Filipino internet sensation on British TV

By Patrick Camara Ropeta, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Dec 07 2010 12:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2010 10:04 PM

LONDON - An internet sensation from the Philippines has made it onto British television with his tongue-in-cheek humor that put a smile in millions of faces around the globe.

The cheeky smile of Gerry ‘Komikero’ Alanguilan from San Pablo City in Laguna, Philippines has been featured in prime time celebrity program ‘The Graham Norton Show’ on BBC One, and quirky comedy series ‘Russell Howard’s Good News’ on BBC Three.

Alanguilan was catapulted into global internet fame in the last few months through his ‘Hey Baby’ video in the popular sharing website, YouTube. In it, he delivers a decidedly cheesy smile to the camera which captured the imagination of the online community.

“The video actually came from my attempt to emulate the smile of Dule Hill from PSYCH, which can also be viewed online,” explained Alanguilan, who is a comic book writer and artist by trade.

He continued: “It's probably the craziest, most hysterical smile I've seen and it never fails to make me laugh. So I tried to see if I could do it on my own. The thing is, I was unsuccessful in copying Dule's smile, but I seemed to have come up with something of my own that's a bit different.”

The ‘Hey Baby’ video has gathered over 2 million hits since its upload a year ago. Collectively, Alanguilan’s videos have racked up a total of over 5 million hits. He also has over 18,000 subscribers in his online channel.

The internet sensation reached the United Kingdom through ‘The Graham Norton Show’, where the famous chat show host used Alanguilan’s clip to teach facial expressions to British boxing champion David Haye, who was reportedly considering an acting career in Hollywood.

Haye took up the challenge and proceeded to copy Alanguilan’s smile in front of other celebrity guests - American star Bette Midler and British brainiac Stephen Fry - to the amusement of the audience.

The clip was also featured in two episodes of "Russell Howard’s Good News," where the eponymous host used Alanguilan’s smile as part of his stand-up routine about the funny side of current affairs in Britain.

“[Hey Baby] is actually an old video and I've almost forgotten about it. It was quite a surprise when it suddenly got lots of views a few months ago, and then it suddenly got shown at all kinds of TV shows all over the world,” Alanguilan commented.

He added: “I'm honestly flabbergasted by it, but at the same time I'm glad that my video is being appreciated by so many people. The most common reaction is people laughing and smiling, and I feel really good about that.”

Alanguilan’s infamous clip continues its global appeal through numerous television shows in Spain, Japan and the USA. He has even launched a range of merchandise with his own brand of smile, including T-shirts, calendars, mugs, mouse pads, underwear, clocks, aprons and pillow cases.