Monday, September 20

Fabrizio Copano and the adventure of making comedy in the US | Digital Trends Spanish

Fabrizio Copano is one of the most recognized Latin American comedians that exist today. The 1989-born actor and writer in Santiago, Chile, rose to international fame after becoming the first South American comedian to record a comedy special for Netflix.

Copano, who came out of the popular Chilean show Comedy club, he also directed his own stellar call The beats of Copano and he was one of the presenters of the space The fault belongs to Columbusby Comedy Central.

Today he lives in Los Angeles, United States, and in August he launched the podcast Four from the south together with one of the scriptwriters of The Office, Steve Hely.

The program presents stories and news from Latin America, but explained for the American public. In fact, it is broadcast in English.

In an interview with Fabrizio Copano, we talked about the challenge of making humor for the North American market and the importance that other Latino comedians living in the United States have had for the launch of their careers.

In addition, he explains how a common vision from both territories on a diversity of issues has helped him in his work as a comedian. “We already have only one enemy, which is global warming, so we are all lost at the same time,” he says.

How was the experience of recording a comedy podcast in English for the United States?

For me to make a podcast in English, and with Steve being my partner and companion on this adventure, it is a dream. We had been looking for ways to talk about everything that happens in Latin America from a perspective that the gringos can join, understand and see in parallel with their culture.

What is the key to making this local content attractive to Americans?

What happens is that they do not know that we are ahead of them. They thought that we were always behind, but in reality we were ahead. It’s like: “Hey, look, do you see what’s going on in the United States? Nothing new. We in Latin America have nine of these Donald Trump decades ago ”. That is the way, to transform America into a single continent.

What is it like for a Latino comedian to break into the US market?

Well, it was first a challenge because of the language, that’s the first barrier. But we must also recognize that we have been very colonized by the gringo culture, so everything is very Americanized. For me it has been wonderful to be able to do comedy and perform the same night that Chris Rock and Tom Segura are, so it has also been amazing to have to be at the level of comedians that before I could only see on television. That has also been challenging, but it makes me very happy and proud.

Have you run into some obstacles? Is there discrimination?

This form of discrimination is very passive, but I have realized that when I got here, I thought of myself as Chilean, while here they think of you as Latino, which is another box and that comes with a set of prejudices or ideas of what it has that being Latino and Chilean may not fit into that box, and that may be a kind of discrimination. But it’s not that someone has insulted me or handed me the keys to a car as if I were a parking lot, something that explicit has not happened to me. But I have realized that there are a lot of ways that they transform you into a Latin totem and it is difficult to get out of that position.

What is the vision in the United States about the Latino comedian?

The references are always the greatest comedians like Gabriel Iglesias or John Leguizamo, who are very familiar. In John’s case, more political, but very massive in terms of always looking for the big audience. I have also felt that there is a Latino community that grows and grows and that helps you, embraces you. All the comedians who have given me my first chances here are Latino comedians.

How did being the first South American with a comedy special on Netflix help you?

It was all very natural. It has been meeting people, growing relationships, writing new jokes, writing from the perspective of being here and that little by little has led me to bigger stages or to have shows in another cities. But it’s been like going with the flow of what’s going on rather than having a plan written in your head, and that’s been good, because it’s liberating to say, “Well, let’s do what seems funnier.”

How do you figure out which jokes work and which ones don’t while there?

On my computer I have several folders, with jokes that are in English, others that are in neutral Spanish, and others that are in Chilean Spanish, which is what I know the most because it is the culture where I come from. Thus, one goes on saying this joke does not work in this city, or it does not work if I tell it this way, it needs more context or there is a word that I am not pronouncing well or I translated it wrong. It is a meticulous job, of being attentive to all those details. You have to go on doing the job joke by joke.

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