Internet sensation Frankie Quinones arrives in a low rider with two of his most well known characters Creeper and Juanita in his first sketch and stand up comedy special on HBO in Entre Nos Presents: Frankie Quinones: Superhomies. Frankie takes us through musings and anecdotes of his life, his family, and the community he grew up in with a lovely celebration of how far he has come; however, he has a hard time withstanding the weight of sharing the stage with three strong personas.
Frankie uses his background from the YouTube sketch comedy world and his beloved characters Creeper (a reformed Cholo turned fitness Guru) and Juanita Carmelita (a spicy suburban drama queen) to elevate the special with movement and attention, with hits and misses. The flurry of cuts from stand up to sketch can feel abrupt, but aligns with attention spans in the current digital age. With each segment of his stand up and commentary of how he sees the world is a sketch that at one moment can feel so integral to punctuate his point while other moments fall apart under unclear statements.
The strongest sketches where this style really works in the are with his character, Creeper. The sketches of Creepers fitness videos are a collection of esoteric exercises all pertaining to different parts of Cholo or Chicano culture and feel less like someone trying to just make a quick buck and more like some one who is genuinely sharing something that helped him through hard times. Creeper comes off in each sketch as someone who wants to make a connection with others, whether it be with his fitness videos, his students, or his low rider community. The humor comes from just how genuine and honest Creeper is, that shows the underlying love and enthusiasm Frankie has for his community. There is a love and appreciation of the people who remind him of Creeper in his real life that reflects in his character.
However, with Juanita it can be a bit more muddled.
Juanita Carmelita’s sketch comes after a stand up segment of talking about his mother and other women he grew up and how tough as nails they can be towards people who disrespect them. I found this part of the stand up quite humorous because I can relate to my own family and community with those same type of women, which made it hard for me to really sit comfortably with Juanita’s sketch. The premise of her sketch centers on how she believes her boyfriend is cheating because he has a bump on his privates, thus he has to get checked for STDs. Simple enough, right? However, it grows to be uncomfortable due to how she acts in the doctor’s office with him. She berates, hits, and even goes into the room with him and the doctor so she can hear what the doctor says herself. Once the doctor looks at it, the sketch culminates with a punchline that his bump isn’t due to his promiscuity but rather how much the couple has sex.
The sketch ends with them making up and her commenting just how much she puts it down on him and that she loves him. It feels that Juanita in this piece is just extremely always horny and/or angry which can feel contradictory to how he expressed how he sees women in the stand up before. It leaves me unsure on how I am supposed to see her and what exactly is the funny part? Is it her violence towards him? Her sexuality? Or both? This could have been made more clear if there was more time to explore in his stand up or another sketch from her but the special only has so much time to give which leaves the Juanita underwhelming.
The moments Frankie gets to speak are the most interesting but also feel short. Frankie is mainly known for his sketches and roles, so having a moment of his own to shine feels like a great opportunity to understand how he thinks and what he finds funny. Frankie hits it out of the park when it comes to his experience growing up and different aspects of his Mexican American upbringing. The real weakness is mainly his lack of a stand up. The fact that he shares the special’s stage with his two famous characters provides an exciting experience and change of pace but also leaves a lot of his own personality outside of the mix. I wish to hear more from him through him and not through sketches.
At the end, Superhomies is an interesting experiment of what a comedy special can be in the digital age for a talented up and coming comedian. I just wish that I got to hear more from the person himself.
Entre Nos Presents: Frankie Quinones: Superhomies is a must watch and currently streaming on HBO Max.