Apparently Saturday Night Live is taking its commitment to diverse talent seriously for its upcoming 42nd season. After announcing the addition of its (almost) first Latina cast member, Melissa Villaseñor, the venerable sketch-comedy institution has brought yet another Latino into the show’s braintrust in the form of Salvadoran comedian Julio Torres, who will join the writing staff after moonlighting as a Guest Writer on Season 41.
Torres, who happens to be gay, has spent years making a name for himself on the New York comedy circuit with his tongue-in-cheek “Space Prince” persona, and recently picked up an Emmy nomination for his guest writing work on SNL. In addition, Torres has spent the last year writing and starring in two web series for SNL’s Latino-themed digital sister studio Más Mejor. A self-described outsider, Torres’ favorite comedic target are the luxurious excesses of the fashion set, but the Bushwick-based comedian considers his work more playful ribbing than biting satire.
“I’m not good about joking about things I don’t like,” he said in a recent interview with Brokelyn. “When there is stuff I don’t like, I don’t talk about it, because why would I? That’s how I’ve always felt.”
But Torres’ genuine feel for the material has produced hilarious results, like in Más Mejor’s web series Diego & Valentina, where he plays a struggling New York party animal who takes a job assisting a privileged Venezuelan princess. For its part, Más Mejor was launched earlier this year from the same Broadway Studios production company that produces SNL, and between Torres and Villaseñor, it’s already showing dividends in its push to cultivate Latino talent. We can only hope this is the beginning of a bright future for Latino comedy in the United States.
SNL Season 42 premieres on October 1st.