Donald Trump’s border wall is the inspiration for a new unscripted travel-comedy series in development by Sonar Entertainment (Taboo, The Son) and comedian and actor Felipe Esparza (Last Comic Standing).
The project is one of the first from Sonar’s Factual side, headed by former Tricon exec Andrea Gorfolova, who came over to Sonar following the company’s acquisition of Tricon Films & Television last year.
As part of the potential series description, Esparza asks, “What’s 2,000 miles long, costs over $25 billion to build, and is filled with narcos, deadly terrain, and jokes – lots and lots of jokes?” For Esparza, that’s The Wall, the front line that defines the highly charged debate over the border separating the U.S. and Mexico.
In the multi-part project, Esparza and his band of fellow comics take an up close and personal look at the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing unconventional riffs and an immigrant perspective while offering hilarious and often poignant glimpses of a part of America and Mexico that elicits no shortage of strong opinions but that most people actually know very little about. Along the way the crew uncovers quirky businesses, wild adventures, unlikely characters, insane plans, and great food – blowing up stereotypes and breaking down political walls.
“Felipe Esparza is one of the brightest stars in all of comedy,” said Gorfolova, President, Kids, Family and Factual for Sonar Entertainment. “His singular perspective, sometimes raw and always spot on, combined with his unmatched comic instincts, make him the ideal talent to take us on this unforgettable tour.”
“I’m excited to be working on this project because it explores something very close to my heart,” said Esparza. “I’m an immigrant, too, and I see myself in a lot of these people and their families. This show will focus on the human stories on all sides of this border wall issue and I hope to also bring some humor and light to this topic wherever possible.”
The winner of Last Comic Standing in 2010, Esparza’s TV credits include a recurring role on Superstore, along with appearances on The Tonight Show, Lopez Tonight, Premium Blend, The Eric Andre Show, Comic View and Galavisión’s Que Locos. His film credits include The Deported and I’m Not Like That No More, a feature based on his stand-up comedy, as well as his first stand-up special, They’re Not Gonna Laugh at You. Esparza is also the host of the podcast What’s Up Fool?, which he launched in 2014. Last year, he starred in his first HBO stand-up special Felipe Esparza: Translate This.