Santiago Segura He has fulfilled a dream that has accompanied him since he was a child watching the James Bond movies: “Be the villain”. “Sean Connery had nothing to do with me,” he jokes, “I always identified with the bad guy.” The opportunity has been given LOL: If you laugh, you lose, the first entertainment format of Amazon Prime Video in Spain. In it, he leads – and punishes – ten comedians locked up for six hours in which they are forbidden to laugh. Its first five installments will premiere this Friday may 14 on the platform and, a week later, on the 21st, its finale will be broadcast.
Amazon puts a face to the comedians who will accompany Santiago Segura in ‘LOL’, from Yolanda Ramos to Arévalo
Yolanda Ramos, Silvia Abril, Rossy de Palma, Paco Collado, Mario Vaquerizo, El Monaguillo, Edu Soto, David Fernández, Carolina Noriega and Arévalo make up the varied casting that, for the presenter, “is very well chosen”, because of how they have achieved a range of comedians with disparate audiences. Of them stands out his work “improvising” within the species of “Big Brother, but without sex “, as defined in the presentation, which constitutes the program.
The also jury of The challenge celebrates having been able to count on “two henchmen”, Cañita Brava and Xavier Deltell -Also present in this interview-, who accompany him on the mission of monitoring the contestants through the 51 cameras distributed on the set and taking them the yellow and red cards when they break the rules.
Santiago, at the beginning of the first chapter you define yourself as “the evil genius” and that it was something that caught your attention since you were little, what was it that attracted you to this role?
Santiago Segura: The first thing, presenting a contest, a talent show is something that I love. Also Amazon as a platform because I knew they were going to pamper the show. And being a James Bond villain because since I was little I watched movies and yes, I really liked James Bond; But I was seeing Sean Connery and it had nothing to do with me. I always identified with the bad guy. That he was always bald, ugly, fat … That could be me (laughs).
It has come a little late in life, but I have made it. Be a villain and have my own crime complex, Marina LOL [así es cómo llaman al lugar en el que encierran a los cómicos]. Also, when I said that if I could have minions, they asked Amazon “but what do you mean?”. I told them that I have two people that I like to bring along whenever I can, who are Cañita Brava and Xavier Deltell. They said go ahead, so I’m the happy villain.
Do you think they would have endured more than six hours locked up? What could have happened if it had been 10 or even 24?
SS: It would have ended sooner. This program has been so complicated … In the first episode, as we got these creatures, who are like schoolboys, they all started laughing. We did not know what to do. Do we give seven yellow cards as soon as we start? They had all laughed. This program has been done in several countries and this had not happened in any edition. I finally walked in and said “guys, how about we focus a little bit?” Everyone asked for forgiveness and then they concentrated; but enough that they lasted the six hours to do the six programs.
They asked us if a lot of material had been lost with the edition. This program could have been done live, the entire six hours could go out because there was a lot of grace all the time. It has been edited and the best remains, but what they have excluded was just as good.
Xavier Deltell: One more special could be made.
SS: LOL: If you laugh, you lose It is like the pipes, when you want to realize they have run out. It’s great to see comedians improvise. The cast is very well chosen because there is always one that you like. They all have their fans and they are all very funny. You see them in their purest form because they are improvising except when they use their joker. A card with which they force the rest of their classmates to pay attention to them for three minutes. That’s when they do their show that they can bring prepared from home, but the rest is improvised. I, who am not an easy laugh, laughed.
XD: Yes, we were laughing. We were aware of all the cameras controlling. There is more than one moment in which someone who had laughed had not realized it. We have discovered it because we are a kind of VAR.
Have your possible predictions been fulfilled as to who would be better able to hold the laughter and who would not?
SS: In your mind you make a cheer because you know them very well and you know how funny they are; and you say “sure that this one does not laugh”. But suddenly, the surprise arrives and people who you thought would last until the end, laugh and come out of the first. It is very curious because the person who makes you laugh the most does not necessarily have to be the one who wins. You can be the one who laughs the most, but also the one who laughs the most easily. It’s fun.
Would you have liked to attend as contestants? How do you think you would have gone?
XD: Good … until sometime bad. I usually put up with laughter a lot, but it is true that there are moments that, especially when they improvise, really surprise you. You ask yourself: How is he doing this now? How did you get that? Of course, I think Santiago would have won.
SS: If I had competed I would have won because I am very generous (laughs) and competitive. I don’t think about going anywhere where I think I’m not going to win.
You lead the first Amazon Prime Video program in Spain, do you think there may be an upward trend and that humor is increasingly sneaking onto platforms?
Amazon has realized that humor is critical because people need to laugh; and also that humor does not travel especially well. What makes Germany laugh in Spain leaves us indifferent, and vice versa. Have this format and bet on the version of each country; like the one from Mexico with Eugenio Derbez, the one from Germany with Michael Herbig and the Spanish one with me shows that they have made an effort to have that humor and local. Yes it may be the new flowering of humor on the platforms.
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