Production Specialists, Inc., a company owned by Romy Jalosjos, brought the idea of creating a noontime show for Radio Philippines Network (RPN). Antonio Tuviera, who was working for the company, thought that the comic troika of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon, better known as TVJ (who had gained fame through GMA Network's Discorama and as pinch-hitters for Student Canteen, but subsequently left both), would be the perfect hosts for the new program. At a meeting at the InterContinental Manila parking lot (now closed), Tuviera made the offer to them; they accepted.
De Leon coined the title of the show: Eat represents lunchtime while Bulaga (which means "to surprise") represents their plan to fill the show with big surprises. The title is also a play on two children's games: Eat is the transliteration of It from the game Tag while Bulaga refers to Peek-a-boo!. Because of this, the slogan "Hangga't May Bata, May Eat Bulaga!" ("While There Are Children, There will be Eat Bulaga!") was coined, also by de Leon.
Eat...Bulaga! premiered on July 30, 1979. TVJ, along with Chiqui Hollman and Richie Reyes (a.k.a. Richie d' Horsie) were the original hosts. During its first few months on the air, the show was in danger of cancellation. Not only did it face competition against the longest-running noontime show at that time, Student Canteen, it also lacked advertisers. In addition, TVJ did not receive their salaries for six months.
Eat...Bulaga! slowly gained top-rating status in 1980 after the introduction of the segment "Mr. Macho." Production Specialists soon handed production to Tuviera's TAPE, Inc. In May 1982, the domestic satellite was launched, allowing Eat...Bulaga! and other RPN programs to be aired nationwide. During the same time, Coney Reyes joined the show while Hollman moved to Student Canteen. In 1987, Aiza Seguerra joined the show after finishing as a runner-up in the "Little Miss Philippines" segment.
Its easily recognizable theme song that begins with the famous phrase "Mula Aparri hanggang Jolo" was introduced in 1982. The lyrics of the song was written by Vincent Dy Buncio, while the melody was composed by Vic Sotto and musical arrangement by Homer Flores.
An interview with Joey de Leon revealed that he, Tito and Vic never signed any contract with Eat...Bulaga! when they were offered to become hosts of the show. Vic Sotto confessed that he accepted the offer and would immediately stop once he had enough money to buy a personal vehicle. Joey de Leon also admitted that the show was only supposed to be a short-term employment. However, Eat...Bulaga! defeated Student Canteen in the ratings after 2 years and TVJ decided to stay with the show. Up to this day, no contracts bind Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon to the show or to TAPE, Inc. Friendship and their loyalty to the show are the only factors that keep them together.
In the year 1989, Eat...Bulaga! moved to ABS-CBN (under a co-production agreement) with other TAPE-produced shows Agila, Coney Reyes on Camera and Okey Ka Fairy Ko! (from Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)) due to problems brought about by the sequestration of RPN. On February 18, 1989, the show premiered on its new home ABS-CBN, which was staged at the Araneta Coliseum aside its celebration on its 10th anniversary on September 23, 1989.
Reyes left in 1992. She was replaced by swimming champion Christine Jacob (later she moved to Magandang Tanghali Bayan in late 1998). By 1992, Tito Sotto started appearing only on weekends after topping the senatorial elections that May.
By the 1990s, ABS-CBN wanted to buy the airing rights of Eat...Bulaga! from TAPE Inc. However, Tuviera and Malou Choa-Fagar rejected the deal, leading ABS-CBN to decide not to renew its contract with TAPE, Inc. and remove Eat...Bulaga! and its sister shows Valiente and Okay Ka, Fairy Ko from its roster (with the exception of Coney Reyes on Camera) and to reformat its Sunday show Sa Linggo nAPO Sila into a week-long show, 'Sang Linggo nAPO Sila.
Eat...Bulaga! moved to GMA, whose efforts to dethrone it with Lunch Date (replacement of Student Canteen shortly after the 1986 People Power Revolution) and Salo-Salo Together (SST) had failed. The show made its premiere telecast on its new home on January 28, 1995, again at the Araneta Coliseum. Before this, month-long promotions (from December 1994 to January 1995) were made by coming up with the catchy advertisements, 9–2=7, Totoo ang Sie7e ("Nine minus two equals seven, Seven is really true"), alluding to the show's move from Channel 9 (RPN) to Channel 2 (ABS-CBN) to Channel 7 (GMA). It was also a homecoming for TVJ, who previously hosted Discorama and pinch-hit for Student Canteen on GMA before leaving the network for Eat...Bulaga!.
