, or even a few, kasi we had a lot of special moments, and there are a lot of incidents that remind me of him. He was my Dad and he was really close to all of us.”
Dolphy classics revisited
To celebrate Dolphy’s 85th birthday and to honor his undying contribution to Philippine comedy, Jeepney TV will be airing some of Dolphy’s most popular shows this month.
His signature show, Home Along Da Riles, will air every Thursday of July, while his most memorable movie blockbusters such as Dancing Master, Kung Ano’ng Puno, Siyang Bunga, The Best in the West, Good Morning, Professor, and Fung Ku” will air on “Reteatro” from July 22 to 26 at 3 p.m.
On the “Let’s Go Linggo!” block of Jeepney TV this July, different facets of the King of Comedy will be shown, captured in the 2012 documentary Dolphy: Hari ng Komedya; the movie John & Marsha ‘77 based on his long-running television series; and a Jeepney TV original special entitled Dolphy: Song and Dance Man, which culls together his best musical performances.