For the second year in a row, the HA Festival in San Antonio has produced a stand-up comedy showcase for HBO Max, with many celebrity cameos. However, at the end of the hour, will you remember the comedy or just the celebrities?
2nd ANNUAL HA FESTIVAL: THE ART OF COMEDY: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The essence: Somehow, a comedy festival has not only debuted during the pandemic, but has also produced an annual special for HBO Max.
We are talking about the HA Festival in San Antonio, dedicated to showcasing Latino comedians.
Last year’s first installment featured Gina Brillon, Jesus Trejo, Mark Viera, David Del Rosario, Carmen Lynch, Pedro Salinas, and Monique Marvez, all hosted by Anjelah Johnson.
For the second year, they have upped the ante on the host side, with veteran headliner Paul Rodríguez accompanied on master of ceremonies duties by Emilio Rivera of Mayas MC, the cast of The garcias (an upcoming HBO Max sequel from The Garcia Brothers), as well as video appearances by Danny Trejo and Paulina Chavez, herself the star of Ashley García: Genius in Love – to also present two of the stand-ups. This crop of stand-ups includes names you may have heard of (Chingo Bling, Lisa Alvarado, Steve Treviño), as well as relatively new to the scene (Ralph Barbosa, Dave Jay, Jessica Keenan).
That’s a lot of talent to squeeze in 55 minutes!
What comedy specials will it remind you of ?: Last year’s showcase, obviously!
Memorable jokes: Considering that the comedians themselves only have short sets to show off, they try to make the most of it.
In just four minutes, Ralph Barbosa manages to tell us a lot about his upbringing with his observations on gas stations, the legalization of marijuana, and gay marriage.
Alvarado, a single mother of Peruvian descent, joked about how that affects her status within her family and illustrated the tribulations of modern dating by poking fun at men’s online profiles and their desperate desires for foot photos. His best singular advice for men who post their own photos: “We don’t look at you. We look at our future ”.
Jay made his television debut first with an initiation telling jokes to riverboat tourists (a repeated joke from last year’s exhibition), then took the stage, where he revealed the problems of growing up poor in the 1990s with a father. Pakistani and a Puerto Rican mother. “Have you ever been bullied by a black teenager? All black teens are funnier than everyone on this show, okay?
Bling made a guest appearance on Netflix in 2017, and here, he devoted most of his time to a story about how his plans for his deaf wife to overshadow a fundraising attempt by a deaf basketball coach backfired on him. the cylinder head. With much less time to make an impression, Keenan, who is half Mexican, half Lebanese, was the only comedian to notice and downplay the paintings and portraits the festival used to accompany on stage.
Treviño served as a true headliner, presented that way in both intro and length, and the comedian who has four specials under his belt spent his time connecting with the audience during married life and trying to keep his marriage sexy. while raising young children. Of course, when you’re also instructing your six-year-old on when it’s okay to swear, you may find it backfire as well.
Our Take: Trejo opened last year’s showcase with a sketch that pokes fun at the miserable history of Latin comedy in our collective memories. I gave that storefront a STREAM IT mainly because it could get more viewers to watch the full-hour specials of many of its comedians. Does this year’s harvest have the same appeal? Not quite.
Our calling: SKIP IT. As the TV commercials have started me, just OK is not right.
Sean L. McCarthy works the rhythm of comedy for his own digital newspaper, Comic book comic; before that, for real newspapers. Based in New York, but will travel anywhere for the scoop: ice cream or news. He also tweets @comicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes with comedians revealing origin stories: Comic Book Comic Presents Latest First.