Vice Media, once a scrappy upstart, is now a powerhouse brand with a valuation in the neighborhood of $5 billion. When Vice launched its TV channel VICELAND in 2016, the company tapped acclaimed director Spike Jonze to serve as the channel’s creative director.

For their flagship late-night comedy show, they tapped two guys from the Bronx.

Joel Martinez, aka The Kid Mero, is one of the stars of Desus & Mero. Every Monday to Thursday, Mero and his co-host Desus Nice deliver smart and completely hilarious commentary on the day’s news, politics and pop culture. It’s like The Daily Show… if you replaced John Stewart with Dominican and Jamaican-American hosts, put it through the lens of hip-hop culture, and injected copious amounts of weed.

Deus and Mero also host a popular podcast called The Bodega Boys. Before VICELAND, they could be found on MTV2’s Guy Code, and on a podcast released by Complex called Desus vs. Mero.

GQ has called Desus and Mero, “The Late-Night Comedy Duo America Needs.”

However, Martinez didn’t take the traditional career path of a comedian. He never did stand-up or improv. Before he found himself as one of the new faces of late-night, he was failing chemistry at Bronx Community College while blogging and making occasional jokes on Twitter. But everything changed when he got a call one day from a famous hip-hop artist who thought he was hilarious online.

Latino USA‘s Maria Hinojosa interviews Joel Martinez, aka The Kid Mero, about his unlikely path to late-night.

Featured Image: Courtesy of The Kid Mero

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