It's like that moment at a family party when your cousin Nena brings her new boyfriend from Boston: Everyone stops to scrutinize the out-of-town stranger. Does he even know how to dance merengue? Will he get all weird when your Tio Pepe starts to serve the caja china? Will he know how to deal when your two cousins start to fight when they realize they were both hooking up with the same girl?
There's a strange cultural protectiveness in our little city of Miami. Even though there are incessant cries that our local art scenes deserve outside attention, we get all weird when that attention finally comes. We'll endlessly bitch and moan that outsiders don't get it, or that non-locals are trying to take over an intimate Miami cultural happening.
That's why it's kind of weird that MTV is coming to Miami looking for up-and-coming talent to be commentary voices on shows like Guy Code, Girl Code, and shows centered around comedians making quirky and hilarious comments about video clips and news stories. Basically, it's the same thing everyone does when they're stoned, but without the cameras (unless making the egregious error of putting cell phone video on YouTube). And ideally, much funnier.
The showcase will take place at Coral Gables' hub for all things funny, The Miami Improv, featuring a veritable all-star lineup of Miami comics: Mike Cintron, Ricky Cruz, Eric DaSilva, David del Rosario, Ramon Garcia, Will Lopez, Irene Morales, Yamil Piedra, Nery Saenz, John Vargas, and Dominic Perenzin.
New Times has featured Dominic for years, mainly because of his work with local comedy promoting group The Have-Nots Comedy. He's promoted and organized shows for local Miami comedians up and down the South Florida area. Not to mention, he's also an outrageously funny comedian himself, which is why we're so glad to see him as one of the featured comics in the showcase.
We reached out to Dominic, and asked him some questions about his hopefully future employers, the other comics involved in the show, and what it means that MTV is coming to Miami and not New York or Los Angeles looking for comics.
New Times: Since this showcase is for MTV, do you have any favorite MTV shows?
Dominic Perenzin: Personally, we were always partial to Singled Out or Remote Control. Without a doubt my all time favorite show is Bevis and Butthead. It really inspired me as a comedian and also inspired me to set things on fire.
Are you surprised that MTV went slumming in Miami looking for comedic talent instead of their typical New York and Los Angeles based comics?
I am a little surprised that it took them this long to figure out that we have some of the most hilarious comics in the country. I have been sending them YouTube videos for years.
How do you think running Have Nots Comedy can help you in this competition?
I don't think it helps me in any way, it's about being funny. What would really help me is if my fan club shows up to the showcase. I really hope my parents are available that night.
Are you changing your routine in any way to cater to MTV wanting Latin comics for this project? We're assuming there's going to be an extra cocaine and/or house cleaner joke or two thrown in, right?
Yo nunca voy a pander a mis Latinos. VIVA (insert your favorite Latin country)!
Besides yourself, who else on the bill would you like to see get the part?
I personally hope that I get cast on Teen Mom 4. As far as other comics getting cast, I think everybody in the line up is very talented and they all have a good chance. While I am not allowed to have favorites, I can say that if I did it would probably rhyme with Shmicky Shmruz.
If you had to start a show featuring only Miami comedians what would it be about?
I would actually like to make a show about the women who date and/or are married to Miami comics. That show would be much more interesting with lots more drama. Most comics are awkward and antisocial, or maybe that's just me.
Would you be willing to just totally sell out and act like Carlos Mencia just to get the role?
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Not really, I think I am enough of a character on my own.
The Have-Nots Comedy presents MTV Showcase. Miami Improv. September 25, 8 p.m. 3390 Mary St., Coconut Grove. Visit miamiimprov.com or call 305-441-8200.