MEXICO CITY — Donald Trump walks into a meditation retreat.
This isn’t a joke — it’s a scene from a new comedy show in Mexico going after the Republican presidential candidate.
“Los Hijos de Trump” — “Sons of Trump” — premiered in Mexico City last weekend to the delight of locals who want to even the score with the New York tycoon who’s made anti-immigrant sentiments, especially toward Mexicans, a pillar of his campaign.
Throughout the show, the comedians take easy shots at the conservative frontrunner. At the Indian meditation retreat, Trump is naked but for a towel, black socks and shiny shoes. The audience explodes as a monk ducks under the towel, clutching a magnifying glass to locate Trump’s manhood.
These jabs are payback for when Trump kicked off his presidential run with a speech this summer in which he called Mexicans criminals and rapists and vowed he would make them pay billions for a border wall.
But it’s not the first creative way Mexicans are getting back at him.
Just a few blocks from the theater where the show debuted, there’s a row of piñata shops, and Trump’s one of them. Mexicans can now physically bash the daylights out of the billionaire at parties.
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For the performers, it’s perfect timing to make Trump the butt of the joke.
“[Mexicans] have made themselves heard in a variety of ways, through music or speeches,” Freddy Ortega, one of the show’s stars, says of backlash to Trump. “We’re doing it in the best way we know: comedy.”
Ortega and his brother German lead the Mascabrothers, an outlandish, slapstick troupe know well in Mexico on the stage and small screen. On their third day of Los Hijos, the theater in a middle-class Mexico City neighborhood brings in a few hundred people, about three-quarters full.
“I think the Mascabrothers are some of the best comedians in Mexico,” says 28-year-old Adrian Arroyo, who paid $25 to see the show. “I wanted to see how they would parody all the things Trump has said about Mexicans in the US.”
Adapted from a Spanish play called “Brokers,” “Los Hijos de Trump” takes criticism beyond Trump’s xenophobic statements.
“We don’t care about the politics,” Ortega says. “We care about the lifestyle and mentality behind Trump.”
The show begins, and Trump’s a villain from the start. His face projects on stage on the $100 bill. He greets the audience as “frijoleros,” the word “beaners” appropriated back into Spanish, and reminds them they’re “thieves, rapists, and drug traffickers.”
He quickly ends his tirade, explaining he has to “save some of the bullshit for another year of campaigning.” And those are the last words from Trump in the show. The rest is mimed. The actors limit themselves to Ooooos and Ahhhhhs and Wows.
The story follows four insufferable stockbrokers. A montage takes the audience through their lives of stocks, yachts, drugs, and scams. Having amassed enough wealth and arrogance, Donald Trump, played with a round belly and a permanently pouty face by Herson Andrade, arrives to bestow these men with the highest honor: a floppy, blond Trump wig.
Early on, the message is clear: the threat isn’t Donald Trump; it’s an army of little Trumps in the making.
What ensues is a series of scenes mocking the extremely wealthy. They are petty, greedy, dismissive, and arrogant buffoons. Trump may be the biggest target, but Mexico’s 1 percent is in the crosshairs, too.
The show’s crude, slapstick humor is familiar for Mexicans. No shortage of jokes about butts, farts, and reproductive organs. The longtime comedians know which bit of silliness will get laughs, and they milk each one.
“That’s the Mexican style of making fun of Trump,” says audience member Arroyo. “They stick the Mexican lewdness into serious subjects.”
Andrade, who plays Trump with flamboyant swagger, said the impersonation wasn’t that hard, especially without words. He sees his parody as a little contribution to turning the tides against Trump south of the border.
“I’m proud as a Mexican to use this show to raise up our voices to the guy who could end up running one of the world’s most powerful countries,” he told GlobalPost. “We won’t be able to vote but from Mexico we can at least express our disgust with his xenophobia and racism.”
Mexicans certainly find it troubling that anti-immigrant politics seem to have boosted Trump’s popularity, but tonight, they can just laugh at the man.
The show closes on a dark note: The mini-Trumps end up on top after swindling their way through life. As the actors take a bow, they proudly rip off their business suits to reveal Mexican flag shirts. A final middle finger to Trump.
After a tour through Mexico, the Mascabrothers plan on taking the show to Chicago, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, home to many US Latinos. Even though they loathe his views, they figure Trump’s high profile will bring big crowds and big revenues.
Trump himself might even applaud that initiative.