In 2000, Eat...Bulaga! became the first to give away millions on Philippine television. When Magandang Tanghali Bayan, then the noontime show of ABS-CBN, introduced "Pera o Bayong" to its audience, it became an instant hit, causing MTB to top the ratings of Eat...Bulaga for two years. This forced the Eat...Bulaga! management to give the first millions, through its segments "Meron o Wala" and then "Laban o Bawi" to get the audience interest back.
Eat Bulaga! celebrated its 25th year on television on November 19, 2004 at the amphitheater, Clark Expo in Clarkfield, Angeles City, Pampanga, making it the longest-running noontime show in the Philippines. The television special was attended by an estimated at more than 60,000 spectators and enjoyed the highest daytime TV rating in the Philippines. It won the Best Entertainment (One-Off/Annual) Special at the Asian Television Awards in Singapore on December 1, 2005. The event was hailed as the most successful on Philippine television, narrowly matched only by the 1st Starstruck Final Judgement. The presentation, titled Eat Bulaga Silver Special, was broadcast on November 28, 2004. By this time, Eat Bulaga! had modified its title, dropping the three dots.
In 2006, the SexBomb Girls left the show due to a dispute with its producers. The show, in turn, opened auditions for new in-house dancers, under the name 'EB Babes', as a reality competition. The group officially debuted on August of that year. In March 2007, the SexBomb Girls returned as regular cast members.
In September 2007, a series of word wars occurred between Joey de Leon and Willie Revillame, the host of Eat Bulaga!'s rival show Wowowee as a result of the Hello Pappy scandal.
On March 6, 2009, Francis Magalona, one of the show's long-time co-hosts, succumbed to leukemia. The following day, the show produced a tribute episode in which the whole cast performed his songs dedicated to his memory. During the tribute, it was revealed that Magalona coined the word 'Dabarkads', a popular name to the Eat Bulaga family.
In 2009, Eat Bulaga! celebrated its 30th anniversary, dubbed as Tatlong Dekads ng Dabarkads (Three Decades of the Dabarkads). The show focused on honoring and helping remarkable people, including 30 poor, hard-working students and other everyday heroes as a gesture of paying back to the public who supported them.
In February 2011, the SexBomb Girls along with the group's choreographer Joy Cancio left once more, this time for ABS-CBN's Happy Yipee Yehey!.
On October 6, 2011, Eat Bulaga! launched its coffee table book called Ang Unang Tatlong Dekada (The First Three Decades). It was written by veteran columnist and TV host Butch Francisco and designed by Joey de Leon's son Jako de Leon. Alongside the book, Eat Bulaga! gave away 3000 limited edition CDs of the 2004 Silver Special Anniversary celebration. Additionally, GMA News and Public Affairs produced a documentary titled Kuwentong Dabarkads hosted by Dingdong Dantes.
On August 18, 2012, Eat Bulaga! aired a special episode celebrating its 33rd anniversary without commercial breaks, the first time in its history. A soundtrack, Dabarkads D' Album: A Party for everyJUAN, featuring songs popularized by the Eat Bulaga! cast, as well as the theme tunes used by the show, was released in July 2013.
On July 16, 2012, Indonesia's SCTV Network aired the show's first international franchise, Eat Bulaga! Indonesia. The network, which had considered securing the rights for a local version for the past five years, started formal negotiations with TAPE, Inc. in April 2012, with approval given in June 2012. SCTV Network's Eat Bulaga! Indonesia ended on April 3, 2014 due to poor ratings caused by the sudden departure of their main head host in 2014. However, the show eventually returned to the airwaves on November 17, 2014 on its new home network, antv, with the new title, The New Eat Bulaga! Indonesia.
Due to public demand, Eat Bulaga! revived its traditional Lenten season drama specials during the 2014 Holy Week after an eight-year lull. Unlike its previous productions, the heartwarming stories produced annually are either original stories or inspired by true-to-life stories of former contestants of the popular segment, "Juan for All, All for Juan." Either one or two episodes are shown each day from Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday. In addition to the return of the drama specials in 2014, Eat Bulaga! began to hold an annual awards ceremony called "Dabarkads Awards" to recognize excellence in stories and performances for the year's Lenten presentation.
