What happens when a bar in el barrio is gentrified? Well, according to a character in Robert Gonzales’ cheekily titled “Don’t Gentrify My Bar” animated video, beer prices go up. Soon, it gets turned into a Ramen bar, and before you know it, your abuelito gets kicked out of his house. Worst of all, though, is listening to hipsters butchering Selena lyrics at karaoke. The quick skit, animated in a style reminiscent of early South Park with a decidedly DIY vibe, is but a taste of what Gonzales has in mind.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Gonzales has begun working on two animated shows for a little more than a year. “Don’t Gentrify My Bar” borrows characters from one of them, titled The Admin, a workplace comedy set at a failing South Texas school. He’s been cranking out small bite-sized episodes meant to give audiences and producers a sense of what his sensibility looks like on the small screen.
Gonzales’s goal, as he puts it, is to make people laugh. But his own sense of humor comes from his sense of place, something he’s eager to bring to the work he creates.
“It’s the regional and culturally specific humor of Mexican-American South Texas that I want to bring to an audience who will recognize it as real, even if they aren’t from Texas,” he shares. “I am a Latino who is a comedy nerd and is personally frustrated that I haven’t seen anything on television that is representative of the dark, ironic, fatalistic, self-deprecating humor that I grew up with and makes me laugh.”
To look at “Don’t Gentrify My Bar” or his other videos, such as one titled “Two BS’s BS about San Antonio Spurs,” that regional specificity is front and center. Take a look below.
You can check out more of Gonzales’ work here.