It’s Friday night, and time for a little Comedy Time Latino.
Who’s up for a little Fay Boo? Here is Rick Izquieta.
It’s Friday night, and time for a little Comedy Time Latino.
Who’s up for a little Fay Boo? Here is Rick Izquieta.
This week we were in the office talking about hip-hop and next thing you know we saw this video by comedian Will Lopez.
Yeah, he’s got a point.
This week we rediscovered The Kids in the Hall, one of the best things that ever happened in the 1990s. We hadn't seen series in a long time, and we got a bit excited to find out that the entire series is on Netflix, so now you know what is playing in our offices this week. Because you can never have enough of "The Daves I Know."
Which got us to thinking: where are the quirky and edgy Latino comedy troupes and when will they start becoming breakout stars? Acts like Dominizuelan and comedians like Mike Robles have been making us laugh for the past few years. They are just two of many rising acts that represent a new generation of comics.
Another troupe that got our attention is The Latino Comedy Project from Austin.
Imagine if just one of their videos below made it to the mainstream (FYI, the "300" spoof has gotten millions of YouTube views)? Groups like LCP are pushing the boundaries and taking risks. They are playing with stereotypes and cultural perceptions. If someone Lorne Michaels could push Kids in the Hall in the 1990s, there has to be someone out there who can see the future. Ok, maybe we should just start pitching to people.
Here are two LCP shorts that made us laugh:
So, what do you think? What other acts have a chance to make it and become a mainstream Latino comedy troupe? The timing seems right to us.
So for all those who keep us asking the question, "Hispanic or Latino?," we will let Santiago explain it for you.
Yeah we have been following Santiago for a while. One of our favorite clips was from 2006, when he appeared on Comedy Central.
If you like Santiago like we do, you can go to his main site and check out his latest gigs.
Last week, the Latino Rebels were presented with the opportunity to write about a new web series called "The Guzman Show," which is the story about a stereotypical Mexican family that includes a cholo baby, pregnant teen and a goat, described as “a Latin-American Family Guy drenched in Tapatío hot sauce and created by a group of very sick and twisted minds.”
Sounds appealing, doesn't it? As hard as we are to satisfy with just a website, trailer and press release, we asked a few more questions about something so played out.
"There are Latino characters in most shows, but there was nothing specifically for us and showcasing a full Latino cast of characters," said Erica Menjivar, executive producer for the cartoon, via an email interview. She is the co-creator of the show, along with her sister Claudia.
You mean, there aren't enough stereotypical characters out in mainstream media for your taste? What have we been fighting all these years, then? I'm wondering where the drug-dealer Guzman cousin is at this point, because he didn't make his way into the trailer, surprisingly.
However stereotypical they want to be, Menjivar claims their effort is to get their audiences to laugh at themselves, their target audiences being Latinos. But, aren't there enough negative and stereotypical characters out there to learn from and see ourselves mirrored in over and over again?
"We do not identify ourselves with these stereotypes, we can laugh at them. It’s only a problem when we can’t laugh at it. But we're also being ironic, while shedding light on the fact that it is STILL happening and unfortunately growing," explained Menjivar. "With economic issues being what they are in this country, there is a lot of scapegoating going on. We're seeing a lot of hate being thrown at Latinos, Mexicans especially. But if we hate them back, then it becomes a never ending cycle of hate. So, instead, let’s transform that ugly into laughter."
So we're taking a hit and laughing at ourselves. But what if Latinos don't watch the webisodes which are set to begin April of this year? Mainstream USA has seen stereotypical shows like Mind of Mencia, who threw words like "wetback" and "beaner" back into the vocabulary mix, saying it was OK for everyone else to use it, when the Latino community was trying to combat it. I wondered, would this be the same thing? Menjivar says it's not educational programming even though she does compare it to Family Guy, which I think, takes a bit of intelligence to understand, no matter how sick and twisted it may be.
"It is meant to make you laugh. That is the purpose of it. But also, we are telling our stories as Latino people. The show will not be shallow. Often, it will force people to think about their stance on issues for Latinos and even non-Latinos," said the producer based out of San Francisco.
The story for this project came out of being stereotyped and degraded by hateful people. But in an odd way, Menjivar feels that this cartoon will bring people together; taking these stereotypes and publicly laughing at them, determining our own images, right?
"We are sure many Latinos have dealt with hateful people in this country, and perhaps they’ll find comfort because they are not alone," she said. "Hopefully they can laugh all the hate off. My mom always said, 'It is better to laugh than cry.'"
It made sense. Because you cannot determine or change the way people think or look at you, for that matter, the only thing you can determine is your own personal reaction. Therefore, making a cartoon of what Latinos can publicly laugh at curbs our anger, dismissing any sense of being controlled or labeled in a stereotypical manner.
Although the characters may be stereotypical and the risk of laughter walking a thin line, Menjivar says the story lines and insight into the episodes serve a fairly larger purpose.
