José María Ramos de León, better known simply as Joey de Leon (born October 14, 1946) is a Filipino comedian/TV host who is one of the popular hosts of the long-running noontime variety show Eat Bulaga!. He is a member of the famous comedy trio Tito, Vic and Joey that has made several hit comedy movies and TV shows. Also known as a songwriter, Joey has penned some Filipino hit songs deemed as classics ("Ipagpatawad Mo" (Forgive Me), "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" (Sing and I Will Dance), "Boyfriend kong Baduy" (My Geeky Boyfriend), "Iskul Bukol" (School is Tough) and many more).

Pre-showbiz Life

Joey spent his early childhood in Sampaloc, Manila with his mother. His father, Jose Suwani de Leon, was of Spanish descent but never lived with them. Instead, the elder de Leon sent financial support (through his pension at USAFFE) to Joey's mother so that his son would be able to attend school.

Joey's early childhood ranged from the traumatic to comical moments. His most traumatic experience occurred at age 4 when he almost drowned during a family beach outing. Because of the incident, he developed a phobia for bodies of water. Among his funny childhood experiences were playing pranks on his female classmates when he was in Grade 4.

During his teen years, Joey and his mother lived with his mother's relatives. His aunt and his godmother shouldered his high school expenses. But when he took up architecture at National University, his father's pension at USAFFE completely covered his college fees. After two years, Joey quit architecture (because he wasn't keen on Math) and took several odd jobs. Soon after, upon the prodding of his cousin and best friend Freddie Villareal, they went to a radio station to meet up with Karina Afable but instead of meeting her, they chanced upon an audition for radio announcers. Joey wasn't interested at first but his cousin secretly enlisted his name at the auditions. Soon after, Joey was hired after passing the auditions.

Early Showbiz Exposure

He started out his showbiz career in the 60s as a radio DJ (disc jockey) for some of the top FM stations mostly owned by pre-martial law ABS-CBN. Some of his radio colleagues and contemporaries included the late Inday Badiday, Ike Lozada, Johnny de Leon (no relation) and Helen Vela. In a span of five years, he sat down on 12 FM stations while doing other jobs as gag writer and songwriter. His first big break on TV was IBC-13's gag show OK Lang which starred him alongside the Sotto brothers (Tito, Vic and Val), Ricky Manalo, Jr. and the APO Hiking Society.

Tito, Vic and Joey

In 1975, Joey became a co-host of GMA-7's early afternoon variety show Discorama hosted by Bobby Ledesma (of Student Canteen fame). At that time, the show hardly had any viewers and ratings were bad. While Bobby was on vacation, he told Joey to take care of the show. Joey invited his former co-stars at OK Lang, brothers Tito, Vic and Val Sotto, to join him at Discorama. Only Tito and Vic accepted Joey's invitation. The newly-formed trio started to do comedy newscast segments interspersed with hilarious interpretations of Top 40 hit songs using made-up lyrics written by Joey. Thus the trio Tito, Vic and Joey was born. Discorama was given a new lease in life and was saved from the axe of GMA-7 executives. The new trio was also included in Bobby's noontime show Student Canteen and also released 12 Tough Hits albums based on their Discorama Tough Hits segment.

Although Tito, Vic and Joey started their trio via Discorama and Student Canteen, it was the sitcom Iskul Bukol that gave them nationwide fame as comedians. Soon after, other TV and movie producers came knocking on the trio's door. In 1979, Tito, Vic and Joey started hosting for the noontime show Eat Bulaga! which was pitted against the more established Student Canteen hosted by their former colleague (and now competitor) Bobby Ledesma. Not long after, Eat Bulaga! toppled Student Canteen in the ratings.

Joey as solo artist
Although Joey continued to do movies alongside his showbiz team mates Tito and Vic, he started doing solo performances for other TV shows. He topbilled Joey and Son in the '80s, a sitcom on RPN-9 where he played father to a very young Ian Veneracion (who later metamorphosed into a teen heartthrob and action star in the '90s). He was also one of the gag performers on TODAS where his other co-stars included Jimmy Santos and Val Sotto. Other TV shows that Joey did as a solo host/comedian included Apple Pie, Patis, Atbp., The Sharon Cuneta Show, Let's Go Crazy and many more. Soon after, he was launched by Viva Films as a solo comedian in She-Man: Mistress of the Universe, a parody of the foreign animated series He-Man. The movie was a big hit, and Joey went on to do more movies alone, mostly with his favorite sidekick Rene Requiestas. He also tried his hand at directing movies like Romeo loves Juliet and Small, Medium, Large.

