Joey de Leon returns to TV5 with all-new Wow Mali

"Noong araw, hindi ako sumasali diyan, ini-introduce ko lang yung good time sa labas, mga footages sa labas. Ngayon, may portion ako talaga na ako 'yong lumalabas. May participation ako ngayon," describes Joey de Leon about the changes for Wow Mali's comeback.


After two years of being off the air, veteran comedian Joey de Leon comes back to TV5 with his original, top-rated gag show, Wow Mali.

For more than 10 years, Wow Mali, a phrase that became popular in the late '90s, gave the local viewers their first taste of captured-for-TV Pinoy humor. Although it went off the air in 2006, replays of the best Wow Mali episodes continually got fair ratings for then ABC-5.

Now, this reality-based prank show returns to its home network with a new offering that will make it more exciting and hilarious.

"Nadagdagan siya ng portions, kasi dati puro good time lang. Ngayon, may parlor games," said its original host Joey de Leon during the show's press conference yesterday, February 15, at Max's Restaurant in Roces Avenue, Quezon City.

By "parlor games," the TV host-comedian means that he will be interviewing people who are working in a beauty parlor.

"Bukod sa mga dati, mayroon kaming ilalagay na parang parlor games. Dati hindi ako lumalabas, e. Ngayon, lumalabas ako, pumupunta ako sa mga beauty parlor, nagko-contest ako sa mga bading. 'Yon, riot 'yon! Ano talaga, Q&A at saka mga idea nila sa mga bagay-bagay, pinagdedebate ko. May bago kami, 'yong 'Wow Mare, Wow Pare, Ang Sarap Magdebate.' Ang gagaling nila, nakakatawa. Ang saya sa parlor, e, talagang kung anu-ano ang mga pinagsasasabi.

"Malawak ang ginawa ko, pero comical tulad ng 'Kung papalitan ang pangalan ng Pilipinas? Kung papalitan mo ang design ng bandila ng Pilipinas, ano ang design? Kung mare-reincarnate ka ulit, kaninong katawang artista ang gusto mong pasukan?' Mayroon mga questions na nakakatuwa."

Joey, who admitted that he missed doing Wow Mali!, said that he has become more hands-on with the show.

"Ako lahat, lagi kasali ako," said Joey when asked about his participation on the show. "Hindi ko sinusukat, pero lagi akong kasali. Noong araw, hindi ako sumasali diyan, ini-introduce ko lang yung good time sa labas, mga footages sa labas. Kunwari, nag-[shoot] sila sa labas, ini-intro ko lang. Ngayon, may portion ako talaga na ako 'yong lumalabas. May participation ako ngayon."

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Aside from the new portions, Joey also revealed that his show would have a wider scope this time. "Noong araw Manila lang, e. Ngayon, Greater Manila, Davao, Baguio, lumalabas sila. Doon ang good times. Dito kasi minsan, makakasalubong mo pa ang [staff ng] Bitoy's Funniest Video diyan," he said, referring to Michael V's video gag show in GMA-7.

What made him decide to go out instead of just staying inside the network's studio?

"Ako ang may gustong lumabas," answered Joey. "Sa akin kasi, sabi ko, sanay na ako sa pangmatagalan na show. Kaya sabi ko, kailangan may bago kung babalik ako. Sabi ko, lalabas ako tutal labas din ako nang labas. Pero ito, nilaan ko ang time ko ng buong morning ng isang araw na puro parlor."

Although he has a very busy schedule, doing almost five shows in a week, Joey said he never thought of going out for the show as something difficult. In fact, he said, "Enjoy ito. Sa akin naman, basta enjoy ako sa trabaho ko."

For its pilot episode, which will be on Sunday, February 22, 6 p.m. on TV5, Wow Mali follows up on its classic celebrity set-up and pranks. TV5's Midnight DJ actor Oyo Sotto will be the celebrity victim of his Tito Joey.

30 YEARS OF EAT... BULAGA! During the interview, Joey was also able to express elation for his other show, Eat...Bulaga!, for being able to stay in the entertainment industry for 30 years.

"Oo nga ano, 30 [years] na ang Eat Bulaga! Ang saya, ano, 30! Ang hirap noon, ha! Hindi weekly 'yon, daily!" exclaimed Joey as he quickly looked back at the past years of Eat Bulaga!, which he co-hosts with brothers Tito and Vic Sotto.

The funnyman said that this longest-running noontime show has become a major part of his life. "Hinahanap din ng katawan ko. Kunwari nagpahinga ako ng isang linggo, hinahanap ng katawan ko ang Eat Bulaga!"

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On its third decade in entertainment industry, do they have plans to reformat the show to be more competitive?

Joey replied, "Hindi naman puwedeng ano, e, sabi nga nila, 'Hindi mo puwedeng kumpunihin ang sira.' May darating at darating na kalaban. Binibilang nga namin simula nang mag-start at Eat Bulaga! hanggang ngayon, ang naging kalaban namin, 25 na yata. Laging may natitira, ngayon isa na lang—ang Wowowee. Twenty-five na ang nakalaban namin at lahat ng channel. At nakatatlong network na kami na palipat-lipat, hindi nagbago."

In the end, he maintained, "Kami, kahit na ano'ng mangyari, itutuloy namin 'yan. Kahit saan kami mapunta, itutuloy namin 'yan. Kahit na hindi siya noontime."


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