Salvadoran American humorist Marcella Arguello was a power to be reckoned with from childhood. Describing herself as a “class clown” who was at all times “fooling around, being goofy” from day one, Arguello has since headlined and opened for acts in comedy golf equipment across the nation, to not point out reveals on each community from HBO to Comedy Central to Tubi. Her most up-to-date venture, We Must Discuss About America, premiered on Fuse on the finish of April and and the 10-episode collection contains a numerous array of first and second gen entertainers commenting on cultural points within the U.S. with honesty and their model of humor. Arguello joins Chinedu Unaka (Insecure), Crystal Marie-Denha (Jane the Virgin), Aida Rodriguez (Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Prepared), and Jesus Trejo (Mr. Iglesias). Whilst she enters her sixteenth yr as knowledgeable comic, she’s nonetheless in awe of the alternatives she’s been capable of take and the way she’s been capable of develop over the course of her profession.
“I did drama, I did theater, I did refrain. I at all times preferred to carry out,” she tells HipLatina. “However as a lady, clearly as a Latina, I by no means noticed us doing something like that so I didn’t suppose it was one thing I might do.”
Like many from marginalized communities, Arguello wrestled with that back-and-forth all through a lot of her youth. Although she was at all times thought of humorous by family and friends — even having fun with native fame for her Michael Jackson impersonation in class — her plan had initially been to turn into an elementary schoolteacher. It wasn’t till she started immersing herself within the native comedy scene in Los Angeles—attending comedy reveals, making connections and dialog with headliners—that she realized it was one thing she might additionally participate in. Seems, one night time seeing the now-famous comic Jim Gaffigan carry out and chatting with him backstage after the present would change the whole trajectory of her life.
“On the finish of the dialog, he goes, ‘You need to strive stand-up comedy,’” she remembers. “Nobody had ever mentioned it to me, so it was due to him. He’s the explanation I began stepping into stand-up comedy.”
She’s since appeared in numerous comedy packages and golf equipment across the U.S. and now she’s co-starring within the Fuse collection with Trejo, a long-time pal.
“I believe we’ve identified one another for the previous twelve years,” she says. When it got here to working with him on the present, she laughs recalling their excellent dynamic. “He’s not at all times comfy speaking about all the things the way in which that I’m. I can see his face when he sees one thing and doesn’t actually wish to discuss it however I’m like, ‘I can flip it.’ It was actually enjoyable to work with him.”
Although the solid and crew needed to movie the present effectively inside COVID restrictions, she provides that “it was very nice to have the ability to work with some folks that I’ve identified ceaselessly, work with some new individuals.”
As a result of these skilled comedians are coming from totally different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, it makes listening to them roast American cultural quirks that a lot funnier. From gender reveal events to consuming contests, nothing is off the desk and all the things is truthful recreation to make enjoyable of.
But Arguello is continually argues that being Latina isn’t the one factor she brings to the desk as a comic or as a lady. White males don’t have to elucidate the place they arrive from or why they appear a sure manner, so why ought to anybody from a marginalized neighborhood, not to mention somebody who’s Latinx?
“I don’t attempt to be like, ‘I’m the Latina comic,’” she explains. “My background is so combined and sure, I used to be raised culturally to be pleased with my background. However I’m simply as white-washed as each different first era so I don’t ever wish to attempt to be the consultant. However I do love after I’m capable of discuss my background. And that’s what was cool about [We Need to Talk About America]. Generally, it naturally got here out and generally my shit-talking mind might simply speak shit about this factor with out it having to be about race or tradition.”
The power to do each on the present and in different performances on stage, to have interaction with the comedy she’s focused on relatively than subscribing to non-Latinx concepts of what being Latinx means, has been extraordinarily liberating for her.
Wanting again at her profession, Arguello has additionally observed an enormous shift in the way in which feminine comedians carry themselves on stage in comparison with male comedians, how they’re represented, and what expectations they embrace or let go.
“Within the 90s, the most well-liked ladies in comedy had been raunchy, which is cool however it was that idea of the virgin versus the whore,” she says. “It was both women who had been straight-laced, saved it clear or who had been very nasty, raunchy, and I’m glad that all the things is getting combined with younger ladies now. Younger ladies are daring as hell these days in numerous methods.”
That hybrid existence that Arguello is pursuing—being Latina however not Latina, being each raunchy and “straight-laced” on stage as she describes—is what she needs for different feminine comedians. It’s extra necessary than ever to not let our personal identities eat us, particularly for Latinas who’re simply starting their careers within the business.
“I do hope extra Latinas are extra comfy speaking about all the things they wish to discuss and never being like, ‘As a result of I’m first era’ or ‘as a result of my mother and father did this’ or ‘due to my ESL.’ We shouldn’t need to lean on that,” she says. “It’s completely cool if you happen to do however I hope that extra Latinas are extra comfy being open and expressive. That’s what I need. I need that for everyone and for us. To not be restricted by our tradition and the way individuals see us and what individuals anticipate for us.”
In terms of providing recommendation to the following era of Latina comedians — and to herself when she wants a pick-me-up — Arguello retains it easy: “Be your self.” She notes:
You may have a lot to supply, you’ve a lot wealthy historical past that we shouldn’t limit ourselves. We don’t want to elucidate our historical past, our hair, our pores and skin tone, our garments, our background, our accent in entrance of each viewers. Give me what else you’re serious about, what else is bothering you. Convey them one thing totally different. That’s my recommendation.
We Must Discuss About America is now streaming on Fuse.