Joey topbilled movies that are mostly spoofs of foreign movies or takes at American and Filipino pop culture. When Starzan became a box-office hit in 1989, he did two more sequels on that same year with tremendous box-office results. Because of the phenomenal box-office standings of the 3 Starzan movies that he made, he was named Box-Office King for that year. He also earned the title Sequel King because most of his movies (Barbi, Elvis and James, Long Ranger en Tonton) each spawned sequels.

When Rene Requiestas went solo with his movie career (and later died in 1993), Joey concentrated on TV. He did several TV shows for major networks, mostly with GMA-7 and ABC-5. In 1995, Joey made a movie comeback via the comedy "Bangers" for Viva Films, which teamed him up with (the late) comic legend Chiquito and rapper/comedian Andrew E.. This was later followed up by a series of comedy films that had him topbilled alongside other comedians like Leo Martinez (Pipti-pipti) and Dennis Padilla (Ang Tipo kong Lalake and Takot ako sa Darling Ko). However, with the Philippine movie industry slowly losing its grip on the audience, Joey decided to concentrate on TV again, although he still appears in movies every now and then. Currently he still hosts Eat Bulaga which is now the longest-running TV program in the Philippines, and appears in other shows like Mel and Joey, Startalk, Nuts Entertainment and just recently started a new show for ABC-5, Teka Mona, which replaced Wow Mali, his long-running TV show on the same network. Another show is in the works for Joey this time on GMA's sister station QTV 11. He started hosting "Takeshi's Castle" with Ryan Yllana. He is also the resident judge of the annual reality-based star search StarStruck and writes the entertainment column De Leon's Den once a week in the Philippine broadsheet Manila Bulletin.

In December 2006, Joey returned to recording with a novelty single he wrote entitled "Itaktak Mo" (Shake it off). Unlike most of his previously recorded songs where the melodies were based on past and contemporary hits, "Itaktak Mo" had a unique melody that can pass off as either a pop dance hit or a ballroom song. Seen by critics as his answer to the other wildly popular hit, "Boom Tarat Tarat" (written by Lito Camo and sung by Joey's rival host Willie Revillame), "Itaktak Mo" was softly launched on "Eat Bulaga" shortly before the Christmas season. On January 2007, the song was launched in Joey's album, "Joey to the World 2" and gained airplay in most FM stations in a short span of time. "Itaktak Mo" has also become part of "Eat Bulaga"'s segment "Taktak Mo o Tatakbo" that replaced "Laban o Bawi", and is also one of the official dances of the 4th batch of the reality talent search "Starstruck".


Joey has been suspended by the MTRCB (the Philippine censorship board) twice from hosting Eat Bulaga!. His first suspension was in 2003 for one month, after uttering a joke related to birds during the question and answer portion of the kiddie pageant That's My Boy.

His second suspension was in 2004 after uttering a Filipino slang word for fellatio during the TKO portion. The second suspension was supposedly for two months but after reportedly suffering from emotional and health problems brought about by the suspension, he was allowed by MTRCB to go back on the air after a month.

Since then, Joey has cleaned up his act although he still retains his 'pilyo' (naughty) ways when he makes people laugh with his jokes.

Personal life

Off camera, Joey is a doting husband to Eileen Macapagal, with whom he has three children, Jocas, Jako and Jio. He also has two children from actress Daria Ramirez: TV host/comedian Keempee de Leon and Cheenee de Leon. Joey has 4 grandchildren also, one from Keempee and 3 from Cheenee.

