Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

Once a columnist, always a columnist. A looooong time ago, when computers were just DEC screens, I used to pen a column called VARELITAS for The Harvard Crimson. Ever since those days in 1988, I have always enjoyed writing columns, and when I started blogging on this page in 2008, I recalled my early days as a columnist for The Crimson. My blog posts have always reminded me that I am a columnist/journalist/reporter at heart. I love to write, and it is one of the main reasons why I formed this page, and why I later formed Latino Rebels. Media in the new digital age fascinates me, and how we approach it through a US Latino perspective fascinates me even more.

This week, I just learned that I have become a contributor to NBC Latino, one of the world’s fastest-growing Latino news sites. I am absolutely thrilled to be joining a growing list of contributors whose insight and opinions I respect immensely. I sincerely believe that this core group of contributors are producing some very thought-provoking content, and I am happy to be part of the group.

Now, this does not mean that this blog will be going away or that you have seen the last of the Rebels. I will still write posts here, as well as under my “Julito” byline for the Rebeldes. This is just an opportunity for me to write on another platform as a contributor. I plan to use that platform just like I have used other platforms: to write to the best of my abilities and keep the conversation going about what it is to be Latino in 21st century.

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We get very excited when our dear friends have great news to share and in the case of Adrian Carrasquillo (@RealAdrianC on Twitter), today marks a time to celebrate a very cool accomplishment for him and @NBCLatino. They are going social, and we wish them all the best! We asked Adrian to share his thoughts about the essence of NBC Latino. Here they are:

“I’m happy to announce that we’ve launched the NBC Latino social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. Social is one of the pillars of our vision. We come nowhere near our mission unless we have the pulse of our community. But we wanted to do it right. Now that we’ve worked to hone our editorial voice we feel we are ready to launch social.

We want to appeal to Hispanics who feel that there has been something missing from Latino news. Our hope is that by immersing ourselves in the community and elevating what we all see as the Latino news conversation, we will better reflect the nuance, richness and depth of the U.S. Latino experience.

I subscribe to the theory that the most precious resource on the Internet is the time and attention of readers. You can’t survive in 2012 by expecting people to type in the URL to your website. Since 25 percent of all online trips in the U.S. end up on Facebook and Twitter and have become the online town square, I want us to tap into the vast Hispanic online community and present content that is fun, fresh, inspired and smart on the platforms where they already are.

I’ve come to know, respect and admire a lot of people in the Latino space in the last year and a half — from influencers and bloggers to amazing people furthering Hispanic initiatives through the social community. We want to continue to tell important stories and I want everyone who comes across our content to feel ownership of it. We want to represent them and we want them to keep us honest.

So I invite anyone to email me at adrian.carrasquillo@nbcuni.com or tweet to me @RealAdrianC if they have any questions, comments or concerns. Thanks to everyone who is joining us on this journey. I can speak for everyone at NBC Latino when I say that we’re honored to be in the position to make it with you.”

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Before I begin this post, a little bit about me: I love stand-up and great sketch comedy. Since 1993, I have done improv comedy in the Boston area with ImprovBoston, a Boston comedy institution. I love humor that is intelligent yet hilarious (why someone like Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock is genius). I wanted to share my background since what I am going to say next might sound a little bit knee-jerky.

NBC’s Saturday Night Live, one of the TV’s longest-running brands (and some say a brand that has run too long), still doesn’t get it when it comes to Latinos and comedy. Its only Latino cast member is Fred Armisen (half-Venezuelan), who has been on the show for 9 years and developed the “Fericito” characters and the catchphrase “I’m just keeeeeeding.” There is no major high-profile Latino comedy writer, and quite frankly, SNL just misses the boat.

It is as if SNL has one theme when it comes to Latinos: always have them speak with accents because that is funny. Got it, SNL. You have been doing that same tired bit since Garrett Morris (a non-Latino) played Chico Escuela (“Ebaseball has been berry berry good to me.”) in the 1970s.

Chico Escuela


The show has never had an Eddie Murphy Latino equivalent (Horatio Sanz? Really?) and I am convinced that it never will, unless SNL realizes that if you are going to try and target key demographics, you should at least try to be funny.

So instead of getting comedy that might actually connect with a growing and savvy US Latino demographic, we get skits like these (ESPN Deportes), which ran on the January 16 show with Gwenyth Paltrow:

Ok, the idea of the skit is funny. The execution is not. Yeah, we get it, but it could have been so much more clever. Maybe actually having bilingual and bicultural writers on your staff might actually help? Yes, SNL we get it, ever since Chico Escuela, your characterizations of Latinos of unintelligent, foreign and party-loving dolts is a theme that we’re tired of.

So less skits about “The Manuel Ortiz Show,” like this one:

And more skits that just, mmh, maybe just have some real Latino talent doing mainstream comedy?

Maybe it just doesn’t matter to you.

But we’re not keeeeeeding.

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