Slip into happiness courtesy of 30-something year-old, first generation Filipina-American, Christine Gambito – the creator of Happy Slip who self-produces weekly feel-good shows that parody her personal insights and ethnic experiences. The show originally launched on YouTube in August 2006, and now has a significant following with several thousand subscribers. It won “2nd Best Comedy” at the 2006 YouTube Video Awards, and is among the top ten most subscribed channels of all time. Drawing from her success on YouTube, Gambito recruited a friend at Wired Programming to develop a home site for the show in October 2006. Initially just an outlet for the former nurse to express her creative passions, vlogging has now become Gambito’s livelihood and has ascended her to internet celebrity status. “Happy slip,” is a play on the words “half slip,” which Gambito’s mother, in her Filipino-English accent, dutifully reminded her to wear as a young girl. “Christine, be sure to wear your happy slip!” is the trademark ending of all the shows.
Gambito could be accused of having multiple personality disorder if she wasn’t so darn talented and cute. Not only does she direct and produce the show, she uses her acting talents to portray three to four different characters in any one program. She can be wholesome and timid in one scene, and switch to a sultry vixen in the next, leaving viewers to conclude that she must in reality have an evil twin.
The roughly 4-minute shows generally parody pop culture favorites like Dancing with the Stars, or involve a spoof on Gambito’s Filipino-American family, to which anyone with quirky relatives can relate. In one of the shows Gambito combines the classic Cinderella story with the modern day Bachelor, bursting into tears following the rose ceremony when the shoe doesn’t fit. In the episode that won at the YouTube awards, “Mixed Nuts,” she performs a sketch about nosey judgmental relatives, who regress into a conversation about horses doing their business, while she’s trying to tell them a story of her near-death experience.
In most cases, Gambito takes a no frills approach to sets and videography, but the quality of the show is reflected in the program’s script and the endearingly crazy characters that she convincingly portrays. The equally energetic blog devoted to Happy Slip provides some insight into the thought-process behind the show’s wacky, family-inspired story lines.
The episode entitled “Peelings” in which Gambito highlights common mispronunciations and proverbial slips (e.g. – “beat the bush” versus “beat around the bush”) that regularly perplex her during family gatherings is a must see for anyone with foreign family.