TV and Filmography

* Takeshi's Castle (2006)
* Teka Mona (2006-present)
* Wow Mali!(1995-2006) ABC-5 Gag show- portraying different characters/credited as Creative Consultant
* Startalk (2005-Present) GMA-7 Showbiz-Oriented Talk show - host
* Enteng Kabisote: Okay ka fairy, the legend (2004)- Mulawit
* Mel and Joey (2004-present) GMA-7 Talk show- host
* StarStruck (2003-2006) GMA-7 Resident Starstruck Council
* Fantastic Man (2003)- Doc
* Pakners (2003)- Pickpocketer
* Lastikman (2003)- Elmer
* Nuts Entertainment (2003-present)GMA-7 gag show- as himself/Doughnut in Balakubak portion
* Sana ay Ikaw na Nga (2002-2003) GMA-7 Drama Series- Dr. Ricardo Peron
* Korek na korek ka Diyan (2001) GMA-7 Game show- host
* Rock n' Roll 2000 (1992) ABC-5 Gag show
* TVJ on 5 (1992) ABC-5 Gag show
* TVJ (* Si Malakas at si Maganda (1990) - Special Participation
* Kabayo kids (1990)- Pando/Yellow Banana
* Ganda babae, gandang lalake (1990)- Special Participation
* My Funny Valentine (1990)- Panday spoof character
* Elvis and James 2 (1990)- Elvis Presto
* Small, Medium en Large (1990)- credited as Director
* Hotdog (1990)- Pedro
* Romeo Loves Juliet... But Their Families Hate Each Other! (1989* Elvis and James, the Living Legends! (1989) - Elvis Presto
* Starzan 2: The Adventure Continues (1989)- Starzan
* Long Ranger & Tonton: Shooting Stars of the West (1989)- Davie Bowie aka Long Ranger
* Starzan: Shouting Star of the Jungle (1989)- Starzan
* Starzan III: The Jungle Triangle (1989)- Starzan
* Smith & Wesson (1988)
* Barbi (1988)- Bartolome/Barbi
* Sheman: Mistress of the Universe (1988)- Pandoy
* Shoot That Ball (1987)
* Let's Go Crazy (1987)- ABS-CBN Gag show (co-starring Ms. Maricel Soriano)
* Ready aim Fire (1986)
* Super wan, tu, tri (1986)
* Working Boys (1986)
* The Sharon Cuneta Show (1986) IBC-13 (later transferred to ABS-CBN) musical variety show
* Apple Pie, Patis, Atbp. (1986) RPN-9 travel magazine show
* Ma'a May We Go Out (1985)
* Mama Said, Papa Said, I Love You (1985)
* Doctor, Doctor We Are Sick (1985)
* Ride on Baby (1985)
* Naku ha! (1984)- Billy Jean
* Give Me Five (1984)
* Magtoning muna tayo (1981)
* Palpak Connections (1981)
* Joey and Son (1980) RPN-9 sitcom
* Eat Bulaga! (1979-present) TAPE-produced noontime variety show (RPN-9 (1979-1989) /ABS-CBN (1989-1995)/GMA-7 (1995-present)
* TODAS (1978-1988) IBC-13 gag show/ portraying different characters, among them Helen Bola and Indoy Budidoy
* Friends (1977) MBS-4 talk show
* Iskul Bukol (1977) IBC-13 sitcom- Joey Escalera
* C.U.T.E. (Call Us Two for Entertainment) (1977) IBC-13 musical variety show
* Student Canteen (1976) GMA-7 noontime variety show
* Discorama (1975) GMA-7 early afternoon variety show
* OK Lang (1973) IBC-13 gag show

Commercial endorsements

* PLDT Budget Card
* Dunkin' Donuts
* Liveraide
* Ginebra San Miguel
* Molecules
* Superwheel


* Joey to the World 2 (2007)- Sony BMG Records (featuring "Itaktak Mo")
* Joey to the World (2004)- BMG Records
* Halukay Ube (2004)- Duet with Sexbomb Girls
* Ispageti (2003)- Duet with Sexbomb Girls
* Mga Pakyuuuut ni Joey de Leon (1999)- Polyeast Records
* JoeyRassic (1993)- Polycosmic Records
* TVJ Tough Hits series (12 albums) 1976-1978 Vicor Records

Trivia about Joey

* Joey, along with Vic Sotto, actually had a movie entitled "Sam and Miguel". Interestingly enough, one of the antagonists of that movie was Willie Revillame, now known as a rival of Joey. Joey and Willie also appeared together in the movie "Barbi for President" where Willie played sidekick to Joey.

* Joey is an avowed collector of casino chips and Planet Hollywood T-shirts. He also collects different kinds of t-shirts that allude to US pop culture.

* Joey has appeared in a total of 52 TV shows either as a cast member or regular host. He also wrote in some of the TV shows that he joined (TODAS, Mixed Nuts, Wow Mali). His new gag show on ABC-5, Teka Mona, is his 53rd television show. He has also started his 54th television show on QTV-11 (GMA's sister station) entitled "Takeshi's Castle".

