comedy

Here’s Why SNL’s First Latino Writer Apologized Again And Again During His ‘Late Night’ Spot

Food is no joke around most Latino households. At every family reunion, we all bring our own dishes and end up walking away with more leftovers than we can carry. And you can be sure that meat is one of the stars of almost every dish. Vegan is dirty word you don’t say in front my parents or abuela — or anyone for that matter.

On a recent episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Salvadoran comedian Julio Torres talked about being vegan.

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS / NBC

A writer for Saturday Night Live, Torres understands that satirizing oneself is the best way to get the laughs.

Torres gave the audience a little insight into what makes being vegan so difficult.

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS / NBC

Anyone who is vegan or has a vegan friend can probably relate to Torres. Being a vegan among meat eaters can make for a difficult dining experience.

Torres then answered the question he gets all the time.

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS / NBC

Torres then clarified.

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS / NBC

Torres followed up with a deadpan delivery of “I miss my friends and I miss my family.” ?

Torres’ really packs a ton of humor into his soft-spoken delivery, so do yourself a favor and watch the performance here!

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS / NBC

Torres covered several more topics that are all worth a listen and a laugh. The audience clearly loved his deadpan, soft-spoken delivery which really sells his jokes. For a someone who was once almost deported, it’s great to see how far he’s come.

READ: After Hiring A Latina Cast Member, “Saturday Night Live’ Has Hired A Latino Writer

‘Saturday Night Live’ Excludes Julián Castro From Sketch And His Twin Brother Said He Could Have Played The Part

Entertainment

‘Saturday Night Live’ Excludes Julián Castro From Sketch And His Twin Brother Said He Could Have Played The Part

@natimontelongo / Twitter / Saturday Night Live / NBC

“Saturday Night Live” doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to people of color, specifically Latinos. In the show’s iconic history, which spans 44 years, the cast has mostly been white and male. In 2016, they finally hired a Latina to join the cast, which was a year after “SNL” decided to have Donald Trump host the show when he was running for president and calling Mexicans “rapists and criminals.” Latinos boycotted the show and they did receive backlash for allowing him to host. Yet, still “SNL” has yet to learn the importance of Latino representation and inclusion. 

On the season 45 premiere, “SNL” did a sketch that featured the Democratic presidential candidates but did not include Julián Castro and did include Marianne Williamson, who’s not in the running anymore. 

So why didn’t the have someone impersonating Castro? We know they don’t have any Latino comics on the show, however, they could have had their sole Latina comic Melissa Villaseñor put on a wig. She has played a man before. The sketch did include special guest stars including Maya Rudolf (who played Kamala Harris), and Larry David (who played Bernie Sanders). Could they have not asked former Latino “SNL” comics Fred Armisen or Horatio Sanz to play Castro?

“Interesting that @nbcsnl decided to cut one candidate out of this sketch. Could you not find a Latino actor to play @JulianCastro?” Sawyer Hackett, national press secretary for Castro’s campaign, tweeted. 

People on social media were livid at the exclusion of Castro and once again their dismissive attitude toward Latinos. 

Credit: @natimontelongo / Twitter

Was it too difficult for “SNL” to add one more actor to the stage, especially one that is still in the running — unlike Williamson? Lin-Manuel Miranda and his dad said they would have both stepped up to the plate to play the role of Castro. 

It’s as if “SNL” continues to make the wound even deeper by excluding the only Latino candidate. 

Credit: @latinovictoryus / Twitter

“SNL” knows very well that representation matters, so there’s no excuse for this exclusion. Are they doing this on purpose?

Maybe they think Castro’s persona isn’t funny enough to include in a parody?

Credit: @MrMikeBlake / Twitter

If “SNL” has talented writers they could have surely written something hilarious for an actor portraying Castro. We already have staggering facts that show film and TV excludes Latinos in overwhelming statistics, so you would think “SNL” (and all programming for that matter) would want to rectify that. Maybe they just don’t care?

“SNL” has a long history of dissing Latinos, so this just makes it worse.

Credit: @JuanSaaa / Twitter

Latino viewers and talent have been asking for more representation for several seasons now. There was celebration from fans when Melissa Villseñor was brought on in 2016.

Many people see their omission of Castro as the show disregarding Latinos.

Credit: @cristela9 / Twitter

This overt move by “SNL” actually made the skit not very funny but cringeworthy. The erasure of the only Latino running for the presidency was glaring.

You know “SNL” messed up bad when Latina moms get involved. 

Credit: @anabpez9 / Twitter

If you make Latina moms mad, asking for their forgiveness won’t be easy to do. Trust us. We have all been there. However, when you really try to make things up to them, they will accept it.

Since “SNL” screwed up the premiere, will they correct their huge mistake by the next episode?

