SNL's Diversity Problem: Latina Comedians Who Fit the Bill

There’s been a huge uproar ever since Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson went on record addressing the show’s lack of diversity claiming black women just aren’t “ready” to appear on the iconic TV show. And we applaud everyone who’s been speaking out against his claims, because in our eyes female minority comedians are more than ready for the big league show. Perhaps SNL’s creator, Lorne Michaels isn’t looking deep enough. Hey Michaels, we’re throwing you a bone. Here’s a talented group of some of the funniest Latinas that would do wonders for your show. You’re welcome!

1. Latina Comedians: Anjelah Johnson

Anjelah Johnson

This gorgeous San Jose-native would be ideal for a televised comedy series, probably because she’s already been on several! The Bon Qui Qui comedian has appeared on various TV shows including MADtv, Ugly Betty, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And Johnson can definitely handle her own among A-listers. Most recently she appeared on Enough Said along Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the late James Gandolfini. 


2. Latina Comedians: Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza

We know Aubrey Plaza has a regular gig on Parks and Recreation, but this Boricua would be perfect for Saturday Night Live’s off-beat comedy. Her signature deadpan humor is just what SNL needs. 


3. Latina Comedians: Selenis Leyva

Selenis Leyva

Orange Is The New Black actress Selenis Leyva has made it no secret that her big wish is to appear on SNL in any capacity. Last month she told Latina: “To be honest with you, I love Saturday Night Live. I would love to be a part of that someday – on the show, invited to host, work in the back [laughs]. We’ll see what happens.” 


4. Latina Comedians: Debi Gutierrez

Debi Gutierrez

Debi Gutierrez can do it all. This former teacher, and a National Peabody Award recepient, knows how to do standup-comedy that is relatable to us all, sort of in the same vein as Jerry Seinfeld. Gutierrez talks about the hilariousness of being a mom and dealing with men. 


5. Latina Comedians: Gina Brillon

Gina Brillon

Gina Brillon’s comedy is brilliant! The Bronx-native has a fresh Latina perspective on love and relationships, and has shared the complexities of being Latina on various stages including on Comedy Central, the Comic Strip, Boston Comedy Club, and Caroline’s. Brillon, who is also a published poet, was also the first Latina comic to win NBC’s Stand Up For Diversity Showcase. 


6. Latina Comedians: Sandra Valls

Sandra Valls

What happens when you’re a Mexican Latina who happens to be a lesbian? Ask Sandra Valls! The hilarious stand-up comedian has performed all over the country and talks in great-length about coming out to her old-school parents. Valls also appeared on the Latin Divas of Comedy.  


7. Latina Comedians: Patti Vasquez

Patti Vasquez

Patti Vasquez is never short of material. Being half Mexican and half Irish, the jokes are endless. The self-proclaimed “Lipstick Mom,” has been hailed as “The funniest woman in comedy since Carol Burnett” by Bill Maher. You can currently catch Vasquez on “My Life Is A Joke” on the OWN Network. 


8. Latina Comedians: Marga Gomez

Marga Gomez

With SNL or not, Marga Gomez has had a stellar career as a comedian thus far. Named comedian of the year (2012) by SF Weekly and the SF Bay Guardian, Gomez work extends from the comedy stage to Off Broadway. The openly gay Latina has appeared on HBO's "Comic Relief" Showtime's "Latino Laugh Festival" and LOGO’s "One Night Stand Up.” She also got the stamp of approval by Robin Williams himself. “She’s the lesbian Lenny Bruce!” Williams proclaimed. 


9. Latina Comedians: Jesenia

Jessenia

Being trained at the UCB and the Second City Training Center in Chicago, Jessenia Bailey definitely has the chops for SNL. She’s performed stand-up on at Carolines, NY Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, StandUp NY, among others. Jessenia is currently filming Becoming Ricardo based on her signature character named Ricardo Montalban who’s an off-beat, high strung macho-man. 


10. Latina Comedians: Jenni Ruiza

Jenni Ruiza

Jessenia’s partner-in-crime on Becoming Ricardo is writer, comedian, and actress Jenni Ruiza. She’s appeared on countless of films, Off Broadway plays, and on FunnyorDie.com productions. You can currently see her on Fusion’s Alicia Menendez Tonight show commenting on hot topics and current events.