Netflix continues comedy curation with Lower Classy
CRISTELA ALONZO ON STAGE
Since Netflix added Cristela Alonzo: Lower Classy last month, the comedy special has showcased Alonzo’s witty and down-home sense of humor during her stand-up performance in San Antonio.
She tackles issues of poverty, racial tension, and sexism through the lens of a Mexican-American woman born in Mexico and raised in Texas. The stand-up special is hilarious, due to its authenticity and brutal honesty, and leaves the audience reeling after hearing Alonzo’s take on an assortment of issues.
Lower Classy begins by tackling the racial divide centered around white women and women of minority descent. “I love hearing white girls talk to their friends,” she said. “‘Hey girl, want to go to the tanning beds and get ethnic for a week?’ It’s like, I can’t go anywhere and get lighter for a week. ‘Hey wanna go get our skin bleached? I have a job interview this week.’” The joke hits home with the mostly Latino audience in San Antonio, Texas because of the reality that many face about their skin color in society.
In a set about socioeconomic disparity, she addresses the issues many Americans face because of poverty—and the luxuries that many others take for granted. “I go to Whole Foods and it makes me mad,” Alonzo said. “Unhealthy food is cheap, and then you go to buy a salad and it’s like, boom, $1,000. I walk down the aisle and it’s like $6 for two strawberries. For that price they better show me white people picking that fruit.” She continues about how when she was younger she didn’t realize she was poor because everyone around her was poor, but still contests that happiness can be found without money.
A running theme in her stand-up was the ongoing political tension. “Donald Trump keeps saying he’s going to build a wall,” Alonzo said. “But he doesn’t realize that we’re underground. He’s going to build a wall and all he’s doing is making the Mexicans amazing athletes—an immigrant triathlon. What comes after the wall? The ocean? Fuck it, we’ll swim.” Her humor highlights the climbing tensions based around foreign relations with Mexico.
Alonzo brings attention to the portrayal of her mother on her show. “All these TV shows portray women as nice cookie-cutter moms. On [my other show] Cristela, the mother is portrayed as tough and mean, and I wanted people to see that’s how my mother truly was. She wasn’t this 1950s mom: she was grumpy and crotchety. But I love her,” Alonzo said. It is clear she wants people to be aware of how the 1950s Leave It To Beaver stereotypical mother is still portrayed today, and she wanted to break that cycle.
Her stand-up targets Latin-American audiences and aims to light up the hearts of every person in that demographic watching her show. Every joke strikes a chord with them as her stories are incredibly familiar and paint a picture of the kind of home that is typically ignored in mainstream media. Her references to Catholicism, Tampico, and being a maid are all too familiar for Latin-Americans. A stand-up comic hasn’t been this relatable since George Lopez. Many jokes are only truly accessible to the Hispanic community, but it is still a spotlight on how many live through a humorous platform, making it a must-watch.
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