Michael V has lots of funny ideas that send viewers of the comedy show on YouTube channel into fits of laughter
GMA 7 keeps the fun with YouLol
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - June 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — GMA 7 recently launched an online comedy show titled YouLol on YouTube that has now garnered over 40,000 subscribers, and still growing.

According to creative director Caesar Cosme, YouLol is adapting to the changing times. It’s an inevitable evolution of broadcasting in the new available alternative platforms more preferred by the younger audience.

YouLol is timely since everyone needs a good laugh in this time of pandemic. But creative consultant Loi Landicho and senior writers Mike Rivera, Ardee Delola and Mcoy Fundales said that YouLol was already on the drawing board of the comedy group of GMA Entertainment and the subsidiary GMA New Media, Inc. months prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

“Months before the COVID-19 pandemic, GMA Network’s Comedy Group has been working on the concept of creating a YouTube channel that would serve as a platform to stream not just curated content from the network’s existing comedy shows but previously aired programs as well. Part of the mission is to create more original comedy-based content that is free of charge and readily accessible to users,” Loi told The STAR via an e-mail interview regarding the show concept.

“And when people had to stay home due to the pandemic, the comedy producers fast-tracked it because that’s what the times demanded. The target audience is anyone in need of a good laugh, especially these hard times. Basta may Internet, p’wedeng makisali sa tawanan. And hopefully, even when we start rebuilding the nation, we can still spark some joy into people’s lives through the different humorous videos of YouLol,” added Mike.

Headlining YouLol is Michael V who also brings his alter egos Bangenge, Cecilio Sasuman and Bonggang Bongbong in the digital platform. Equally sending netizens to fits of laughter are Paolo Contis, Chariz Solomon, Valeen Montenegro, Kim Domingo and the rest of the Bubble Gang cast. Boobay and Tekla tickle funny bones, too.

Michael V said he accepted the show in his longing to do something significant. “I know I can’t do what our frontliners are doing right now but I know I can entertain other people from home.”

Being an old school, Michael V revealed about missing the social interaction during actual tapings. “I miss the people. Not just the cast but the staff and crew. I get inspiration from the people around me and although I’m with my family, iba pa rin ‘yung unexpected inspiration na makukuha mo from other people. I love the surprise entertainment I get behind the scenes. It’s like watching a mini-sitcom every time.”

Mcoy stressed that a lot of work has to be done to come up with online content and shows. “Creativity-wise, it’s almost the same effort as putting up shows for mainstream TV.”

The show also serves as an acid test for the stars of their comedic timing given its “loosely structured” approach. “There is an ‘ideal’ script but once the ball starts rolling, it’s chaos most of the time. But it’s a good kind of chaos and everyone, especially the viewers, always ends up with good vibes,” Michael V said.

Every live content, according to Loi, is a collaboration between the creative team and the artists. While the show’s general concept originates from the writers, the artists are consulted to enhance the show’s content.

“For the Pepito Manaloto cast live chat, Michael V., together with head writer Chito Francisco, direk Caesar and the show’s creative team were active in coming up with its content. Everyone was pitching their ideas. Pati notes on the tech requirements, may ginawa si Bitoy. Naka-ilang meetings din ang ginawa para paghandaan ‘yung chat dahil kino-consider kung ano ang puwede at hindi puwedeng gawin ng mga artista during the chat,” narrated Mike.

Asked about the pros and cons of doing YouLol, Ardee replied, “The biggest advantage of YouLol is the exponential level of accessibility that it can provide for our content and artists in keeping with our mission to spread fun and laughter to Filipinos worldwide. But we admit that it’s a learning curve. From audience behavior to the technical nuances of the platform, it is a whole new medium that we have to constantly learn and unlearn.”

Although signs of dramatic changes are everywhere, Loi assured that GMA 7 will cater to both digital and linear TV viewers while complementing the regular comedy programs of GMA. Mcoy is confident that the content they produce online will complement with the mainstream TV shows in reaching all types of audiences from both media and vice versa.

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