Older priest Father Francisco is jealous of popular Father Anthony, whom he calls “pious, young and hot,” and whose lips he describes as “so glossy.”
To bolster his image, Father Francisco hires a gang of oddballs with a knack for creating horror movie props to stage an exorcism. He figures if he can drive out (fake) evil spirits, he’ll be a star and Father Anthony will be forgotten.
That cuckoo plot is the kickoff for “Los Espookys,” a six-episode HBO comedy (11 p.m. Fridays). Its co-creators (and stars) are three humorists with Latinx roots. Julio Torres, a “Saturday Night Live” writer and Salvadoran emigre, plays blue-haired, moody chocolate heir Andrés. Panamanian American Ana Fabrega, a rising comic, is the “indestructible,” deadpan Tati. Ubiquitous “Portlandia” and “SNL” alumnus Fred Armisen, whose mother is Venezuelan, is Uncle Tico, unparalleled when it comes to parking cars.
Rounding out the cast are two Mexican thespians: Bernardo Velasco as the group’s ringleader, Goth-loving Renaldo, and Cassandra Ciangherotti as frustrated dental assistant Ursula, who excels at making prosthetic teeth. All of the cast members deliver their lines in Spanish (with subtitles).
Clearly, this is a strange brew of a show. Yet it’s an absolute delight. The humor is absurd and sly. Working for Father Francisco, Tati cools him off by manually rotating a fan’s blades.
And the band of misfits are weirdly likable and awesomely talented. It seems inconceivable they could erect a device to levitate and spin Tati as she pretends to be possessed — but they do. They prove that misfits can find strength in numbers — and by fooling gullible souls. Thrilled with the success of their ersatz exorcism, they start a business creating horror scenarios for clients into supernaturalism and call themselves Los Espookys.
The show, which has “SNL’s” Lorne Michaels as an executive producer and is directed by Mexican-born filmmaker Fernando Frias, has a deeper side as well. You may find yourself pondering important questions, like why are people so willing to believe the unbelievable? Then again, you might just wonder: How does Father Anthony get his lips so glossy?