13 Joe T Hodo—”Why choose a Malinche when you can have a Cortés?”

1. Introduction

In Joe T Hodo, a fictional character, who represents a patriotic gringo who is always looking for business profit (Joe T Hodo), interacts with real people in various locations and contexts in Mexico. The show is characterized by the very short duration of the episodes, by the use of satire for political criticism, by its distribution through Internet and social media, as well as by the visual project´s private financing through crowdfunding.

2. About the “showrunner”

Gregory Berger is the creator and director of Joe T Hodo, as well as the actor who plays the main character. Search online for information on Berger. Have you found a lot of information? Why is that in your opinion? Share your ideas with your classmates.

Read the interview between journalist Columba Vértiz de la Fuente and Gregory Berger in the Mexican newspaper El Proceso.[1] Answer the questions below. Discuss your answers with your classmates.

2.1. What do we know about Gregory Berger´s life after reading the interview?

2.2. What social dispute led to the birth of the character Joe T Hodo?

2.3. What channels does Joe T Hodo use to reach the public?

2.4. According to Berger, who does the character Joe represent?

2.5. What are the topics and issues addressed in the show´s episodes?

2.6. Who is Berger´s inspiration as an media artist?

3. On language

3.1. The words from the show Joe T Hodo below are popular expressions in Mexico. Knowing them will help you better understand what is happening in the show.

Gringo/a From the United States. Foreigner.
Güero/a Blonde, with pale skin (in the show, the acronym G.Ü.E.R.O. refers to Joe T Hodo´s political party).
Pinche Lousy, disgusting, crap
Romper la madre Beat up someone.
Chido Nice, pretty, good.
Naco Tacky, gaudy.
Afromexicano/a Afro-Mexican
Apurarse Hurry up
Lonche Lunch
Los Pinos Official residence and office of the President of Mexico from 1934 to 2018.
Chingar To bother someone, be a pain.
Fifí Snob
AMLO Andrés Manuel López Obrador (president of Mexico since end of 2018).

3.2. Joe T Hodo relies on a literary device, satire, for its political criticism. What is satire?

In her dictionary of literary terms, Ana Platas Tasande points out that satire is characterized by a critical and didactic intention. She also notes that satire differs from comedy “precisamente en la actitud crítica, en la protesta, en la ironía, en la exageración y en el deseo que encierra de servir al mejoramiento social” (“precisely in its critical perspective, its protest, irony, exaggeration and desire to serve social betterment” 742). A similar definition is found in the online literature dictionary by professor Wheeler who defines satire as “[a]n attack on or a criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing humor, or a critique of what the author sees as dangerous religious, political, moral, or social standards.” Wheeler notes contemporary examples of satire in the media such as the cartoon The Simpsons and the television program The Daily Show.
4. Analysis

4.1. What is Joe T Hodo like? Fill out the table below with his most relevant characteristics?

  The character Joe T Hodo
Physical features    
Personality traits    
Political ideas  
His bussiness plans  

Answer the questions and discuss your answers with your classmates.

a) What is so peculiar about the name “Joe T Hodo”?

b) What stereotype is the character Joe based on? Do you know similar stereotypes? What actual elements (people, events, etc.) have led to these stereotypes?

c) In Joe´s website we can read the following slogan in Spanish: “¿Por qué tener una Malinche cuando puedes tener un Cortés?” (“Why choose a Malinche when you can have a Cortés?”)”. The English version of the website uses the expression “middleman” instead of Malinche. Who was Malinche? And Cortés? What does the slogan mean?

 4.2. Along with the fictional character of Joe T Hodo, there are actual people in the show who chat and interact with Joe. Who are these people? What do they look like? How do they dress? How do they react to Joe´s comments and behaviors? What are their perspectives on the issues that Joe raises? How does Joe interpret the responses of people who oppose his business ventures? Select one scene as an example of interaction between Joe and “real” people. Describe the scene and explain the reasons why you chose it.

4.3. Read the satire definition above. Discuss with your classmates whether the show Joe T Hodo can be considered a satire or not. List the satire characteristics that can be found in the show. Select one scene where those characteristics are evident. Describe the scene to your classmates and explain the reasons why you chose it.

4.4. What political ideas and model of society are criticized in the show? Which ones are promoted? Relate it to the people and groups the show makes fun of and those who are treated with respect and, even, admiration.

5. Final assignment

You are going to collaborate with Gregory Berger to prepare the script for an episode of the show that will take place in your city. Choose an issue that concerns your community. Once you have decided on the issue, choose the location and the types of characters Joe is going to interact with. Next, prepare Joe´s plan to face the issue and the questions he will ask. Once you have prepared all that information, write the script recreating the conversations between Joe and your neighbors.

Title Joe T Hodo
Developed by Gregory Berger
Release 2013
Country Mexico
Production Narco News TV
Distributor Series´ website and YouTube channel


@JoeTHodo. “Por ser blanco, rico y tener privilegios, la prensa inventa cosas de mi.” Twitter, 3 Feb. 2021, 1:34 p.m., twitter.com/JoeTHodo/status/1357049763947032578. 10 Feb. 2021.

Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española. Diccionario de americanismos. www.asale.org/obras-y-proyectos/diccionarios/diccionario-de-americanismos.

“Charla-Entrevista con Joe T. Hodo sobre política, comedia y tragedia.” YouTube, uploaded by La comuna de la palabra Álvarez, 15 Nov. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX-fJGuN9-c&feature=youtu.be. 11 Feb. 2021.

El Joe T Hodo. 2017. http://joethodo.com.mx/mx/el-joe-t-hodo-show/. 5 Feb. 2021.

El Joe T Hodo Show. YouTube. 2016. www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiaMhMpAaa7E6IyQeeO_aQ. 5 Feb. 2021.

Platas Tasende, Ana María. Diccionario de términos literarios. Espasa Calpe, 2004.

Wheeler, L. “Satire.” Literary Terms and Definitions. Carson-Newman University, 24 April 2018. web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms_S.html. 12 Feb. 2021.

  1. Source: Gregory Berger´s Twitter, twitter.com/JoeTHodo/status/1357049763947032578

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