Credit: @XorjeO / Twitter

There’s another debate coming up very soon, and if “SNL” is going to stay relevant in the political comedy stage they better include Castro or they will risk not only alienating a core audience but also looking like they can’t handle diverse comedy.

And, if “SNL” can’t find anyone to play Castro, there’s one person that will be happy to do it. 

Credit: @Castro4Congress / Twitter

Julian’s twin brother, Joaquin Castro — who’s pretty busy right now working on Capitol Hill himself — said he could step in and portray him on the show. We think he’d do a fabulous job because he clearly knows him best right?

Either way, “SNL” needs to get their act together. There’s no reason to exclude a strong candidate for president only to be replaced by a white woman who isn’t running for president anymore. It’s an obvious omission that “SNL” needs to stop. 

READ: New Latina “SNL” Cast Member Called Out Over Controversial Tweets

Here’s How Julio Torres Convinced Lin-Manuel Miranda To Play A Little Cactus On An HBO Special

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Here’s How Julio Torres Convinced Lin-Manuel Miranda To Play A Little Cactus On An HBO Special

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / NBC / HBO

Julio Torres may have just achieved next level respect and stardom because all he had to do to get thee Lin-Manuel Miranda to play the voice of a tiny cactus in his upcoming HBO special was DM him. During an interview on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, Torres hinted at the presence of some big-name cameos in his HBO comedy special, My Favorite Shapes. 

The most obvious cameo that Torres could think of would be the infamous Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter, composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda playing a “self-conscious cactus.” Of course. Torres has had a successful career behind the screen thus far. Born in El Salvador, Torres began writing for Saturday Night Live, where he initially met Lin-Manuel Miranda. His most recent claim to fame was his starring role alongside Fred Armisen in the HBO series Los Espookys

“We were lucky that some really great actors are voicing the inner spirits of some of those objects because we just needed that,” he told Fallon.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

“The role of the cactus went to Lin-Manuel Miranda. I DM’ed him, being like, ‘Can you just be this cactus? This feels like it should be you.’” Wow. That’s all it takes, huh? We love Miranda for just saying ‘yes.’

“’Cause it’s like, can you think of anyone else who would play a little cactus trapped in a little glass container?” Pues, can you?

HBO

In the teaser trailer for the comedy special, we get a glimpse of the very cactus that Miranda is set to play. “This next shape that I need to show you,” Torres tells the audience through a microphone at his seat, “This is me coming in late for a meeting and immediately chiming in.”

We can’t wait to hear what the cactus iteration of Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to say.

Credit: @joseramonmarmtz / Twitter

The Puerto Rican Hamilton creator and star is on vacation in Europe right now, so we haven’t heard his comment on the new break of his latest role. Miranda and Torres have worked together in the past. Torres’ rise to fame began as a writer for Saturday Night Live. Torres wrote the sketch “Diego Calls His Mom” for Miranda’s episode as a host. 

“Lin-Manuel is the lil cactus…. awwww,” tweets one fan. Why is the prickliest side of Lin-Manuel Miranda the cutest side we might ever see? Call it an obsession with succulents or just an obsession with literally anything Miranda chooses to do. Take your pick, no me importa.

Right now, fans are just tickled that Lin-Manuel Miranda appears to have no ego whatsoever.

Credit: @k_bowes / Twitter

Miranda has won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, three Grammys, an Emmy, and two Olivier Awards. He’s also been been nominated for an Academy Award. He’s a GOAT, and yet, he’s also down to be the tiniest of cacti “trapped in a little glass container.”

“He solved the problem,” Torres said of Miranda’s willingness to play the tiny cactus.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Torres asked Fallon if he could really think of anyone else that could play the role of the cactus, to which Fallon replied, “I mean, don’t even make me thing of that. Of course not, no. Lin-Manuel Miranda!” Torres agreed–“He solved the problem. 

Torres is the Salvadoran precioso you *would* want to spend time with meeting all his favorite shapes.

HBO 

 HBO describes the Los Espookys comedian’s new special as a worthwhile peek into his “fantastical stories and humorous anecdotes.” We can expect to meet “a plexiglass square, an oval that wishes he were a circle, a self-conscious cactus, and a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.”

We’re curious to see how Lin-Manuel Miranda could ever lead us to believe he could be “self-conscious.” This will be the truest test of his acting abilities. Just kidding, just kidding. 

Tune into HBO August 10 at 10:30 p.m. for what’s looking to be an interesting night with Julio Torres.

Expect Julio Torres to be dressed in a glitter suit on stage with a glass conveyer belt shepherding strange objects his way. The teaser trailer gave us a taste of what we were expecting to be Torres dryly musing on his “favorite shapes.” Now, we know that there’s going to be some serious stardom in the shape of a cactus, and many more cameos to look forward to.

Be there or be square!

READ: HBO’s New Spanish-Language Series Is Exploring Another Widely-Held Love Within Our Culture