Sundial Now: This Latino Scooby-Doo is looking for chisme, not clues
If Scooby-Doo was Latino, you’d still get the same riveting mystery-solving adventure but arriving at the mask reveal might look a little different.
Instead of a brown Great Dane with black spots, it would be a small fluffy pup named Escubi, while his best friend would be called Peludo, not Shaggy. And, of course, the snacks he is obsessed would be croquetas.
That's according to Miami comedian Jenny Lorenzo - of the viral Abuela fame - and her latest Halloween-themed sketch, a parody of Scooby-Doo and his gang featuring accents, jokes and pop culture references that will be very familiar for South Florida Latinos.
As the video grows into another hit for the content creator — it already has more than 300,000 views after just 10 days — she joined Sundial Now to talk about her blossoming career, her love of dressing up in costumes and her complicated relationship with Miami.
Lorenzo is a Miami-born actress and content creator. She studied Theatre-Arts and Motion Pictures at Miami-Dade College and the University of Miami. Her online comedy videos gained her millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers.
Every year she releases a new Halloween skit. In the past, she's done if Clue was Latino, Beetlejuice, The Adams Family and more.
For this year, it's Escubi Du and the gang — solving the mystery of the El Chacal de la Trompeta. He is a cult character from the popular Spanish-language television program Sábado Gigante, which ran for 53 years before its last airing in 2015.
He was part of a karaoke segment where members from the live audience would get a chance to sing on stage. The bad performers would be eliminated mid-song, and sometimes just seconds into the song, by El Chacal, who would wear an executioner-style mask, play his trumpet and walk them off stage to “send them to the lions.”
The audience would then choose a winner from the surviving contestants — whoever got the loudest applause won.
In this Latino Scooby Doo skit, the gang finds out who is behind El Chacal’s mask. Hint: It’s not the ice cream truck that sharpens knives in Hialeah.
“Escubi Ubi Do, where are you? Gotta work hard for that croqueta,” Peludo tells his pup in one of the laugh-out loud lines from the YouTube video.
Lorenzo is most famous for her character, Abuela — a Cuban grandmother who is always reminding you to not walk barefoot indoors and put on a sweater no matter the weather, even in South Florida.
“Abuela has lived in various pockets of the internet, especially Buzzfeed and Mitú, which were the two major digital media networks that I worked for when I moved to L.A. and that's where I really started to gain popularity, because these digital networks had such a massive audience. So it gave me a really large platform to work with and get the character out there and my voice out there,” said Lorenzo on Sundial Now.
Abuela is based on her maternal grandmother, Orquidea Diaz.
“She did get to see some of the earlier Abuela videos before she passed and she really, really enjoyed them. I'm overall very lucky that my family was always very supportive of my artistic endeavors, and they were never judgmental. They were never like, ‘can you maybe try going to law school?’” said Lorenzo.
Her grandmother’s superstitions inspired this character who has resonated with so many of Lorenzo’s followers, even beyond the Latino community.
“It would drive me nuts… for example, because [in] Miami it's always raining and thundering and some kind of catastrophic weather is going on, and if it's thundering outside, I not only could I not walk around the house barefoot, I couldn't look into a mirror and I couldn't stare into a dog or cat's eyes because their eyes had reflectors in them. And then the lightning would hit their eyeballs and hit me. And then I would be I would get electrocuted and die,” she said.
And even though her comedy gets Miami and South Florida spot on, she recalls feeling out of place when she was growing up here.
“I loved to cosplay and dress up… I was big on going to like all the comic book conventions and stuff," the 36-year-old said. "And I remember one day I was walking around South Beach after one of those events and I was in costume and like people in Miami, people walking around me were like, ‘it's not Halloween, bro.’”
Her videos are her love letters to Miami.
“What made Miami home for me was my family and especially my abuelos,” she said. “That's where I got to practice my Spanish and where I would listen to my abuelo’s favorite music and hear stories about Cuba… I think me, making these videos is therapeutic, to be honest. It keeps my grandparents’ legacy alive.”