Wednesday, May 23, 2018
  • Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
Latin-focused comedy from new digital studio Mas Mejor
In this May 31, 2015 file photo, actor Fred Armisen attends the 74th Annual Peabody Awards in New York.(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
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You think the online comedy supply is good enough?

Well, now it's getting much better. At least, that's the call to arms of Mas Mejor, a new comedy studio for digital content powered by Latino voices, both well-known and emerging - and whose name, for anyone who's Spanish-challenged, translates as "Much Better."

Launched by Broadway Video, which produces "Saturday Night Live" and many other shows, Mas Mejor has assembled a talent lineup of Latino comics, sketch comedians and producers whose videos will be distributed across Mas Mejor's channels and other social platforms.

Among the talent roster: "SNL" alumni Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen.

In a recent interview, Armisen (who, half-Venezuelan, is already busy with "Portlandia" and bandleader duties on "Late Night with Seth Meyers") says he's psyched about his behind-the-scenes Mas Mejor responsibilities.

"I'm going to be finding talent and comedians in Spanish-speaking countries and in this country, and working with them to create online content," he says. "I haven't done enough directing, where I don't have to jump in front of the camera, as much as I love it." He'll be on-camera for some Mas Mejor videos, "but I like the discomfort of NOT jumping in front of the camera."

"I think it's really cool that we can show that Latins can make comedy in both English and in Spanish," says David Lopez, a member of the talent pool with two dozen videos in the works. "Some of them might be very Latin. Some will just be a Latin guy making funny videos."

A good place to start with Mas Mejor is at its own website.

There you might find a Latin-centric comic video about girls gone wild as tourists overwhelmed in Mexico City, where the motto is: "Live it to believe it - if you can survive it."

Or a parody commercial for that finds Ronaldo, in a satisfied testimonial, declaring, "I used to think I was Mexican. But then I sent my DNA to and it turns out I'm almost half rapist!"

A universal topic for lampooning: people who like to text while out in public.

"Looking at your cellphone while you're walking is dangerous for you and for the ones around you," warns a voiceover. "It's time to stop." The answer: a "Seeing Eye Dog for Social Media Junkies" as they focus exclusively on their screen.

Meanwhile, Armisen and Sanz are onboard in a video reprising their "SNL" roles as Cuban toy collectors who provide Spanish-language commentary, with English subtitles, on handling the American toys they exactingly un-package.

What's next for Mas Mejor in its mission to seed Latino comedy through cyberspace?

"I think that we don't know what it's actually going to be," says Armisen, "which is the fun of it. It's almost like setting up a tent somewhere and building a campfire and, you're like, 'I think this is a good spot.'"

To start laughing.