HBO bets that YouTuber will make Mexicans laugh
HBO Latin America has tapped one of Mexico’s most famous YouTubers to star in the country’s first late night satirical news show which will premiere this Friday July 22, Fusion.net reports.
The cable entertainment giant is betting that Chumel Torres, a former blogger turned Mexican social media celebrity who’s best known for co-writing and hosting the YouTube show El Pulso de la República (The Pulse of the Republic), can become the next John Oliver with his own brand of humor satirizing Mexico and Latin America’s current events and many foibles.
Torres’ skits have earned him hundreds of thousands of viewers in a country that’s increasingly mistrustful of the cozy relationship that mainstream media conglomerates have with the government. That atmosphere has given birth to a new generation of internet stars whose growing niche has not gone unnoticed in the boardrooms of traditional networks.
And now HBO is going big with Torres, who’s happy to make the leap from internet to cable.
He says the American company upholds free speech. “I feel they focus more on the content instead of getting along with sponsors and people,” Torres says about his decision to join HBO in an internet promo. “And third, because they have Game of Thrones, guey,” he concludes with a signature punchline.
Torres has been successful at borrowing cues from U.S. satirical news stars Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Trevor Noah.
Torres is also part of the country’s long tradition of laughing at its worst tragedies. He also seems to borrow a bit from a homegrown style of gestures, expressions and mannerisms made most famous by comedy actors like Cantinflas, who got their start satirizing Mexican life. So while Torres makes plenty of American pop culture references, he doesn’t go full gringo.
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