In an unprecedented move for both entities, Mexico-based Endemol Shine Boomdog is teaming up with improv and sketch comedy theater group Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) to form a Spanish-language comedy boot camp in Mexico City.
The initiative is aimed at creating the latest generation of Spanish-language comedy talent in front of and behind the camera to serve the ever-expanding Hispanic market. The immediate goal is to cultivate both writers and performers to participate in an untitled sketch comedy show.
“This unique partnership with Upright Citizens Brigade is truly exciting for all of us at Endemol Shine Boomdog,” said Alejandro Rincon, CEO, Endemol Shine Boomdog. “We are looking to identify and help launch the careers of the next wave of Spanish comedy talent in both Mexico and the U.S. and we couldn’t imagine having a better partner to do so.”
“Alejandro [Rincon] and I are great comedy fans,” said Flavio Morales, executive vice president, Endemol Shine Latino, U.S. who noted that “comedy is one of the hardest genres to get right.” “When I heard that UCB was doing a Latino showcase, I reached out to them to see if they’d do something in Spanish, and that’s how the idea of a boot camp came about,” he added.
Said UCB co-founder Matt Besser: “We are excited to partner with Endemol Shine Boomdog to showcase the incredible talent at UCB and introduce our comedy to the diverse Spanish speaking market.”
“There is an untapped group of comedians that we look forward to growing and working with in Mexico City,” Besser observed.
Founded by Besser (“Walk Hard”), Amy Poehler (“SNL”), Ian Roberts (“Key and Peele”) and Matt Walsh (“Veep”), UCB has been hailed as “the most influential name in improv today” by The New York Times. It runs theaters in New York and L.A. which put on improv and sketch comedy shows seven nights a week. UCB also operates the only accredited sketch and improv school in the U.S., with training center facilities on both coasts.
UCB alumni and instructors include performers and writers for “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Key & Peele,” “Veep,” “Silicon Valley,” “The Hangover,” “21 Jump Street,” and “Orange is the New Black.”
The Endemol Shine Boomdog team will identify the participants in the boot camp while UCB will put together the curriculum and suggest mentors. Logistics, scheduling and calendars are now being worked out, said Morales.
Endemol Shine Boomdog, was formed last year when Endemol Shine North America merged Endemol Shine Latino with Mexico City-based production company Boomdog.
Endemol Shine Boomdog’s credits include: “Chumel Con Chumel” (HBO), “MasterChef Latino” (Telemundo), “MasterChef Mexico” (Azteca), “Mira Quien Baila” (Televisa/Univision), Nicky Jam: El Ganador (Netflix/Telemundo) and “LOL” (Amazon), greenlit for a second season.
In January, Endemol Shine Boomdog unveiled a production and development deal with Televisa, which includes the development of local Mexican versions of hits “The Masked Singer” and “Family Food Fight,” as well as upcoming drama series “Hijos de Tigre” and “Me Caigo de Risa.”