"We are making fun of all stereotypes from all walks of life. We hope it makes people think more deeply about stereotypes," says Menjivar. "But we do plan to not be hateful for the sake of being hateful, but rather, to put a comedic light on the ridiculousness of bigotry."
Marcos Lupara has a point. Just listen. Too bad this is not getting out some more, so we are sharing it here. Listen. Just preaching, he did this bit on the fly, but that is not the point. He's right.
Jejejeje, mientras todo el resto de mundo tiene a Siri para sus IPhones, ¡los latinos tienen a Asiri!
Producido por Los Pichy Boys.
So a few days ago, we shared the hilarious "Sh*t Abuelas Say" video and now that our SOPA BLACKOUT is over, our first post-SOPA piece is "Sh*t Abuelas Say," (Part 2). Ayyy, m'ijo.
This is hitting TOO CLOSE TO HOME.
By the time of this publication, we should all be familiar with the recent controversy regarding ABC sitcom, “Work It,” in which Puerto Rican actor Amaury Nolasco’s character Angel, uttered the egregious statement on national TV, “I’m Puerto Rican, I’d be great at selling drugs.” While we stand behind the Latino public officials, activists, and bloggers who have have spoken out, demanding an apology from the national network, this sadly is not the first time, and definitely won’t be the last time, a major network blasts the Latino community with stereotypical and narrow portrayals of what indeed is a vibrant, diverse, and multi dynamic community.
While the 2010 census revealed that with over 50 million Latinos in the United States, 1 out of every 6 people are of Hispanic or Latino origin, that same year, the National Latino Media Council (NLMC) issued their annual diversity report card, citing a decline in Latino diversity at every major network. Yet these same networks feel entitled to capture our attention for 4-6 hours a day. Without Latino producers and writers calling the shots, we continue to experience an over saturation of drug dealers, gardeners, maids, prostitutes, and gang members on our TVs. Additionally, while our women are incredibly beautiful, present company included, the exotification of Latinas continues as demonstrated in the new CBS comedy, "¡Rob!” Beyond “Work It,” and “¡Rob!” there are currently Latino-based pilots being developed at NBC, ABC, and FOX, with non-Latino writers attached to all but one, it seems.
So what can we, the fastest-growing demographic group in the United States, do to stop this, beyond demanding apologies from networks who care little about our well being? We at “East WillyB” want to offer a challenge to the Latino community: Turn off your TV. Support independent television programming created for Latinos and by Latinos, delivered directly to your home via the web.
We at “East WillyB” understand the importance of capturing the multi-faceted Latino experience in the United States because we have lived it and experienced it. We are the new generation Latino, some American born, some born in America Latina, Spanglish speaking, ni de alli, ni de alla. Conceived in a coffee shop in Brooklyn, the series was created after our writers, actors, and producers grew tired and frankly sick to our stomachs of seeing the same BS perpetuated over and over again at the expense of our community. So instead, we took matters into our own hands, creating and distributing the series directly through the web to our community…you.
“East WillyB” is an original series which follows Puerto Rican sport bar owner Willie Reyes Jr. as he and his community fight to keep their neighborhood bar open in the face of the hipster invasion of their Brooklyn neighborhood. A gentrification comedy, “East WillyB” tells the story of the many faces that make up the Latino community of Brooklyn, and the ways in which their lives interconnect to create the extended family so integral to its character. With a 6 episode pilot season already online, 2012 will see the launch of a 13 episode, 91 minute season of “East WillyB,” with great Latino guest stars already attached to join to the team.
We are not alone in this new movement. Other great series include “Los Americans,” written by Dennis Leoni (“Resurrection Blvd.”) and starring Esai Morales. A drama, “Los Americans” focuses on a multi-generation, middle-income, Latino family living in Los Angeles and the issues they face, including alcoholism, unemployment and cultural identity. “Ylse” is a dramedy about ambitious, single, thirty-something Latina as she juggles career, a not-so-successful love life and a family who doesn’t understand her progressive American ways (think: Bridget Jones with a bicultural twist). Undocumented and Awkward is a series created for and by undocumented youth. The series, written by four college graduates, with four different experiences of being undocumented in America, finds humor in the immigration experience, from the voices of those actually experiencing it. All of these independent programs provide an honest & unique voice, creative platform and venue to showcase Latino stories, with Latinos behind and in front of the cameras.
However, without the production and marketing budgets of television, these independent series can only continue to grow if our community supports and promotes them. So instead of griping about the lack of representation on television while you watch your latest ABC show, this evening, when you come home from work, try turning off your TV and watching these independent Latino series instead. If you like them, blog about them, find them on Facebook or Twitter, tell a friend, host a viewing party & spread the word. We can only grow together.
Julia Ahumada Grob
c. (917) 575-3451
Ay, Vicks VapoRub, la medicina mágica.
So, what did your mamita use Vicks to cure for you?