MTV Tr3s Finds the 'Words’

MTV Tr3s is putting its own irreverent spin on Hispanic Heritage Month. The network opted for an unusual way to tie in its brand to the annual commemoration as the alternative channel for younger, bilingual and mostly U.S.-born Latinos.

In a series of vignettes dubbed “Words,” the animated sidekicks Pinchez and Cheli from the upcoming show Soy Mono give a comic crash course in how to “Speak Tres,” a humorous form of Spanglish.

In one segment, asked to use the word “July” in a sentence, Pinchez refers to the president of the U.S. as “Pinche” or “Damn” George W. Bush, and says, “July to us! Julyer” — as in, “You lie to us! You liar.”

Other similar play-on-words vignettes include using the word “chair” in the sentence “If you are a good friend, you will chair that taco” and the word “water” in the phrase “I don’t even know water problem is.” The vignettes are being shown on the network, as well as on its Web site,

According to Lily Neumeyer, MTV Tr3s’s Argentina-born vice president of programming and production, the network wanted to do something different for Heritage month, which began Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15.

“We are really all about being Latinos, and we do that sort of [Hispanic pride] stuff all year round,” Neumeyer said. “So we thought: 'Why not do a spin on the traditional way of approaching Hispanic Heritage Month and take it with humor?”

Produced in conjunction with New York-based Hiccup Media, Soy Mono is set to premiere in 2009 as a short-form animated series.

Besides “Words,” MTV Tr3s this month premiered “Rants,” a series of 30-second spots produced in conjunction with the Latino Comedy Project, an Austin, Texas-based comedy ensemble known for its irreverent approach to all things Latino.

In Rants, which is also running on MTV U and MTV 2, members of the troupe touch on Latino clichés, riffing and ranting about different aspects of Latino culture including family, work and body types (“Why are there so many people and companies trying to make us change ourselves? Do our curves threaten you that much? What’s wrong? You can’t handle real Latinas?”).

“We don’t divide our stuff between English and Spanish,” said Neumeyer. “We are all about being bilingual, and being Latinos,” she added, herself alternating between English and Spanish throughout the interview.

To reinforce its bilingual message, the mostly English-language channel will be wrapping up Hispanic Heritage Month with the channel’s first-ever Se habla español weekend on Oct. 11, featuring 24 hours of Spanish-only music videos and concerts, as well as a block of subtitled videos so viewers can learn the meaning of their favorite English-language lyrics. It will also show episodes of popular MTV animated series such as Beavis & Butthead, Celebrity Deathmatch and Where My Dogs At entirely dubbed in Spanish.