If you’re a fan of internet culture, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of Desus Nice and The Kid Mero.
The duo has taken the pop and internet world by storm with their stints on Complex (“Desus vs. Mero”), MTV (“Guy Code,” “Joking Off”), and a daily late-night show on Viceland.
Earlier this year, the Bronx natives debuted their new late-night talk show “Desus & Mero” on Showtime, the network’s first-ever late-night program. Twice weekly, the duo offers their takes on the latest news and sit down with guests that have included Jordan Peele, Zendaya, Bill Hader, Spike Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Charlize Theron, and more.
Outside of appearing on television, the pair host the weekly “Bodega Boys” podcast.
Beyond being internet sensations, the two are also massive baseball fans.
It’s not uncommon to see them tweeting about the Yankees, appearing at games or partnering with pitcher C.C. Sabathia for his charity events.
La Vida Baseball is proud to showcase one half of the Bodega Boys, The Kid Mero on La Vida Voices.
Born Joel Martinez, the Dominican-American shares all things about his baseball fandom, his Latino heritage and even what La Vida’s fan base should be called in his signature all caps style.
Johnny Flores Jr.: Tell us, how did Desus & Mero the late-night talk show come to be?
The Kid Mero: THE TALK SHOW WAS BORN FROM THE PODCAST. THE INIMITABLE DONNIE KWAK REACHED OUT TO ME VIA EMAIL ABOUT DOING STUFF FOR COMPLEX. I HAD ALREADY BEEN WRITING SO I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE JUST WRITING, BUT THEN HE SAID, “WE WANT TO DO A PODCAST.” I WAS LIKE “WTF IS THAT?” BUT I AGREED BECAUSE IT PAID. 2 EMAILS LATER: “HEY, WHEN YOU AND DESUS RIFF ON STUFF ON TWITTER, IT’S REALLY GOOD.” AND THUS THE JOURNEY BEGAN, WITH STOPS AT VARIOUS NETWORKS, LEARNING WITH EACH EXPERIENCE AND NOW WE’RE ~PREMIUM~ BABYYYYYY!!
JFJ: Who is the best guest you have had on air?
TKM: IF YOU ASK ME THE BEST WE’VE HAD WAS TRACY MORGAN. I HAVE IDOLIZED THE DUDE FOREVER AND HE IS UNAPOLOGETICALLY HIMSELF ALL THE TIME, CAMERAS ON OR OFF. THAT REALLY GAVE ME THE CONFIDENCE TO SAY, ‘I DONT HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY I SOUND OR DRESS TO HAVE SUCCESS ON TV.’ THAT WAS HUGE. HE ALSO TALKED ABOUT POOPING ON A GLASS TABLE THEN IMMEDIATELY PIVOTED TO HIS LOVE FOR HIS FAMILY WHICH IS EXACTLY HOW MY BRAIN WORKS.
JFJ: Which celebrity do you hope joins the two of you next?
TKM: THERE’S REALLY NO CELEBRITY I’M “HOPING” FOR BUT THERE’S THE OBVIOUS ONES LIKE POST-OFFICE OBAMA, OPRAH, THESE ALMOST UNTOUCHABLE FIGURES THAT I THINK IT WOULD BE DOPE TO SEE IN A CASUAL SETTING SPEAKING EARNESTLY ABOUT WHATEVER.
JFJ: If you could have one baseball player, past or present, be on the show, who would it be and why?
TKM: ONE BASEBALL PLAYER I WOULD HAVE ON THE SHOW IS MY TIO THE LEGEND, BARTOLO COLON. IT’S A TOSS UP BETWEEN HIM AND JEETS THE CAPTAIN *SALUTES*.
JFJ: Over the last few years, MLB has started to embrace its Latino fanbase and players more. As a Latino, how important is that?
TKM: AS A LATINO AND ESPECIALLY AS A DOMINICAN AFROLATINO, BASEBALL IS ALMOST RELIGION. I THINK IT’S DOPE THAT THE MLB IS EMBRACING THAT PART OF THE GAME BECAUSE LATIN PLAYERS DOMINATE THE GAME AND I LOVE THE NEW SWAGGER THE NEXT GENERATION IS BRINGING TO THE GAME. VLAD JR, FERNANDO TATIS JR, ETC. THERE’S A NATURAL SHOWMANSHIP AND SWAGGER IN THE LATIN GAME AND THAT MAKES EVERY PLAY THAT MUCH MORE EXCITING.
JFJ: What does being Dominican mean to you?
TKM: I’M EXTREMELY PROUD TO BE DOMINICAN!! ESPECIALLY AS IT PERTAINS TO BASEBALL!! MY LITTLE ISLAND HAS PRODUCED SOME OF THE MOST PROLIFIC, TALENTED PLAYERS THE GAME HAS EVER SEEN, AND I WILL BE RIGHT IN THE STANDS DRUNKENLY WAVING MY 7FT DOMINICAN FLAG.
JFJ: Yourself and Desus are very active with CC Sabathia and his charity events. What has the experience been like?