* Joey has a rare photographic memory.

* Joey also collects photos and other memorabilias from his past shows. In fact he has a rare ABS-CBN wall tile in his collection which he got when the old ABS-CBN building in Pasay was demolished. He also has a rare photo of an Eat Bulaga episode where he sang along with Tito, Vic and the APO Hiking Society when the latter trio guested in their show.

* In one survey conducted by TAPE during Eat Bulaga's early years regarding the perception of the public about its hosts, it was revealed that Tito was the serious type, Vic was the heartthrob, and Joey was the streetsmart. Up to this day, the Filipino's perception about the noontime trio has never changed.

* Joey De Leon, together with Vic and Tito Sotto, became special guests at Kapamilya, ABS-CBN at 50, the 50th year anniversary special of ABS-CBN. The trio made a special number together with the Philippine Comedy King Dolphy. Joey De Leon even made a joke during the special number, saying that he is a Kapamilya (even mentioning that he started at ABS-CBN during 1969), Tito is a Kapatilya, Vic is a Kaparilya (teasing Vic as the new Panchito during the translation segment of the number), and Dolphy is a Kapadilla (referring to real-life partner Zsa Zsa Padilla). It was aired last October 26, 2003. In November 30, 2004, Dolphy reciprocated the trio's guesting at ABS-CBN's 50th anniversary by guesting during the 25th anniversary of the trio's noontime show"Eat Bulaga".

* Joey's life story was shown on GMA-7's drama anthology "Magpakailanman" where his son Keempee de Leon portrayed him. The episode, entitled "Minsan may Isang Joey" (Once there was a Joey) it chronicled Joey's childhood and early adult years before he joined show business. It was shown on December 2005, as an anniversary presentation of the show. It actually took Joey some time to decide whether his life story would be shown or not, but he gave his nod to the project after the Magpakailanman staff gave in to his requests and conditions. That particular episode garnered a high rating of 34%, as against "Maalaala Mo Kaya" which only garnered 18%. "Minsan may Isang Joey" was replayed on May 2006, where it was pitted against "Maalaala Mo Kaya"'s final Thursday episode that had Christopher de Leon as guest star. "Magpakailanman" garnered a 17% rating as compared to MMK's 12%. Incidentally, Keempee also portrayed his father in "Maalaala Mo Kaya" when the ABS-CBN drama anthology featured the life story of the late Rene Requiestas in 2003.

* Joey's daughter Jocas (by second wife Eileen) graduated cum laude at Fordham University in New York City.

* Though highly regarded by the Philippine entertainment industry as one of the most respected comedians, Joey is also acknowledged as a starmaker, having discovered the untapped comedic talents of some bit actors and actresses who became his co-stars in most of his movies and TV shows. These actors and actresses became popular not long after. Among his discoveries were Jimmy Santos, Rene Requiestas (now deceased), Graaacia Cortez (who later became Samantha Lopez after she left "Eat Bulaga"), Mike "Pekto" Nacua and most recently, Alyssa Alano.


Comedy is to Joey De Leon, as Joey De Leon is to comedy. He has captured the Filipinos’ funny bone with his antics in the country’s longest running noontime show Eat Bulaga, a name he so proudly coined himself! Joey is an expert in all facets of belly-laughs, from film satires to TV gag shows. You may also catch him in Mel & Joey, with "pards" Mel Tiangco.

Basic Info
Name: Joey de Leon
Nickname: Joey
Birthday: October 14, 1946

Joey's hit list:
1. He likes collecting casino chips, clown and lotus paintings, and Hard Rock Cafe tees!
2. He listens to The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Bee Gees.
3. He's a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of guy.

Star Trivia:
He was the one who coined the name "Eat Bulaga!"

Q & A
On the spot:

Why did you enter showbusiness?
"Showbiz entered me!"

If you weren’t in showbiz, what kind of career would you have?
"Advertising, maybe, or alalay to a celebrity."

What are you most proud of?
"Coming up with the title Eat Bulaga and having had more than 50 TV shows to date and still counting."

What do you value most?
"My family and my job."

What is your advice to aspiring artists?
"Love your work. Don’t stop learning and always be on time. Learn everything...branch out!"