Comedy Central brings roast to Latin America

Mexican comic Hector Suarez to be subject of first show

Comedy Central Latin America is bowing its flagship comedy “Roast” in the region, choosing veteran Mexican comic Hector Suarez as its first victim.

Suarez — a director, producer, editor, scriptwriter and actor who studied mime under France’s Marcel Marceau — stirred up the Mexican comedy scene with his biting comments on social issues.

While the comedy roast format is not traditional in Latin America, CCLA brand manager Federico Cuervo thinks the region is ready for it. The roast will be taped in front of a live audience and debut in Mexico in early May before it bows across the region.

“When Comedy Central approached me for this project, I fell in love with the idea,” Suarez said. “I know I’m setting myself up for disaster — it’s the perfect opportunity for my friends and colleagues to get candid. Who knows what will happen!”

“Hector Suarez is a comedic genius whose legacy and creative style has influenced generations of comedians and entertained audiences for decades,” Cuervo said. “I’ve apologized to him in advance for the plethora of insults and mockery that will take place that evening.”

The Suarez roast is only the third time that the Viacom Intl. unit has adapted the “Roast” format outside the U.S.

In 2011, the Comedy Channel produced a local roast in New Zealand with rugby player Murray Mexted, delivering ratings five times higher than the network’s daily average. Its second local roast was last year in South Africa with singer Steve Hofmeyr, becoming the highest rated show for the network with a 5.9 rating.

Now reaching 18 million homes since its launch last February, Comedy Central Latin America is available in Spanish and Portuguese in Brazil. It’s carried across key cable and satellite operators including DirecTV, Sky, Cablevision, Megacable, Vivo and ClaroTV. Programming includes a mix of Comedy Central staples and acquisitions including “Happily Divorced,” “Men at Work,” “The Exes,” “Retired at 35” and “Tosh.0,” debuting in March. These are complemented by local standup comedy specials showcasing Latin American talent. U.S.-centric mock news shows “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” are available online on its website.

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