‘Mr. Shooli’ Jun Urbano, 84

MANUEL “JUN” URBANO, JR., an actor, comedian, and director best known for the popular satirical character Mr. Shooli, died early on Saturday, Dec. 2. He was 84.

His family confirmed on social media that the cause of death was a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Mr. Urbano was known for elevating satirical comedy in form and content, both on television and film, according to a Facebook post by the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC), which awarded him with this year’s Gawad Plaridel just a month ago.

This year, he was also named the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Dr. Jose R. Perez Memorial Awardee due to his “outstanding contribution in Philippine Cinema.”

Mr. Urbano’s body of work is best characterized by the persona of Mr. Shooli, star of the 1980s political commentary show Mongolian Barbecue. He was also the director and writer of the 1991 film Juan Tamad at Mr. Shooli: Mongolian Barbecue.

Younger Filipinos may remember him as Sifu in the iconic 1996 fantasy adventure film Magic Temple, where he sends out his three teenage pupils to vanquish the forces of evil in Samadhi.

Aside from film and television, Mr. Urbano worked as an advertising director, responsible for over 2,000 commercials since the 1970s.

Over the past three years, his YouTube channel, under the name “Mr. Shooli,” remained active with uploads surrounding political discourse, sometimes with the character on his own and other times with Filipino politicians as guests.

“I remember what one of our national artists, Manuel Conde, told me. He said, Mr. Shooli, if you want the patient to get well because he’s very sick but does not want to take the bitter medicine, tell him a joke,” Mr. Urbano said in his acceptance speech, where he came as Mr. Shooli, at the Gawad Plaridel awarding in October.

National Artist Manuel Conde, born Manuel Urbano, Sr., was his father.

“When the mouth opens to laugh, that’s when you put the medicine in,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing, so I hope everything Mr. Shooli says leaves an impact.”

His son, Chris Urbano, shared a picture of the two of them together in a Facebook post, with the caption: “I will cherish this moment for the rest of my life. I love you so much dad, until we meet again.” — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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