Goin' to Chicago

KPFK's The Pocho Hour of Power enters syndication

Published on LatinoLA: July 22, 2005

Goin' to Chicago

The Pocho Hour of Power on Pacifica?s KPFK 90.7 FM, a stand out as the only English language, Latino-themed talk show in Los Angeles, has delivered provocative drive time political satire and blistering comedy to radio fans for well over year. The hour long talk radio show enters syndication this week on public community radio station WRTE 90.5 FM in Chicago, the nation?s third largest Latino market.

The show, broadcast in Los Angeles every Friday from 4-5 PM PST, has steadily gained in popularity and garnered a cult following in the southland. Hosted by Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the nationally syndicated daily comic strip ?La Cucaracha,? Esteban Zul, writer and rabid Chicano satirist, Patrick Perez, Independent Latino filmmaker and Paul Vato, improvisational comic actor, the Pocho Hour of Power blends Spanglish, sketch comedy, political satire and musical parodies for a rollicking showcase that always provokes a response.

?We?re excited about branching out to Chicago, a Spanglish-dominant city, if there ever was one,? says Esteban Zul. ?I hear they?re going to dye the river green, next March, in our honor.?

Producer and co-host Patrick Perez seconds the thought. ?By the time we?re finished, they?ll change the name of Chicago to Chicano,? he jokes.

The Pocho Hour of Power and its self-proclaimed mission to enlighten the ?irony deficient,? and loose mics attitude have combined with a coveted Friday afternoon drive time slot to earn the show a large, loyal ? and unanticipated - audience.

The informal and often raucous nature of the show provides a sharp contrast to the serious, self-important political discourse that prevails in most public radio programming, say fans such as Fabiola Torres, a professor of Chicano studies at Glendale Community College and California State University, Northridge.

?I listen every week, and I encourage my students to tune in for a cool, cutting-edge alternative to the xenophobic AM zealots, and the bland, tofu worshipping lefties,? says Torres.

With a weekly roster of guests that have included such luminaries as musician Ry Cooder, Don Novello aka Father Guido Sarducci, comic Bobby Lee of Mad TV and cartoonist Ted Rall, and countless others. The Pocho Hour of Power is poised to create a niche for itself among the most irreverent and entertaining shows on the public radio air waves, say the show?s production team members.

?After Chicago, we?re thinking maybe Mexico City and Madrid,? Alcaraz continues, ?because D.C. and New York are a little too humid right now. And while our humor has been known to aggravate Karl Rove?s hemorrhoids, it hasn?t really picked up steam with the Blue state bloggers.?

The surprising popularity of the Pocho Hour of Power demonstrates the growing viability of English language, Latino-themed, programming in urban markets. The shows trademark political and social satire connects with an English-speaking Latino audience that has, until now, gone largely untapped.

The term ?Pocho? is a word used by Mexican nationals to describe a U.S. born Mexican. For more information or to request a sample of the program, send an email to pocho@pocho.com. Or visit the official Pocho Hour of Power website, http://www.pocho.com

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