It's safe to say Marcello Hernández's life changed in the blink of an eye. After moving to New York City in 2019 to pursue his stand-up career, he was selected for Just for Laughs New Face of Comedy before he scored a part on the 48th season of Saturday Night Live in 2022.
"It's crazy! Insanely famous people host the show every week, and we try to make friends with them in a really short amount of time — and help them have a good episode. We want to have a good episode as cast members, but we want the host to have a good time and make them happy. It's been amazing and a lot of learning — learning about writing sketches and producing sketches. I'm also learning from the hosts that come in. It's been cool to be surrounded by those people. Now that it is my second year, I am getting more comfortable with being on the show," the 26-year-old, who teamed up with Buchanan's Scotch Whisky to launch the newest iteration of its “We Are the Spirit of the 200%,” celebrating the unique duality of being 200% — 100% Hispanic and 100% American, exclusively tells Morning Honey.
Still, the comedian has to pinch himself, especially when Kate McKinnon appeared on the Saturday, December 16, episode. "We were talking to her about how it feels to be at the show for so long and then leave. She said it felt like it happened to someone else, which I get. I took a picture with Mick Jagger recently, and I looked back at the picture and was like, 'That can't be right!'" he jokes, adding that he's been starstruck by Jason Momoa and Pedro Pascal.
"I'm not shy. I do try to talk to the celebrities," he quips. "Kristen Wiig gave me a good piece of advice, which is when ideas don't come, don't freak out. Don't think it's over and you're never going to come up with another idea because the show is built so that every week it's a new week and something else can happen, so that was helpful."
Hernández is booked and busy, as he has his own comedy show, his upcoming tour in Miami — where he grew up — and his own TikTok show. Going forward, he's not sure what the future holds, but he's excited nonetheless.
"It's more necessary than anything to evolve with all the different mediums out there," he shares. "Especially today, it's such an online world. Now you have to be connected to your audience and be in there face more, so I definitely think that's helped me in my career. When I got into stand-up, it was just to perform, and then the more you do it, the more you realize it's a lot more work than just writing jokes and getting on stage. It's keeping your brand up online and networking. My biggest advice to anybody that wants to get into it is to figure out how to perform on the internet because it's an internet world we live in."
At the end of the day, Hernández is grateful to be part of the SNL world. "It's rewarding," he says of nailing most jokes. "But it's not always the easiest thing to do. It's kind of like a sport, and now I feel more comfortable with the team and what I am doing. I want to continue to do that and tour and develop my stand-up — and hopefully get my mom something real nice for Christmas!"
In the meantime, the star is hoping to break barriers, which is why he partnered with Buchanan's Scotch Whisky to launch the newest iteration of its “We Are the Spirit of the 200%,” celebrating the unique duality of being 200% — 100% Hispanic and 100% American.
"I can relate to what the partnership is all about, and it's been cool to work with different kinds of people. Everyone else who has been working on this campaign, including James Beard Award-Winning Chef JJ Johnson, all have a similar background in some way, and it's cool to be part of something like that," he says.
"I'm always talking about my background, and I am happy to represent the 200 percenters, so it's cool this was put together," he adds, referring to Hernández hosting a Noche Buena dinner with Johnson and Buchanan's. The two collaborated on a curated menu inspired by their 200% Cuban-Dominican, Afro-Latino/Puerto Rican roots. From reimagined dishes paired with traditional drinks with a whisky twist, the two showcased how a chef and a comedian with Caribbean roots came together for the ultimate Noche Buena.
To further support the 200% community this holiday season, Buchanan’s will be donating to Rethink Food, a NYC-based nonprofit on a mission to create a more sustainable and equitable food system, as part of the Buchanan’s Futuro Fund Family Meal program that feeds the 200%ers fueling our communities.
Ultimately, Hernández, who is looking forward to what 2024 brings, is insistent on inspiring others along the way.
"I hope that more of us get to be on TV," he shares. "I hope I can open doors for other people — obviously that's the goal. I want to inspire Latinos and young people to feel proud of being Hispanic and feel connected as they can to their culture. Hopefully, there's more of them that enter the business and I can work with them and answer any questions they have. I feel very grateful and blessed to be in the position I am, and I just want to continue to do it right, and I don't want to mess up."
This holiday season, Buchanan's Whisky wants to be part of your Noche Buena celebration! As part of their latest campaign, “We Are The Spirit of the 200%,” Buchanan’s Whisky invites fans who are 21+ to share their Noche Buena magic with friends and familia online for a chance to celebrate with Buchanan’s and win $1,000 towards their own Noche Buena feast. Last day to submit entries is January 6, 2024. To learn more and submit your entries see HERE.