Pitbull is the swaggering rap star who chose his nom de stage because “the dog is too stupid to lose.” But what would happen if a stranger at a bar saw him flirting with women and said, “You’re a douche”?
That’s how it goes in “Pitbull’s Moment of Reckoning,” an achingly funny four-minute skit in the new Comedy Central series “Alternatino” (10:30 p.m. Tuesdays).
“Am I a douche?” Pitbull wonders ruefully. Back home in his mansion, he looks at a painting of himself pouring booze on a scantily clad woman’s rear and knows the answer.
Pitbull is portrayed by the Guatemalan-born actor Arturo Castro, an executive producer and writer for the program (whose title blends “Latino” with the Spanish word for “alternative”) and also its star. With mischievous eyes and thin, prim lips, Castro has a face designed for comedy.
In “Alternatino,” Castro’s finely tuned and wide-ranging sense of humor is on full display. Sometimes he’ll play off a single theme in a series of skits (such as what it’s like for a Latino guy who’s not very manly to date a white woman in love with the stereotype of the macho Latino). And sometimes an episode is a random comedic stew, a la “Saturday Night Live.”
Castro can be gross and goofy as the “drunkest person at the wedding,” a woman unafraid to sabotage wedding toasts and the wedding cake. And he’s also unafraid to tackle the comedy taboo of dying children, oozing earnestness as the dad of a sick boy requesting a “final wish”: to never meet Macklemore. “He just hates the guy’s whole vibe,” Castro’s character says mournfully.
“You don’t have to be Latin in order to enjoy the show,” Castro told NPR. But he is blazing a trail by bringing a Latino perspective to TV sketch comedy. The sharpest satire on “Alternatino” reflects his heritage — and a political side he says he didn’t think would be part of the show until immigration issues began making headlines.
In one sketch, he plays a no-nonsense ICE agent, explaining how America will no longer cage immigrant children but will keep them “cage-free!” — roaming in a field surrounded by an electrified fence, subsisting on a grass-fed diet and given “absolutely no antibiotics.” Then he does a bed check and nonchalantly delivers a killer punchline: “Still no eggs, though.”