Satire, a humorous attack or criticism aimed at political leaders, celebrities, institutions or the media, has had a global resurgence during the past decades. In the United States, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee became some of the most influential political shows on cable TV. While all of these shows have a strong online presence, some found on the internet their main venue. Online comedy shows, such as Between-Two-Ferns, from websites like Funny or Die, College Humor, and Comedy Central, have developed critical humor for the millennial generation. This is, of course, a global phenomenon. Latin American YouTubers and digital savvy comedians have also targeted the social and political tensions of their countries through digital videos.
Here are ten online satiric TV shows from Latin America that you need to know.
1. Cualca (Argentina)
Created by feminist comedian Malena Pichot, Cualca (2012-2015) was an Argentinean satiric sketch show focused on sexism and gender issues. The name of Cualca comes from a colloquialism that loosely means “whatever.” It was initially included as a segment of the TV show Duro de Domar, but its viral videos became popular online throughout the region.
2. País de Boludos (Argentina)
Argentinian Federico Simonetti turned from stand-up to satire when he started País de Boludos in 2017. This weekly online show tackles various controversial topics affecting Argentina, from abuse of the indigenous by corporations, to protests for women’s rights.
3. Greg News (Brazil)
Greg News is a late night talk show on HBO Brazil airing since 2017. The host, Gregório Duvivier, was a star on and co-creator of the hit online channel Porta dos Fundos. Inspired by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Duvivier uses satire to engage with Brazilian and international news alike.
4. Porta Dos Fundos (Brazil)
Porta Dos Fundos is a Brazilian YouTube channel started in 2012 which satirizes social and cultural issues of contemporary urban Brazil. From Whatsapp to the Ten Commandments, there are few topics Porta Dos Fundos, which translates to “back door”, leaves untouched.
5. La Pulla (Colombia)
María Paulina Baena is the host of La Pulla, a video column put out by El Espectador, Colombia’s oldest newspaper. Her videos have been a hit, particularly with the millennial generation. Her no-nonsense style has enabled La Pulla to tackle issues from abuse of domestic employees in Colombia to the political situation in Venezuela.
6. Las Igualadas (Colombia)
Like La Pulla, Las Igualadas is a video column put out by El Espectador, Colombia’s oldest newspaper. Las Igualadas, hosted by Mariángela Urbina, specializes in gender issues in Colombia. The name takes ownership of colloquialism used to describe women who are deemed disrespectful or ignorant of authority.
7. Enchufe TV (Ecuador)
Since 2011, Enchufe.tv became the most popular online TV comedy series in Ecuador and a regional phenomenon in Latin America. It satirizes Ecuadorian idiosyncrasies and local urban culture while questioning cultural stereotypes and social norms. The producers—young filmmakers from Quito—have stated that one of their goals is to “reinvent Ecuadorian’s audiovisual culture.”
8. El Pulso de la República (Mexico)
El Pulso de la República is a popular online show developed and hosted by Chumel Torres. A mechanical engineer by training, Chumel was inspired to create a Mexican version of the late night satirical news shows so popular in the US. Since 2012, his program has identified and criticized the peculiarities of Mexican news and politics.
9. El Desinformado (Perú)
Gerardo García, better known as ‘El Juan’ or ‘El Cacash’, is a Peruvian YouTuber who has been making satirical videos since 2012. His videos even come with a disclaimer, preparing one for El Juan’s tell-all style and El Cacash’s street-style humor.
10. Gente Como Uno (Perú)
GCU (Gente como Uno) was a digital satiric TV show released from 2014-2017 through Utero.pe, a popular news and entertainment portal based in Lima. GCU’s fictional host (a hyper-conservative, bigoted, and ignorant interviewer) parodied and took to the extreme some of the most prevalent social prejudices in Peru shown daily in national TV and the press.