September 12, 2016, will go down in comedy history as the day that “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL”) woke up from a 41-year old long lasting nap. The day when they realized that the lack of diversity in the cast cost them viewership. The folks over at SNL finally came to their senses on just how crucial it was to have a Latinx female comedian join the crew. As the saying goes, they are officially “woke.”
Melissa Villaseñor aka the Queen of impressions will officially grace our TV screens when “SNL” new season starts on October 1st. If you are unfamiliar with her work; I highly suggest that you spend some time checking out all of her videos online. Her “Daily Itineraries” videos in partnership with Más Mejor (Broadway Video) are some serious comedy gold. Villaseñor’s impression of Hillary Clinton gives Kate McKinnon’s a run for her money. If you check out her Facebook, you will find an uncanny impression of Britney Spears’ “Make Me.” Villaseñor is sure to bring a much-needed breath of fresh air to “SNL” and she will surely win the hearts of millions.
To celebrate this tremendous milestone in the world of Latinx comedians, let us take a look at some other comediantes chingonas.
Michelle Ortiz, who ironically auditioned for “SNL” (but they passed on her), which turned into a blessing in disguise as she ended up auditioning for the newly revived MADtv and got the part. Ortiz attended Loyola Marymount University. Her impression of Dora The Explorer in Skid Row is hysterical!
Aida Rodriguez or “FunnyAida” as you will find her on Twitter and Instagram is a bad-ass! The Puerto-Rican/Dominican former model was a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Her style is quite distinct as she uses her platform to bring awareness and discuss social issues. She encourages young women to get involved in the tech world, while also addressing racism and rape. Rodriguez’ edgier comedy stands from the rest.
Joanna Haussman, the “Latin Jew” of the comedy world. Haussmann was born in England of Venezuelan parents, and you can find her sketches everywhere. She is currently a video creator, writer, and producer for Univision’s bilingual digital platform “Flama.” Check out “Types of Spanish Accents-Joanna Rants” (it has close to 3 million views on YouTube.)
Karina Luna (Karina Got Jokes) is a Mexican-American from El Lay, and you can find her on Mitú’s “Cholas Talk” series and also on Watchable.
Marga Gomez is a Puerto-Rican/Cuban-American from New York who has called San Francisco home since she was 20 years old. Gomez got her start at gay comedy clubs in San Francisco and got the blessing of the one and only Robin Williams!
There a ton of honorable mentions, Angelah Johnson needs no introduction, neither does Cristela Alonzo who was the first Latina to produce, direct and starred in a network TV sitcom Cristela (sadly short-lived.) Sandra Valls, Patti Vazquez, Selenis Leyva, my gosh I could go on.
The world of comedy was never in shortage of talented Latinx comedians; the one’s lagging have been TV executives who were oblivious to what has been in front of them for decades. Let us hope that the hiring of Melissa Villaseñor opens up the door so other TV shows take note.
Featured Image Credit: Melissa Villaseñor/Twitter