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A few years back I had an idea to give Jon Stewart a run for his money. I felt (and still feel) that the Latino political space has not be filled with any comedic undertones. The Daily Show is a highly successful show, not unlike its offspring, the Colbert Report. Yet, those platforms don’t directly address Latino political needs. Especially when it’s no secret that in recent times the Latino voting power has increased dramatically and it makes it almost impossible to count Latinos out of politics. Meanwhile, the Latino voice is not being heard as loud as it should be. This is what brought the idea of RECAP to life.
RECAP is a comedic news show that ridicules political obstacles that hinder Latinos from exercising their earned power. When I began looking to do produce the pilot, I needed to find a comedian that was smart, quick-witted and able to play both sides of the comedy and seriousness. I know a lot of funny people that could play that role, but I had no doubt that the person to pull it off was Jill-Michele Meléan. She has the package – she funny, she’s pretty and she understands the big picture.
Even before thinking of a host, I needed someone to help me organize this and put it all together. But I didn’t have a need to search for that person, since I always trust my friend Rene Aguirre to get things done the right way.
What concerned me most was the show’s material. It needed to be edgy but not offensive, yet politically irreverent. I wanted the show to not hold back on establishing an obvious slant towards “the right thing”. Every TV show has an agenda, and I wanted to make sure we didn’t hide ours.
To get the job done I looked for the people who I trust in these situations: Cris Franco, Andres Palencia, and Harold Jessurun. Super smart and talented people who “get it”. We went to work and put together the pilot on paper along with Jill-Michele. After many hilariously disturbing discussions we were ready to capture it.
We shot the pilot at the Hollywood Outlaws studios, where they did a great, excellent job in helping us with everything technical we needed it. Rene brought along Silvio Morales who always is an essential part of making sure productions go right, and my buddy Juan Luis Garcia also showed his support and came by to take some flicks of the production.
The on-camera talent was on point that night, starting with Cris Franco, followed by Andres Palencia who played a couple of key parts. Jocelyn Cruz did an amazing job as herself, and also as the crazy Dora the Explorer. Hilarious! Carla Soto did a great job as well as our correspondent live from Mexico. David Lee Thomason did amazing playing the character of Professor Black and my favorite, Gregorio Gonzales who killed it being The Illegal Alien Alien. Too funny!
Gregorio also helped out with the show graphically and thematically. He’s a genius artist! Also the RECAP logo was done by Eddie Morden who is another amazing artist. The theme music and some of the segment’s music was put together by the always soulful Mr. Ricardo Love. I was also honored to also have the talentoso Richard Malmos bless us with his voice as the show’s announcer. I’ve very grateful for that.
Can’t keep going without mentioning the person that made all these on-camera talent look pretty: Ms. Osiris Ley – a super duper talented makeup artist who really did an outstanding job that night – and speaking of outstanding, I want to thank Doug Warner from Warner Artist Management for being a great sport and participating in the show via his interview. He endured the hard questions and gave the show a great perspective.
Producing TV shows is quite difficult, especially when you’re trying to break-in something new. Original ideas are an impossibility in a limited-scope industry, so I am quite grateful to all who believed in this idea and gave their best in order to make it happen. Beyond the people I mentioned here, there are numerous others that contributed in many other ways to making this happen, and for that I thank them as well.
Here I leave you with the pilot episode, which even though it’s years later, somehow its topic still resonates and remains relevant today…