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The other Boy and Kris

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MANILA, Philippines - She walks, talks and laughs like Kris Aquino every Saturday night as Crissy in the ABS-CBN’s gag show Banana Split. By Kane Errol Choa
July 25, 2009 12:00 AM

Little did Angelica Panganiban know that her delightful but convincing spoof of Kris Aquino would become a hit among viewers.

“The role made me discover something new about myself,” she said. “It’s like having a new identity.”

After all, Angelica has never been known as a comedienne. She has appeared mostly in drama movies and TV shows since she entered showbiz at a young age and won Best Supporting Actress and Best Child Actress for her performances in A Love Story, Ama, Ina, Anak and Separada.

But the young actress has found her mark in comedy when she was asked to imitate Kris in Banana Split few months ago when the show launched its third season with new cast members.

“I have been watching Kris in SNN so I studied how she delivers her spiel and her body movements,” said Angelica, who was worried how Kris would react. “I was flattered when I learned that Kris liked the way I mimic her. There was less pressure from then on.”

Like Angelica, Jayson Gainza has been getting good reviews for spoofing Boy Abunda as Bhoy of NNNN.

“Imitating Tito Boy is challenging even if I have been doing it for quite some time. I have to watch him regularly on TV to know his latest expressions,” he said.

But the comic skills of the former Pinoy Big Brother housemate is not limited to just spoofing. He is fast and quick in delivering punchlines spontaneously like in the segment Brod, Bro, Bru, level up wherein he translates words and phrases into gay lingo on the spot.

According to production manager Cynthia Jordan, the show found a gold mine in NNNN and it has been performing strongly in the ratings since the segment was introduced in April.

Launched in 2007, Banana Split has gags initially and focused on naughty, daring sketches with all female-cast. It later evolved into a gag show with Jayson, Zanjoe Marudo, John Prats, Pooh and Pokwang joining original cast members Angelica and RR Enriquez.

“We’ve been getting good feedback about the show because of its barkada feel. We can still be a bit overly playful but less rowdy than before,” she said. “There is unmistakably very strong camaraderie among the cast members, who actively contribute and collaborate with our production staff to make some scenes funnier.”

Director Bobot Mortiz says the formula to make Pinoy viewers laugh has not really changed.

“Filipinos love gag shows. The jokes are the same and recycled to reflect the current times,” said direk Bobot, who was also behind the success of Goin’ Bananas in the ’80s, Tropang Trumpo in the ’90s and Goin’ Bulilit.

Direk Bobot is bringing in new surprises to make Banana Split even funnier as the gag show enters its fourth season starting tonight after XXX. And a possible showdown between Boy and Kris and Bhoy and Crissy will be something worth waiting

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