Traditionally, representation in the comedy world was rather narrow. For Hispanic and Latinx folks, seeing greats like George Lopez and John Leguizamo on television, in movies or at massive venues was the height of representation. And while there’s still a long way to go, we’ve certainly seen a significant shift over the last decade.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite Hispanic and Latinx comedians, writers and TikTok stars, all of whom are sure to get you laughing.
Editor’s Note: There are certainly limitations and nuances that come with identifying language. Dominican journalist Amanda Alcántara perhaps puts it best in an interview for an article entitled “The Problem With Latinidad,” saying that terms like “Hispanic” often create “a monolith… of an entire continent when every single country and every single community has their own history.”
In our other Hispanic Heritage Month articles centering on films, TV shows and books, we focused solely on the Hispanic American experience. Here, we’re broadening that view a bit; some of the featured comedians may identify as Hispanic American, while others may be working in the United States but from Spanish-speaking countries in South America and Central America. For a more in-depth look at the nuance of language as it relates to terms like “Hispanic” and “Latinx,” check out this informative primer from Dictionary.com.
Like many great comedians, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias began his comedy career in small clubs. In 2003, he had a big break when Comedy Central featured his 30-minute standup act. The feature led to several full-length specials and roughly a billion YouTube views.
Although he’s known for his standup career now, he previously starred alongside the likes of Amanda Bynes and Nick Cannon on All That, Nickelodeon’s version of SNL. Now, Iglesias hosts Unleashed on Nickelodeon in addition to starring in his own Netflix sitcom, Mr. Iglesias, and lending his talent and voice to movies and animated shows.
Cristela Alonzo’s career has been marked with plenty of firsts. For starters, she was the first Latina woman to produce, write, and play the main character in a sitcom. Before ABC’s Cristela, the comedian was a semifinalist on 2010’s Last Comic Standing.
A regular guest host on The View, Alonzo has also written a memoir and voiced the protagonist of Pixar’s Cars 3. In addition to being the host of the podcast Chicano Squad, the celebrated standup recorded a Netflix comedy special a few years back — Cristela Alonzo: Lower Classy — and is set to host The CW’s reboot of Legends of the Hidden Temple.
El Salvadorian comic Julio Torres is the comedic genius behind some of Saturday Night Live’s most standout and hilarious sketches in recent years.
Although he’s been a pillar of the SNL writer’s room since 2016, Torres has also lent his talents to smaller comedy specials and shows, including Boy Band. In addition to writing and performing irreverent standup, Torres stars in Los Espookys alongside fellow comedy greats Fred Armisen and Ana Fabrega.
After college, Ana Fabrega pursued comedy on the side by performing at open mic nights and posting comedic videos to social media pages. Eventually, she amassed a large Twitter following and comedy became a full-time gig.
In 2017, Fabrega was named a Just for Laughs New Face and, since then, has worked on hit shows such as At Home with Amy Sedaris, The Chris Gethard Show and Portlandia. As a frequent collaborator with Julio Torres, Fabrega also co-stars in both Boy Band and Los Espookys.
The Kid Mero (Joel Martinez)
Afro-Latino comic Joel Martinez is perhaps best known as The Kid Mero (or just Mero), and is one half of the popular comedy duo Desus and Mero.
Alongside collaborator Desus Nice, The Kid Mero has appeared on MTV’s Guy Code. The duo also host their own podcast and star in Showtime’s Desus & Mero.
Gina Brillon has been doing standup comedy since she got out of high school. In 2012, she became the first Latina comic to win NBC’s Stand up for Diversity Showcase. Now, Brillon has not one, but two full-length specials on Amazon Prime.
One of them, The Floor Is Lava, won both an Imagen Award and a Gracie Award. Additionally, the Mess In Progress cohost’s 30-minute set, Easily Offended, is part of HBO’s acclaimed Entre Nos series.
Adam Martinez rose to fame thanks to a character called Rosa. On TikTok, the viral comedian goes by the name Adam Ray Okay and has an impressive 6 million followers; on YouTube, Martinez has garnered over half a million subscribers.
Known just as much for sharing emotional stories and makeup tutorials, Martinez has proven that great comedians can carve out an incredible fanbase on social media — not just in hole-in-the-wall comedy clubs.
A founding member of Thigh Gap Comedy, Danielle Perez is not only an accomplished comedian, but a producer of live-comedy shows, too. In 2018, she was a Standup NBC Semifinalist, but, before that, she went viral in 2015 after winning a treadmill on The Price Is Right.
Alongside a screenshot of her shocked expression, Perez
, “[W]hen you win a treadmill on national TV, but you have no feet.” Later, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Perez told the host she’d do what everyone else does with a treadmill — “just use it as a piece of furniture.” Known for both her dark wit and bubbly presence on stage, Perez has opened for comedy greats like Maria Bamford and Laurie Kilmartin.
For more content related to Hispanic Heritage Month, be sure to read our other roundups:
- 12 TV Shows That Capture Hispanic American Experiences
- 12 Films That Capture Hispanic American Experiences
- 11 Must-Read Works by Hispanic American Authors