By now it should be obvious that you must lobby for Michael V. to become National Artist.
He’s been running the gag mill at Bubble Gang for 23 straight years now and the jokes still don’t seem to have gone stale. In fact, it looks like Michael V. is even more finely attuned to the humor of the times as evidenced by one fairly recent song that went viral—“Uh Oh”, his song parody of UDD’s “Oo” has now hit more than five million views on Youtube.
His song parodies have long been a staple in Bubble Gang, so Michael V’s clear genius here lies in how he was able to get an old schtick across to a new audience (although he is as surprised as everyone else how it happened at all; to him it was another day at work). But what we at AO laud even more is Michael V.’s resolve to continue to carry this particular brand of Pinoy humor whose roots go as far back as Dolphy, the original King of Comedy. In this sense, you can say that Michael V. is a staunch traditionalist.
A parody, by the way, is a creative device that intentionally copies an original work in a way that is humorous. This has always been a favorite formula among our local comedians because it rides on what is already familiar and highlights their down-to-earth wit (see: comedy bars). As you will glean from the historical compilation we put together here, we can trace Michael V’s act directly back to Dolphy (and Panchito, we have to underscore this), and that other king of the song parody, Joey De Leon (we can argue that he owns the space, given his prolific output).
What you’ll see here first is the original song where the parody comes from, and then the work of our venerable clowns. It’s a good thing Youtube is populated by a lot of very eccentric and nostalgic people who have uploaded these songs—rare gems that would otherwise have been lost forever. This is classic Pinoy pop culture, people, and we can all partake in it. Enjoy!
“Shame and Scandal In The Family”
Shawn Elliot (1964)
This song was first recorded in the ‘40s, and this version is an early example of ska music. As its title implies, the song is a funny yarn about a boy and a girl who wanted to get married but their fathers wouldn't let them because they’re siblings, but their mothers said go ahead because they are not really. So who fooled around? Both parents! “Woe is me, shame and scandal in the family!”
Dolphy & Panchito
The original dynamic duo of Pinoy comedy recorded an almost direct translation of “Shame and Scandal,” substituting homely pinoy names for that local charm. You can imagine how the idea of anak sa labas and incest must be even more scandalous with us in those days. “O, Diyos ko, kay laking kahihiyan nito. ”
Glen Campbell (1975)
The song fits nicely into our own cinematic history of cowboy westerns in that time period, which we actually copied from Italian spaghetti westerns.
“Ang Kawawang Cowboy”
Mr. Panopio became a household name in the ‘70s with this parody, and because of this he had to sing with a fake country yodel until his dying days. The chorus remains a classic: Ang kawawang cowboy/may baril walang bala/may bulsa wala namang pera/ako nga ang cowboy/palaging nag-iisa/ang kabayo ay walang paa/ang aking brip ay butas pa.
Lipps Inc (1979)
When disco ruled in the ‘70s, this was one of the hits that caught our fancy. And because it was a radio staple, it was fair game for a good thrashing—and the guy who did it was a real character in Ray-Ban sunglasses by the name of…
We are not even going to spoil this for you. We will just go right into the lyrics:
Nunal sa ulo, mautak raw
Nunal sa batok, takaw-tulog
Nunal sa labi, tsismosa raw
Nunal sa ilong, dapang ilong
Nunal sa tenga, tengang daga
Nunal sa kuko, kuko’y patay
Nunal sa siko, ay komang raw
Si kili-kili, tok-king about
Sugarhill Gang (1980)
Widely acknowledged as the first rap song (although serious hip-hop historians will say Sugarhill Gang lacked OG cred). “Rapper’s Delight” is very antiseptic and crude by today’s standards.
Not to be left behind, The Philippines’ first rap song is a parody of the first rap song, sung by the brother of Danny Javier of the Apo Hiking Society. “Na-onse” means to be cheated on, or be scammed, or to double-deal (we are still searching for its origins), and the song is an absurdly convoluted yarn of a family’s misfortune.
“Baby Come Back To Me”
The Manhattan Transfer (1984)
The Manhattan Transfer were a premiere jazz vocal group that many of our own vocal groups back in the day took inspiration from, like The Company. That year was a banner year for pop music from different genres.
“Ma’am May We Go Out”
Tito, Vic, and Joey
This is where the mighty Joey De Leon comes in. We picked this particular song because it highlights Tito, Vic, and Joey’s impressive run of movies in the ‘80s that had theme songs based on parodies. There was Working Boys, Horsey Horsey Tigidig Tigidig (whose parody of another ‘80s gem, ‘Rico Mambo”, continue to thrill anyone stuck in the decade), among many others. Joey De Leon began writing song parodies in the mid ‘70s that all came together in the venerable Tough Hits albums. Tough Hits is required listening to anyone who has even a germ of an idea for a song parody. Even Michael V. will agree.
Mellow Man Ace (1989)
A harmless rap tune that was quickly forgotten when gangster rolled along.
This is the last true song parody we remember coming out of the ‘90s before Michael V. completely took over. RapAsia wasn't even a comedy act to begin with; they were just riding on the song's wave of popularity. We should note that in the mid 2000s a guy named Sir Rex Kantatero was the first online superstar to have revived the song parody form, but even then it was clear that he took all his cues from Michael V.