Tropang Trumpo | ABC - 90's Philippine Television Comedy (Gag) Show

Tropang Trumpo was a popular Filipino television comedy gag show that aired on the Associated Broadcast Company or ABC 5 (Now TV5) every Saturday nights and ran from 1994-1999. Tropang Trumpo was the definitive gag show of the mid-90's which made Ogie Alcasid, Gelli de Belen, Carmina Villaroel, Earl Ignacio, and Michael V. became household names. Let's go down memory lane and reminisce the iconic 90's gag show, Tropang Trumpo.

Tropang Trumpo Chicken Caronia Dance Retro Pilipinas 90s Gag Show ABC Retro Pilipinas Feature


Tropang Trumpo - The Show
About Tropang Trumpo

Tropang Trumpo's original cast included Ogie Alcasid, Michael V., Gelli de Belen, and theatre/voice actors Noni Buencamino, Earl Ignacio and Sheilou Bharwani under the direction of Jose Javier Reyes. However, when Reyes became busy with films, former Goin' Bananas cast members Edgar "Bobot" Mortiz, Al Tantay and former Goin' Bananas headwriter Dan Salamante came in and assumed the respective posts of director and writers. Mortiz, Tantay and Salamante introduced new segments for the show, the most famous was "Battle of the Brainless", a satirical quiz show (taken from the 90's famous game show "Battle of the Brains" aired over RPN) where simple quiz questions are never answered. Besides Battle of the Brainless, the ABC-5 gag show also became known for its in-between jokes short humorous dance number using a nail product tv ad jingle "Caronia" by the main cast usually ending with another word that the show made trend of during the 90's, "chicken"; and a parody of the popular Filipino soap Valiente with "Bahaw: Ang Kaning Lamig".

The show eventually went on even when two of its main cast, Michael V. and Ogie Alcasid, left in 1995 to do another gag show for GMA entitled "Bubble Gang". The new cast included Gelli de Belen, Carmina Villaroel, Smokey Manaloto, Earl Ignacio, Maoi Roca, Caloy Alde, Mickey Ferriols, Ariel "Hyubs" Azarcon, Diego "Binoy" Salvador.

"Tropang Trumpo" started to decline when several new shows started copying its format. In 1998, the show had to reformat after Edgar Mortiz, Al Tantay and Dan Salamante left due to conflict with ABC executives. At the same time, cast members Smokey Manaloto and Earl Ignacio also left to side with their beleaguered director. In mid-1998, original "Tropa" cast members Gelli de Belen and later addition, Carmina Villaroel left, and the show struggled to survive with its relatively new cast and staff. It finally closed at the end of the 1999 and was replaced with "Ispup".

On 2003, Bubble Gang paid tribute to some of the most popular gag shows in the Philippines, one of which is Tropang Trumpo. Old footage for Tropang Trumpo is rare these days, so if you want a somewhat accurate idea of what the show like back in the days, then check out the Bubble Gang's tribute here:

Bubble Gang Pays Tribute to Tropang Trumpo



It was really a big fan service to see Carmina, Gelli, Ogie and Michael V. doing the Caronia "Chicken" Dance on Bubble Gang.

Bubble Gang Pays Tribute to Tropang Trumpo October 2003 Gelli de Belen, Carmina Villaroel, Ogie Alcasid, and Michael V do the Caronia Chicken Dance Retro Gag Show TV5 Pilipinas Feature


As a child growing up on the 90's, Tropang Trumpo was the authority when it comes to comedy back then. Michael V. and Ogie Alcasid's departure from Tropang Trumpo gave the biggest crippling blow to the iconic 90's gag show. It was never the same after the two comedians left for Bubble Gang. Although I have to give credit for Tropa for staying more than three years after the maid comedic celebrities left the series. I still remember how the Battle of the Brainless segment would always cracked me up as a kid. There there was the Caronia/Chicken Dance that Tropa popularize. I still remember I some of my elementary classmates who were also into Tropang Trumpo usually do some of the steps and use the term "chicken" as much as we could back then. This is probably where I got my humor or "corniness" from. I think if I re-watch it now (if there would still be some old footage or copies out there), I might get a few chuckles every now and then but my sense of humor has also grown up through the years, so I guess I'll be scratching my head now. I might not have the same reaction like before when Carmina usually force her pustiso jokes on their "Ano ang tawag" segment. Tropang Trumpo will always be a big part of my life, and maybe every kid who just wanted one day of the week to just laugh out loud.

Tropang Trumpo ABC - 5 Logo Retro Pilipinas


What about you guys? What's your fondest memory, favorite segment, favorite cast and general thoughts on the iconic 90's gag show from ABC-5. Share your thoughts on Tropang Trumpo on the comments section below:

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