MANILA, Philippines - From his early days as a theater actor for Teatro Tomasino at the University of Santo Tomas, showbiz comedian John Lapus has come a long way. He has undoubtedly made a name for himself as one of the leading comedians in local showbiz today.
After 17 years in the business, John, who is fondly called “Sweet” in the showbiz circle, cannot be thankful enough for all the good breaks coming his way. He gets substantial exposure on TV in his home studio, GMA 7, where he is busy with programs like Showbiz Central, Show Me Da Money and Pilyang Kerubin.
John hardly complains about having a heavy TV work and is, in fact, even thankful for his showbiz commitments. He remains one of the busiest comedians in showbiz today, with a string of commitments for both TV and the movies.
He is also not lacking in film projects, where he gets to display his natural flair for comedy. Last December, he was cast in Regal’s horror thriller, Shake, Rattle and Roll XI, a box-office entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). He played a memorable role as a designer who gets killed by a possessed wedding gown.
Early this year, John joined forces with Eugene Domingo in the blockbuster comedy vehicle, Here Comes the Bride, where he did a hilarious dual role.
The comic tandem will be seen anew in Mamarazzi, Regal Films’ 50th anniversary offering. John plays the best friend who lends his name to Eugene’s triplets, played by Andi Eigenmann (in a dual role) and AJ Perez.
Working with Eugene in another comedy project is a welcome break for John. The screen chemistry and comic timing of the two lead stars are impeccable. They are obviously comfortable working with each other, that’s why their scenes together came out riotous and really funny.
Directed by multi-awarded megman Joel Lamangan from a script by the award-winning Ricky Lee, with Chris Violago, Mamarazzi also features a powerhouse cast that includes Diether Ocampo and young actress Carla Abellana who, like Andi, is making her big screen debut in the comedy flick.
Naturally, John also wishes for a solo starrer, but the two-time Aliw awardee as Best Stand-up Comedian is in no hurry. He believes that the right project will come at the right time.
Regal, however, has pledged a solo starrer for John next year. Mother Lily Monteverde and daughter Roselle Monteverde-Teo are giving John the remake of Kumander Gringa, originally played onscreen by Roderick Paulate in the late ‘80s.
“Every star really wants to have a solo movie,” John maintains. “Bawat isa nag-aasam, nangangarap. I’ve been in showbiz for 17 years, pero thank God, hindi naman ako nawawala sa eksena. Nandito pa rin ako at may trabaho. Mas importante ‘yun. Hindi ako nagmamadali to have a solo movie. I believe kanya-kanyang panahon talaga ‘yan.”
John does not mind that his fellow comedians Eugene and Vice Ganda have been given their solo big screen projects ahead of him. Vice Ganda, for his part, will headline the remake of Petrang Kabayo, also a Roderick Paulate comedy starrer.
To prove that there is no rivalry among them, John and Eugene have agreed to do supporting roles in Vice Ganda’s movie.
This early, John’s Mamarazzi co-star Eugene has expressed willingness to do a supporting role in John’s solo starrer. “Pareho kaming galing sa teatro at alam ko na magaling talaga si John,” Eugene says. “Matagal na kaming nag-support sa ibang artista. It’s about time he really gets his own movie.”
John insists he will still welcome supporting roles in his future film projects. He has played support to the likes of Ai-Ai de las Alas (Ang Cute ng Ina Mo), Vhong Navarro (Agent X-44), Pokwang, Rufa Mae Quinto and Eugene (Apat Dapat, Dapat Apat).
John also worked with Regine Velasquez (Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw, Wanted: Perfect Mother), Ruffa Gutierrez (Shake, Rattle and Roll XI), Angelica Panganiban and Eugene (Here Comes the Bride).
Whether or not he plays lead, John assures he will not get tired of making people laugh. To him, entertaining his audience is priceless and it’s his way of giving back to them. The business has given him a better life and he is eternally grateful.