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‘Last One Laughing PH’: Filipino adaptation of hit Japanese series promises to be the best one yet


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‘Last One Laughing PH’: Filipino adaptation of hit Japanese series promises to be the best one yet

COMEDIANS. The cast of Prime Video's 'LOL: Laat One Laughing Philippines.'

Prime Video PH

In this new comedy series, there will be more to the country’s top comedians than their silly antics as they showcase their acting, singing, and dancing chops

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos are no stranger to reality shows. But this year, things are taking a comedic turn as Prime Video brings the reality show LOL: Last One Laughing to the Philippines. 

The saying “laughter is the best medicine” proves to not always be true when P1 million and a trophy are on the line. The show stars Chad Kinis, Empoy Marquez, Jayson Gainza, Jerald Napoles, Kim Molina, Negi, Pepe Herrera, Tuesday Vargas, Rufa Mae Quinto, and Victor Anastacio. Divine Tetay and Petite will also be making occasional appearances in the show.

‘Last One Laughing PH’: Filipino adaptation of hit Japanese series promises to be the best one yet

Inside the whimsical Bahay ni LOLa, the ten comedians, who are masters of their craft, do their best to evoke laughter among each other, all while suppressing their own, to emerge victorious in a six-hour long challenge.

The Pinoy humor showcased in Last One Laughing: Philippines is not meant to just trigger bursts of laughter, but to also reflect societal issues – making this adaptation one that the viewers should really watch out for. 

On Vice Ganda as the first openly gay host

Last One Laughing PH has already made history with Vice Ganda being the first queer individual to host the show since its Japanese debut in 2016. With this stint, Vice Ganda only had words of gratitude. 

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said that the show originated from South Korea. This has been corrected.)

“I was so, so, so, so, so surprised and kinilig ako (I got so excited). Sobra akong happy na ako ‘yong napiling host (I was so happy that I was chosen to host). Sobra akong na-proud (I was so proud) and I was so honored to be given the chance to host this program,” the host-comedian said. 

The noontime host shared that it was an honor to be part of the first season of Last One Laughing PH and that he couldn’t have imagined not being involved in it in some way, whether as a host or a contestant. 

Sabi ko nga, kung hindi ako ‘yong kinuhang host ng programa o hindi ako napasama dito sa programa, host man o contestant tapos mapapanood ko o makikita ko ‘yon, mabibigla ako. Kinkwestyunin ko ‘yong sarili ko, ‘Bakit wala ako diyan?’ and I will feel sad,” he added.

(Like I said, if I wasn’t picked as the program host or if I wasn’t part of the program, may it be as a host or contestant and I’ll watch or see it, I would be surprised. I would question myself, ‘Why am I not there?’ and I will feel sad.)

A long time coming

Having been filmed for over a year, the release of Last One Laughing PH was a long time coming. 

cast of last one laughing ph
COMEDIANS. Host Vice Ganda with the cast of ‘LOL; Last One Laughing Philippines’ at a press conference. Fore Esperanza/Rappler

Ang tagal naming inantay ‘to na ipakita namin ‘to sa inyo (We’ve been waiting for you to see this),” Vargas said. “Nakaka-excite (It’s exciting).” 

Syempre happyng-happy kami. Buong Pilipinas, buong mundo nakaabang (Of course we are happy. The entire Philippines, the world is waiting),” Quinto added.

According to Last One Laughing PH’s showrunner – Randolph Longjas – who was also present during the press conference, 26 cameras and 300 crew members were used for the making of the six-part series. Although the premise of the game is only six hours long, the editing process was rigorous – all just to produce a show worth waiting for.

Comedy in the time of cancel culture

While excitement runs high for the show’s release, the topic of cancel culture remains relevant especially now that all eyes are on the Last One Laughing PH cast. 

“[The] number one role of an artist is not just to entertain but to awaken the consciousness of the viewers, so kung hindi namin pinu-push ‘yong boundaries all the time, kung lagi kaming conscious [of] what is right, what is wrong, of course we have that in mind when we created material but if we become too limited don sa mga sinasabi ng lipunan then hindi kami nakakaambag nang tunay bilang artist,” Vargas told the press.

(The number one role of an artist is not just to entertain but to awaken the consciousness of the viewers so if we are not pushing the boundaries all the time, if we’re always conscious of what’s right, what’s wrong – of course we have that in mind when we created material but if we become too limited to the things society says then we are not truly contributing as artists.)

cast of last one laughing ph
The cast of ‘LOL: Last One Laughing Philippines’ during a pocket press conference. Fore Esperanza/Rappler

While Vargas focused more on the limitations imposed by the threat and fear of being canceled online by netizens, Kinis reminded everyone that jokes shouldn’t be taken personally. 

Para sa akin kasi, ang cancel culture hindi nakakatulong sa (does not help) comedy kasi nagiging balat sibuyas tayo. Alam mo namang it’s a joke, it’s not personal and it’s meant to make you happy, to make you laugh. Kasi kung ita-take mo siya lagi nang personal, walang mangyayari sa comedy. Comedy will die,” Kinis shared during the pocket press conference.

(For me, cancel culture doesn’t help comedy because we become easily offended. You know it’s a joke, it’s not personal and it’s meant to make you happy, to make you laugh. Because if you always take it personally, nothing will happen with comedy. Comedy will die.) 

Vice Ganda, who is no stranger to controversy, also weighed in – explaining that people have different tastes; what might be funny for one might not be at all for the other. 

Iba-iba talaga ang pamamaraan ng komedya, [mayroong] iba-iba ang brands at maaari kayong mamili kung ano ‘yong brand ng comedy ang pasok sa inyo at maaari niyo ma-appreciate, ang kaya niyong lunukin at hindi. Kasi ‘di ba sa Pilipinas dahil madaming conservatives, maraming, iba-iba ang dosage natin, ‘di ba? ‘Yong kaya nating tanggapin. Pero ito kasi, inclusive siya. Para sa lahat ng tao na may iba’t ibang taste ng comedy,” Vice said. “Sa dami ng paniniwala ng tao, ini-invalidate natin ‘yong hindi natin taste. ‘Yong porket hindi swak sayo, feeling mo, hindi siya tama.”

(How we do comedy is really different, there are different brands and the audience can choose which brand of comedy they like and can appreciate, what they can and cannot stand. Because the Philippines is full of conservatives, right? We all have different dosages, right? What we can accept. But this is inclusive, it’s for everyone who has different tastes in comedy. With the many beliefs that people have, we invalidate what we don’t believe in. For instance, if you don’t find it okay, you feel like it’s not right.)

Season 2, anybody?

When asked what they look forward to most upon Last One Laughing PH’s release, the cast members had one thing in mind. 

“Season 2, 3, and 4!” Quinto told Rappler, followed by shouts of approval from the rest of the cast.

Filipino humor is second to none, necessitating the need for another season where more comedians are given the opportunity to play around and showcase their artistic capabilities. 

Ang dami pang mga komedyante na talagang magagaling na pwedeng pumasok doon sa loob (There’s a lot of good comedians who can play)  for Season 2, 3,” Negi added. 

While the next seasons are surely something to watch out for, fans are in for a treat with the first season. Last One Laughing PH premiered on July 4 on Prime Video. From then on, two new episodes will be released each week. – with reports from Fore Esperanza/Rappler.com

Fore Esperanza is a Rappler intern.

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