Arturo Castro has had his share of bad dates, and now he’s giving viewers a look inside what those were like in his new sketch series Alternatino with Arturo Castro, which premiered Tuesday.
As a millennial living in New York City, he knows dates can be challenging. Especially when someone wants a date based on stereotypes they’ve heard about your particular ethnic group. In the skit titled “The Date,” Castro goes out with a woman who loves dating Latino men because they’re known for being macho. But when she meets a fictionalized version of Castro, who she recognizes for playing a drug lord on Narcos, she’s disappointed that he’s not the tough guy she was expecting.
“‘The Date’ is based on a bunch of dates, but it’s an exaggerated version of them,” Castro tells EW. “I’ve found myself on dates where people ask me to speak more Spanish to them because they want to use their four years of Spanish classes on me. Then I’ve had dates where they want me to take them salsa dancing. I’m a terrible salsa dancer! So I’d try to dance and they’d say, ‘Oh keep going! That’s so spicy.’
“So I found it hilarious to hear about all these expectations they had of me being this macho Latino lover. When all I really love are mimosas, man. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
In the clip above from the second part of “The Date,” Castro tries to win over the same girl again by playing into the stereotypes she likes. He dresses the part — open shirt with a long chain and slicked back hair — and takes her to a salsa club on the advice of his friends.
“The club in the skit is called Sembe and it’s based on this place in Brooklyn called Bembe,” he explains. “You’ll see a lot of big Dominican dudes there with hipster girls. But when your date sees how good those guys dance, you’ve lost your date. So I never take them there, except this one day when a girl kept insisting I take her. I stood by the bar drinking my fruity drink while she got spun on the dance floor a lot. So that was fun…”
As hilarious and smart as the Comedy Central series is, Castro is not just here to tell jokes. He’s using his comedy to tell stories affecting underserved communities, such as deportation, racism, colorism, and toxic masculinity. The Guatemalan-comedian says he is battling ignorance with laughter.
And he’ll have the help of some of his famous friends throughout season 1. His Broad City costars Abbi Jacobson appears as his love interest in a spoof of 50 Shades of Grey in episode 2, and fans of that show will also be able to spot Matt Bevers. His Narcos costar Pêpê Rapazote is also in episode 2 in the skit called “The Translator.”
“We have some amazing talent on the show this season. I’m just so amazed that they wanted to come and play with us. I can’t wait for everyone to see them,” Castro says.
Alternatino with Arturo Castro airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.