Mar 22, 2024 - Culture

Angelo Colina upends the comedy scene ahead of Detroit show

Photo illustration of Venezuelan comedian, Angelo Colina collaged with abstract shapes.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios; Photo: Angelo Colina

U.S. Latino comedians have largely become successful by performing in English. But Venezuelan comic Angelo Colina is flipping the narrative by selling out shows and drawing a massive online following with his entirely Spanish-language sets.

Why it matters: Colina's show is coming to Detroit at 9:30pm April 5 at the House of Comedy on Woodward Avenue.

The big picture: The 29-year-old's surging popularity of comes as demand for Spanish-language content grows, Axios' Kim Bojórquez reports.

Context: The comic, who moved to the U.S. at age 24 to help support his family in Salt Lake City, tells Axios he didn't always perform in Spanish.

  • "It was mostly knowing that everything that I wrote in Spanish and then translated to English was better than writing in English from the start," Colina says.
  • He pulls much of his material from his life experiences, exposing the intricacies of Latino identity. He jokes in one video that he doesn't need therapy because his barber is Dominican.

Like Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, who has never released an English-only track to appease commercial audiences, Colina doesn't feel the need to constrain himself.

  • "Doing comedy in English … you really have to explain why you have an accent. You kinda go into these identity politics," he says.

What they're saying: "The advent of putting comedy on the internet sort of made a lot of comedians realize that there were these subsets and these groups of people that were interested in Spanish comedy for so long," says comedian and TV writer Joanna Hausmann, who was in a viral bilingual sketch with Colina.

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