The popularity of Eat Bulaga! was greatly increased in July 2015 following the accidental formation of a new love team between co-hosts Alden Richards and Maine "Yaya Dub" Mendoza, and the eventual development of Kalyeserye, a parody soap opera built around the couple. The new loveteam, popularly known as AlDub, tripled the show's normal AGB Nielsen Mega Manila and nationwide television ratings, and #AlDub became the top daily trending topic on Twitter in the Philippines and even worldwide. The milestone moments of the phenomenal loveteam helped the show garner some of its all-time high ratings. Its August 8, 2015 episode, which was supposed to feature the first meeting of Richards and Mendoza in real life but didn't occur because Mendoza unexpectedly fainted during the episode and had to be taken to the hospital, registered a Mega Manila rating that is above 30%, a television rating that has not been achieved by Eat Bulaga! since its 2004 Silver Anniversary Special.
Its August 12, 2015 episode, which showcased a Cinderella-like story and the near-meeting of Richards and Mendoza, posted a rating of 36.1%, which was an extraordinary accomplishment for a weekday episode. Its September 5 episode, the day when Richards and Mendoza finally saw each other for the first time, registered a rating of 39.5%. Its September 19 and September 26 episodes, the first and second dates of AlDub, garnered ratings of 41.3% and 45.7%, respectively, which are the highest-rated episodes of 2015. These episodes were also the first times that Eat Bulaga! tapped the 40 percent mark. Due to the AlDub phenomenon, Eat Bulaga! holds 10 out of 10 highest-rated episodes in 2015.
On October 24, 2015, Eat Bulaga! held a benefit concert at the Philippine Arena to thank the fans of AlDub and to raise funds for building libraries in certain schools across the Philippines and for the victims of Typhoon Lando. The most awaited event for the loveteam also marked a major turning point of the Kalyeserye story; the couple were able to see and interact with each other without any hindrance from Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola's character in Kalyeserye ) The special show dubbed as "Sa Tamang Panahon" (At the Right Time) attracted an estimated 55,000 people, becoming the largest indoor audience ever of Eat Bulaga!. Ticket sales for premium seats were sold-out three hours after Lola Nidora announced the concert on October 17, 2015. The rest of the tickets were sold-out after three days. After 24 hours, #ALDubEBTamangPanahon, the official hashtag for the event, reached 41 million tweets, becoming the third most tweeted topic for the TV category worldwide in 2015 and the most used hashtag within 24 hours on Twitter. According to AGB Nielsen, the live airing of the event was able to garner a 50.8% Mega Manila household rating, becoming the most watched show in 2015. For the first time in the show's history, Eat Bulaga! was able to breach the 50% mark.
Kalyeserye went on hiatus on September 3, 2016 and returned on October 15 after a month-break. Once again, the segment temporarily ended in December 2016.Tito Sotto (1979–present)
Vic Sotto (1979–present)
Joey de Leon (1979–present)
Gov Lloyd (2017–present)
Bulagaan is a veteran segment of Eat Bulaga! featuring hosts delivering "knock-knock" jokes in a classroom scenario, with the hosts divided into groups, dressed in school uniforms, and singing their answers to the teacher's question. After performing, the group spins a giant roulette (numbered from 00 to 100) which is the basis of their score. The group with the lowest score will be punished at the end of the segment and later going free-for-all, throwing cream pies at each other. This segment occurs once in a while, usually during holidays or other special occasions.
Eat Bulaga! is preempted on Holy Week and instead airs drama specials on Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday. In 1981, Eat Bulaga! started a tradition of presenting a Lenten offerings starring the show's host and also features guest actors. The Lenten offerings had an six-year hiatus from 2008 to 2013, and returned in 2014, and airs yearly since then.
Since 2014, Dabarkads Awards are held annually to recognize the Best Story, Best Actor, and Best Actress on that year's Lenten specials.
Jackpot En Poy is a game segment based on the classic children's game rock–paper–scissors. Four players are paired to compete in the three-round segment. In the first round, the first pair plays against each other until one player wins three times. The next pair then plays against each other in the second round. The winners from the first two rounds then compete against each other to finally determine the ultimate winner. The winner of the game then moves on to the final round. In the final round, the player is presented with several Dabarkads, each holding different amounts of cash prize. The player will then pick three Dabarkads who he or she will play rock–paper–scissors against. The player plays against them one at a time. If the player wins against any of the Eat Bulaga! host, he or she will win the cash prize.
