Janno Gibbs Anjo Yllana adapt to modern brand of comedy

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
Janno Gibbs Anjo Yllana adapt to modern brand of comedy
By CHARMIE JOY PAGULONG From left: Janno and Anjo merge the classic and modern brands of comedy to engage younger audiences. They are set to star in Xian Lim’s fantasy-comedy-drama Hello, Universe on Vivamax.

The style of comedy that was popular back in the ‘90s is still somewhat relevant today, according to veteran comedians Anjo Yllana and Janno Gibbs.

During the recent virtual media conference of their newest film Hello, Universe for Vivamax, the two who were also joined by Gene Padilla shared how they merged the classic and modern brands of comedy to engage the younger generation of audiences.

The fantasy-comedy-drama Hello, Universe is written and directed by Xian Lim and will premiere on Vivamax soon.


“Siguro mixed. Kasi yung mga millennials, that’s how they are. Hindi na rin nila parang naabutan yung comedy nuon,” replied Anjo when asked if the millennials and Gen Z still patronize their kind of comedy. One that is punchline-laden with slapstick style of humor.

“Ewan ko lang, feeling ko lang yung mga millennials kasi nga there was a time nung ‘ 90s na talagang comedy yung malakas. Tapos napunta na tayo sa telenovela ngayon. Wala masyadong comedy, so siguro mixed. We reintroduce, we invent and at the same time, adapt siguro kaming mga beterano, mga bagong comedy ngayon. Ganern.”

“For me, proven din nung nagbalik kami ni Andrew E., Dennis Padilla with our Sanggano, Sanggago’t Sanggwapo series,” added Janno. “Na-prove lang na para sa akin kasi funny is funny. Universal ang funny. Basta nakakatawa, alam mo kung ano ang nakakatawa at hindi. Hindi nagbabago yun. Plus with the younger generation, yung ginagawa namin, it’s new to them. So, sa kanila, ano yun, ‘Iba ‘to.’ Bago sa panlasa nila.”

Gene, brother of Dennis Padilla, concurred, “I’ve talked with a lot of younger viewers who like to watch comedy shows and movies. Nowadays, because of social media, they can watch on YouTube and Facebook yung mga eksena namin dati. So nagagandahan pa rin sila.”

“Janno was right when he said, ‘Funny is funny,’ wala ka ng dapat baguhin,” he agreed. “Tapos bago nga sa pandinig nila, bago sa paningin nila, so they still appreciate it. So kami kailangan lang siguro naming ibalik or kaya mag-add on kumbaga na papasok pa rin sa panlasa ng millennial. Just like that.”

“Adjust-adjust lang. Pero hindi namin tatanggalin kung ano kami, kung anong brand of comedy na meron kami because that’s like our bread and butter,” shared Gene.

Anjo and Janno felt nostalgic over their Ober da Bakod days, a sitcom broadcast on GMA Network in the ‘90s, where they played brothers Bubuli and Mokong Dayukdok, respectively.

“Sobrang na-mi-miss (Ober da Bakod times). We worked together in Net25 last year or two years ago but as actors, we really miss each other, acting together. Here (in Hello, Universe), we play best friends. I think it’s not easy to ‘bake’ or to manufacture one’s closeness. Us, being best friends will come out naturally in this film.

“Parang hindi pa namin nailabas lahat, parang marami pa kaming tinatagong mga comedy as a tandem and (we are) looking forward nga dito sa Viva. This is our first movie together after signing,” stated Anjo and hoped to show more of their funny sides. “Kasi proven naman dati na natatawa na naman sa amin (ang) mga tao. Nagka-noontime show naman kami last year, natawa naman yung tao so…”

Anjo referred to Janno as his “favorite person.” “I don’t know why. On- and off-(cam), vibes kami even if  magkaiba kami ng ugali,” and he joked, “Babaero siya, ako hindi (laughs).”

“We are like brothers,” Janno interjected. “That’s why we call each other ‘tol.’”

As per synopsis, Hello, Universe tells the story of Ariel (Janno), a man full of regrets, who believes that his life became miserable after he failed to shoot his “winning shot” during their high school basketball league. He lost against his rival Mac (Gene), who went on to become a rich and famous basketball coach. He believes that if he just made his “winning shot” in that championship game, maybe his life would have been different.

Ariel’s regrets and insecurities resurface when Mac and his basketball team suddenly return to Ariel’s La Union hometown for the first time in decades. Ariel begins to dwell on his failure to be a good provider to his loving wife, Jennifer (Maui Taylor), their daughter Faith (Madelaine Red), and his mother Osna (Lola Ube). Good thing is, he has a loyal best friend, Rocky (Anjo), to cheer him up. But Ariel has had enough.

Ariel then meets Jessie (Benjie Paras), a mysterious yet hilarious jeepney driver, who magically transports him to an alternate universe, wherein he is rich and successful. Ariel gets to rewrite his past and lives his dream life in an alternate universe. But at what cost?

Hello, Universe is Xian’s second movie as a filmmaker after Cinemalaya’s Tabon in 2019. He also directed Pasabuy, a WeTV original six-episode series, starring Gino Roque and Heaven Peralejo.


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