TKM: WORKING WITH CC HAS BEEN A DREAM COME TRUE. THAT MAN HAS BEEN THE ANCHOR OF THE FRANCHISE FOR OVER A DECADE AND ANYTHING HE ASKS OF US WE ARE DOWN. THE PITCCHIN FOUNDATION IS A GREAT CAUSE AND CC AND AMBER ARE DOING A LOT FOR KIDS AND THE BRONX. WHEN YOU CAN DO GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY AND HAVE FUN WITH FRIENDS, THAT’S ALL YOU CAN ASK FOR.
JFJ: Of the three of you, who is the best dressed?
TKM: THAT’S EASY. CC HAS US BEAT BY A MILE. MY MAN JUST CASUALLY ROLLS UP TO PLACES DRIPPING IN DESIGNER EVERYTHING. *BOWS*
JFJ: What’s it like to be able to connect with the baseball community in a unique way, entertainment?
TKM: IT’S REALLY DOPE, BASEBALL FANS ARE PASSIONATE AND I AM TOO LMAO!! MY TWITTER EXCHANGES WITH RIVAL TEAMS ARE A STRONG INDICATOR
JFJ: What is your most memorable baseball experience?
TKM: MY MOST MEMORABLE BASEBALL EXPERIENCE WAS BEING A LIL KID IN MY APARTMENT 96 AND WATCHING CHARLIE HAYES CATCH A POP FOUL THAT DISPATCHED THE BRAVES IN THE WORLD SERIES AND STARTED THE JUGGERNAUT THEY BECAME.
JFJ: The Bodega Boys have the Bodega Hive. What should La Vida Baseball coin its fanbase?
TKM: LA VIDA LOCOS!!
JFJ: Speaking of Bodega Boys, if there ever is a third member who should it be?
TKM: VICTOR IS THE 3RD BODEGA BOY AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN, BUT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS QUESTION IT WOULD DEFINITELY BE CC. HE GETS THE HUMOR AND HAS BEEN THE HOMIE FOR A MINUTE.
JFJ: If we’re in the Bronx, what is the best place to get some Dominican food?
TKM: EL VALLE! (GOOGLE IT)
JFJ: What has been the biggest moment of your career?
TKM: HAVING BEEN ON PLATFORMS I NEVER WOULD HAVE EXPECTED BLOWS ME AWAY EVERY TIME. BUT LOWKEY, BEING ON DESPIERTA AMERICA WAS WILD BECAUSE MY FAMILY WAS BLOWING ME UP ON WHATSAPP.
JFJ: What advice would you give to young people pursuing a career in entertainment?
TKM: LEARN THE BEHIND THE SCENES STUFF FIRST! WRITING, SHOOTING, EDITING, ALL THOSE NONGLAMOROUS JOBS THAT ARE SUPER ESSENTIAL AND CAN MAKE OR BREAK SOMETHING YOU PUT YOUR HEART AND SOUL INTO. SPEAK IN YOUR VOICE. BE YOU. THE BEST ART IS HONEST ART.
JFJ: Growing up, who was your favorite player?
TKM: MY DAD WAS A BIG TONY PEÑA FAN. BEFORE I EVEN UNDERSTOOD THE GAME, I WAS A FAN OF TONY PEÑA AND TRIED TO IMITATE HIS UNORTHODOX CATCHING STANCE. I LITERALLY BEGGED THE BASEBALL GODS TO BRING HIM UP TO MANAGE THE YANKEES AFTER JOE’S DEPARTURE.
JFJ: What is your all-time favorite baseball movie?
TKM: NONE OF THE “CANONICAL” ONES LIKE BULL DURHAM AND FIELD OF DREAMS. MY FAVORITE BASEBALL MOVIE OF ALL TIME IS SUGAR BECAUSE IT SPOKE TO ME IN WAYS THOSE OTHER MOVIES COULDN’T. I’VE HAD FAMILY COME OVER AND PLAY WITH TRAVELING TEAMS, ETC. AND TRY TO BREAK INTO THE LEAGUE WITH LIMITED SUCCESS. SUGAR SHOWS THAT SIDE OF THE GAME.
JFJ: If you could play professionally what position would you play?
TKM: PROBABLY CATCHER. WHEN YOU PLAY IN LITTLE LEAGUE, THE CHUBBY KID THAT SUCKS BUT CAN HIT A DINGER PLAYS CATCHER. IT’S NOT A GLORIOUS POSITION, BUT IT’S ALMOST LIKE YOU ARE DECIDING THE GAME. YOU AND THE PITCHER ARE DECIDING BATTER AFTER BATTER HOW YOU ARE GONNA WIN EACH MATCHUP. THAT ASPECT OF IT IS DOPE TO ME. ALSO I CANT RUN SUPER FAST AND NOBODY EXPECTS A CATCHER TO BEAT A DRIBBLER TO 1ST.
JFJ: Who got you into baseball?
TKM: MY FATHER, MY UNCLES, MY COUSIN ELVIS WHO PLAYED FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON HIGH WHICH PRODUCED MANNY RAMIREZ. HE WAS THE FIRST PERSON THAT WASN’T A PRO THAT I SAW PLAY AND WAS LIKE, “WHOA. HOLD UP. YOU’RE NICE!!!”
Thanks for sharemng your story wemth us, Mero! Be sure to follow hemm on Twemtter.
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