Dubbed by Joey de Leon as "Bayanihan na may kasamang swerte", this segment shows the true purpose of Eat Bulaga! — to help less fortunate Filipinos and to give happiness to every Juan who supported them throughout the years. Included in this segment is the "Plastic ni Juan Project", where the plastic bottles they collect from the barangays they visit are turned into school armchairs, to be given to their chosen school in a specific barangay.
Kap's Book of Amazing True Love Stories is a subsegment of Juan for All, All for Juan: Bayanihan of d' Pipol. It is a special segment for Valentine's Day in which barangay residents share their love stories live on television.
Lola's Playlist was formerly a subsegment of Kalyeserye. Child contestants sing hit songs from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in this singing competition.
Less than a month after the grand finals of the original edition, the contest was brought back with the new title Lola's Playlist: Beat the Champion to introduce a new batch of contestants who must beat the week's current champion. The new edition is no longer part of Kalyeserye, and is revived as a subsegment under Juan for All, All for Juan: Bayanihan of d' Pipol.
Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Paolo Ballesteros, Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards are the primary hosts of this segment, who are on-location at the chosen barangay for the day, with Vic Sotto, Tito Sotto, Joey de Leon and Allan K hosting in the Broadway Studio. A studio host draws an entry from a box containing registration forms from the chosen barangay and calls that person to confirm their name and address. The barangay hosts then go to the home address to meet and congratulate the winner. The winner is interviewed shortly by the hosts about family, work, health, and other interesting things about their life. The winner is given food, cash, and other prizes from the sponsors of the show, including appliances from Hanabishi, an O+ Android smartphone, grocery showcase from Puregold, and a raffle entry for a chance to win house and lot from Lumina Homes. Aside from the sponsor's prizes, the winner also receives a final cash prize from the show itself.
This segment is done everyday, Monday to Saturday, with locations ranging nationwide – from barangays and subdivisions across Metro Manila, all the way to provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. There, they usually have their selected contestant registered the previous day, with a copy of their entries sent back to the Broadway Studio to be drawn the next day.
The Sugod Bahay hosts will announce the barangay's name and the phrase, "Bayanihan na!". The Filipino term "bayanihan" refers to a spirit of communal effort to achieve a particular objective. Its participants are "Team Barangay" (barangay residents) and "Team Bahay" (home viewers outside of the barangay). All who wish to be eligible to win must bring specific items that the hosts mention.
For Team Barangay, they are must then race to the numbers laid out on the streets in under a minute. The studio hosts pick a random number. The person standing on that number and the four next numbers receive cash prizes and gift packs from the show and its sponsors. The line with the most behaved people, dubbed as the "Bayanihan Line", receives P1,000 each (for a total of P20,000). In the event of bad weather, the studio hosts select seven entries. The seven winners must each bring plastic bottles and their registration forms to receive P10,000.
This applies to the chosen barangay of the day. For it to qualify, it must be well-organized, clean and well-behaved. Everyday a barangay is added to the list of "qualified" barangays, eventually summing up to more or less 20 barangays for the month. Otherwise, just one violation of the said requirements means the disqualification of that barangay. After each month, the hosts choose three barangays who will win a special prize based on their rank, with the best barangay winning the grand prize and the title of Barangay Bayanihan.
For Team Bahay, the person must capture and upload the photo with their specific items and its home's location on EB's official Facebook account in just 5 minutes. The winners will announce at the end of the episode and receive its prize on Broadway Centrum a day later.
Music Hero is a daily talent competition for child musicians who are skilled at playing musical instruments, such as piano, guitar, or drums. Contestants must be 19 years old or below to join the contest.
Dubbed as the "Pambansang Laro ng Bayan," Pinoy Henyo is one of the most popular game segments of Eat Bulaga!. The game has a similar concept as Twenty Questions, but instead of limiting the number of questions, the game is limited to two minutes.
There are three pairs each day that play in the qualifying round. A word is placed on top of the guesser's head. The goal of the game is to guess the word in under two minutes. The guesser must ask questions that becomes more specific over time, while the other player must only reply with Oo (yes), Hindi (no), or Pwede (maybe/possibly). Other replies will incur a three-second penalty. The pair with the fastest time heads to the jackpot round. In the jackpot round, the winning pair will play again following the same concepts. Except this time, the pair is only given one category and must take turns to correctly guess any three of the ten provided words in under three minutes. If the pair is having difficulty guessing a particular word, they can opt to pass. If they correctly guess the words, they win the maximum cash prize.
