Stand-up comedian Hans Mortel is easily humbled by his mounting fame. As the co-host of Amy Perez in TV5's top-rating talakserye Face to Face, Hans is already getting his share of fans asking for his autograph and picture whenever he's spotted in public places.
But Hans, "30-ish" years old, told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and the other entertainment press that he feels "awkward" about the attention. PEP interviewed Hans yesterday, July 23, at a press conference for Face to Face held at Max's Restaurant on Scout Tuazon Street, Quezon City.
"May nakakakilala po paminsan-minsan, may nagpapa-picture po pag nasa mall ako, pero imbes na sabihin ko sa sarili ko na, 'Uy, sikat ka na!' ang unang nararamdaman ko ay hiya," Hans said.
He added, "Hindi kasi talaga ako sanay na yung bigla akong lalapitan. Kaya kadalasan po ang tingin sa akin is yung suplado ako, sobrang tahimik na parang I keep to myself. Tahimik ako. I'm really shy about being the one to make the first move to get to know someone. Nahihiya ako kasi sino ba naman ako para kausapin nila?"
This belies speculations that Hans is becoming hard to work with. "Hindi po. Siguro po ang makapagsasabi niyan yung mga nakakatrabaho ko araw-araw," he said.
THANKFUL FOR AMY. How did he get his part on Face to Face?
Hans explained that it was Amy Perez who recommended his name to TV5. Hans and Amy previously worked on radio station dzMM. Amy hosted A.M.Y. - About Me and You, while Hans hosted LoveLines.
"Actually hindi ko naman talaga siya nakasama sa radio station na yun," Hans said. "Magkasunod kami ng slot, magkasunod kami ng programa. Hindi ko alam kung ano yung nagawa ko para masabi niya na, 'Ano 'to, may kayang gawin.' Nung siya yung nalipat dito tapos nagkaroon ng opportunity na yung programa ay kailangan ng co-host, I was the first person that came to her mind. So, thankful, I feel blessed na Amy Perez knows me."
DISCOVERING VICE. Face to Face runs against ABS-CBN's talent show Showtime, where stand-up comedian Vice Ganda is one of the judges. Hans said, however, that there's no rivalry between him and Vice Ganda.
In fact, Hans Mortel was the first person to predict that Vice Ganda would go a long way as a comedian.
"Hindi naman actually discover," Hans said. "Ako yung nagsabi kay Vice na siya ay nakakatawa, na dapat ang ginagawa ko, yung stand-up comedy, yun din dapat ang ginagawa niya. So, it started from there."
Hans told PEP that he used to work as a stand-up comedian at a comedy bar, and Vice Ganda was one of its regular patrons.
"Minsan, pinilit siya ng mga kaibigan niya na umakyat sa stage. Ako naman, nagulat na mas natatawa ako sa kanya. Tawa lang ako nang tawa. Kaya sinabihan ko siya na, 'Bakit hindi mo na lang gawin 'to?' So tinulungan namin siya makapasok sa bar na 'yon. Dun yung simula ng career niya as comedian."
He said they usually go out together, because he considers Vice Ganda a "kapatid." "Sobrang close kami."
Does he feel jealous about Vice Ganda's success?
"Masaya po ako para kay Vice. Hindi ko alam yung salitang inggit, kahit kanino pa sa mga kasamahan ko, considering na una ako sa kanila, pero sila yung unang nag-TV.... Ang nagiging pakiramdam ko lang lagi for them is, 'Ang saya-saya ko para sa 'yo,'" Hans said.