SNL Adds New Latinx Cast Member©Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC
HOLA! USA Exclusive

Marcello Hernandez talks about his new SNL gig & his love of soccer

Hernandez is partnering up with McDonalds, making exclusive comedy content for the FIFA World Cup

Marcello Hernandez is Saturday Night Live’s newest recruit. The comedy show, which has aired over 900 episodes and is one of the longest-running network television programs in the U.S., is one of the most prestigious jobs a comedian can have. SNL is often a platform for comedians to move on to bigger and better things, from TV series to Hollywood movies.

Hernandez is breaking ground in more ways than one. Not only is he young and vibrant, occupying an empty-Pete Davidson-like space, but he’s also Latino, making comedy that remains accessible but wholly personal. His jokes and commentary on Latinos and our culture have been recurring topics in his SNL skits, which have tackled the specific flavor of Latino athletes and Latino politicians.

To celebrate the world cup, Hernandez is partnering up with McDonald’s, providing his own version of World Cup commentary on his social media accounts. For him, it’s more than an opportunity to make good jokes and eat fries and burgers. In an exclusive interview with HOLA! USA, Hernandez talked about his relationship with soccer, his comedy career, and his time on Saturday Night Live.

Marcello Hernandez mcdonalds©Photos courtesy of McDonald's
Marcello Hernandez and New Yorkers providing us with their best “gooooooooool” rendition
All right, so very broadly: Why did you want to be a comedian?

I think I was the last person to realize that I should be a comedian.

I was a soccer player my whole life and then my drama teacher in high school told me that I should be in drama and then my mom told me that I should try it, and I never wanted to, I just wanted to play soccer. In my senior year of high school, I finally went to an event which was a big monologue theater-type event and I did well, and I was like ‘oh maybe I’m good at this.’ Then in college, I tried stand-up comedy for the first time, even though I had been a fan and I was hooked. I could have stopped doing it. Eventually, I stopped playing soccer to do comedy full time. It was definitely a slow progression.

Do you feel, as a Latino, a sense of responsibility when making comedy?

I don’t know about responsibility, but I definitely feel very connected to my Cuban and my Dominican roots, and to the fact that I’m from Miami. It’s a huge part of my comedy. Whether I feel responsible or not, that’s where a lot of my comedy comes from. I don’t think I have a choice there, you know?

Totally. Yeah, your SNL skits are very much about being Latino, about the way we talk, the way our culture works. Following the season premiere, how has the audience response been to your comedy?

I think it’s been good. My ultimate hope is just that I’m funny in general, right? Like I would love to talk about my culture and I love to show that side of me, but obviously, I just want to be a funny comic. I just want to be one of the funniest people out there.

I’ll always have my friends or my family or somebody telling me to fix this or fix that. I’m just kind of excited to keep going and do more and hopefully get on TV more. It’s a real process. Right now, I’m just trying to focus and trying to do as much as I can.

Can you tell me a bit about what you’ll be doing on TikTok over the course of the FIFA World Cup and your partnership with McDonald’s?

Yeah, I’m super excited. Basically, ‘Want To Get McDonald’s’ is the biggest marketing campaign for the World Cup. It’s like 75 countries. I’m honored to be a part of it, this is crazy. I used to sell tickets on the streets of New York when I first started to do comedy. To have any sort of endorsement, anything like this feels amazing. And for it to be tied to soccer, which is my first love is amazing. I’m just so excited.

The campaign with me specifically is to highlight the way that Latinos engage with soccer, which is usually like I do in my comedy. A little bit different from the way that other people do it. I just can’t wait for everybody to see it, and for people to respect how much fun we Latinos are, how much spice we bring to the games, and how excited we are about the sport of soccer, futbol, and how our personalities shine through the game.