Throughout its run, Pinoy Henyo has evolved into many different themes and editions to cater to particular groups of people, frequently modifying the segment's title to indicate the contestants of the edition. Its gameplay has also experienced some slight changes over time, depending on the capability and intellect of the contestants.
Eat Bulaga! has developed more than 290 segments throughout its 37-year run. Its segments include beauty pageants, talent contests, quiz shows, interactive games, comedy sketches, and other unique concepts. In fact, certain segments have been labeled as "Tatak Eat Bulaga!" because their concepts have been naturally associated with the show itself and their success have brought remarkable popularity to the show and its participants. Notable signature Eat Bulaga! segments are Little Miss Philippines and That's My Boy, which are child beauty pageants that have become an important stepping stool for little children who would like to enter the Philippine entertainment industry. They launched the careers of Aiza Seguerra, Camille Prats, Lady Lee, Pauleen Luna, BJ Forbes, Ryzza Mae Dizon, and many others. Mr. Pogi is a beauty contest for young adult men, which became an important launchpad for the showbiz careers of Jericho Rosales and Edgar Allan Guzman. Other beauty pageants are Super Sireyna, which is regarded as the first gay beauty pageant on Philippine television after its launch in 1995, and Fat-Talbugan, a breakthrough pageant that gave heavy people a chance to show that big can also be beautiful. Most of these pageants are recurring, but their reinstatement as a segment does not follow any fixed pattern.
In 2000, Laban o Bawi became one of the first segments to give out one million pesos as the jackpot prize in order to get the audience interest back. Prior to its launch, Eat Bulaga! faced tough competition after rival noontime show Magandang Tanghali Bayan introduced Pera o Bayong. After a 5-year successful run, the segment was replaced with Taktak Mo o Tatakbo. Laban o Bawi witnessed a short revival from 2014 to 2015 with a revamped elimination round. Another discontinued signature segment is Pinoy Henyo. In 2006, Pinoy Henyo was launched, but the game wouldn't gain its tremendous popularity until its revival in 2009.
A new trend on Eat Bulaga! is the development of subsegments for Juan for All, All for Juan: Bayanihan of d' Pipol in order to bring the show closer to the Filipino people. The segments are collaboratively presented by the studio hosts and the barangay hosts. The subsegments range from talent contests to ad-lib soap operas and may usually involve participation of barangay residents. Notable subsegments include Suffer Sireyna, That's My Tambay, Problem Solving, and Kalyeserye.
Eat Bulaga! has received an estimated 170 awards from more than 240 nominations since its debut in 1979. After winning fifteen times as the Best Variety Show, Eat Bulaga! was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 by the PMPC Star Awards for Television. Its hosts have also been nominated in numerous different categories. The show has also received a lifetime achievement award for its more than three decades on air from the Gawad Tanglaw Awards. GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards has also hailed Eat Bulaga as the most popular noontime variety program five times, while Golden Screen TV Awards has honored the show with four awards as an outstanding variety program. FAMAS Awards has also honored the legendary trio of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon for their contributions to Philippine television and cinema. Its 25th anniversary celebration won in the Best Entertainment (One-Off/Annual) category of the 2005 Asian Television Award, becoming one of the first awards won by the show from an international award-giving body. Its producer, Antonio P. Tuviera, was given an excellence award by the Filipino Franchise Show for being the first to have successfully franchised a Filipino television show to Indonesia.
The show has also been honored numerous times by academe-based minor award-giving bodies from across the country, including Global City Innovative College, Bataan Peninsula State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Northwest Samar State University, Trinity University of Asia, Lyceum of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas. Awards given by these universities are usually voted by the students to recognize excellence in the field of broadcasting and entertainment.Broadcast City Live Studio 1 (July 30, 1979 – February 17, 1989)
ABS-CBN Studio 1, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center (now Dolphy Theatre) (February 18, 1989 – 1994)
ABS-CBN Studio 2, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center (during special occasions)
ABS-CBN Studio 3, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center (1994 – January 27, 1995)
Celebrity Sports Plaza (January 28, 1995 – August 31, 1995)
TAPE Studio (Eastside Studio), Broadway Centrum (September 1, 1995 – December 31, 2009; March 6, 2010 – present)
Westside Studio, Broadway Centrum (GMA Broadway Live Studio; used while Eastside Studio was renovated) (January 1, 2010 – March 5, 2010)