liveLUSO interviews The Portuguese Kids and gets answers to serious questions like whose mom makes the best sopa??
The Portuguese Kids have been making us laugh for several years now with their videos parodying nearly everything about Portuguese culture and immigrant life through the lens of first generation Portuguese-Americans. And if you’re new to the party, then let us introduce you to the hysterically funny Brian Martins and Derrick DeMelo, founding members of the first-ever Portuguese-American comedy troupe, The Portuguese Kids.
What started out as a group of childhood class clowns banding together in friendship, became the ultimate incubator for a comedic performance group.
What started out as a group of childhood class clowns banding together in friendship, became the ultimate incubator for a comedic performance group — and unbeknownst to its members, an opportunity to bring together Portuguese communities around the world in a way never before seen.
Their own Portuguese roots lie in the Azores archipelago, one of Portugal’s two autonomous regions. Brian’s family is from São Miguel — his mom and dad are from the towns of Água Retorta and Capelas, respectively. And Derrick’s family comes from Vila do Porto on the smaller island of Santa Maria.
From that performance alone, they learned to lean into their Portuguese cultural roots — and just like that, The Portuguese Kids were born.
Original members of The Portuguese Kids included both Brian Martins and Derrick DeMelo, along with Al Sardinha and Jason Casimiro. Together, they first performed live in 2004 at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts under the name Out of the Gutter Comedy. From that performance alone, they learned to lean into their Portuguese cultural roots — and just like that, The Portuguese Kids were born.
From there, the group honed their skills by creating funny videos on YouTube and other social media platforms, growing an enormous fanbase. You may remember their Portuguese takes on popular songs including “I’m Sexy and I Know It” and “Gangnam Style,” spoofs of the Real Housewives reality TV series, and skits mocking the unique experience of growing up Portuguese in America.
(One of our favorite original spoofs by The Portuguese Kids)
It didn’t take long for fans to call for The Portuguese Kids to perform live. So they put their improv skills to the test and took their act on the road performing at Portuguese communities throughout the U.S. There was no denying it. They were a hit! They’ve since performed live in Canada, Australia, Bermuda, and more.
Personally, I got to see them perform in San Diego a couple of years ago. It was a family affair for me having invited my mom and dad from out of town. I had been a fan of The Portuguese Kids for some time and had high hopes that they would deliver an amazing show, but I also wondered how they would be able to translate their online talent to a live performance.
Even my mom was laughing — that unbridled kind of belly laugh. And she’s not even Portuguese.
I left impressed. Especially because at the time, I had no idea that there was an improv element to their live show. During certain skits, they called on the audience to interact with them or shout ideas to incorporate into the show. And they killed it! Even my mom was laughing — that unbridled kind of belly laugh. And she’s not even Portuguese.
(An all-time favorite skit)
Through the years, there have been a couple of iterations of the group, but today we know The Portuguese Kids as the dynamic duo, Brian and Derrick. They recently invited Vanessa Medeiros as a regular feature in their videos and as the group's third on-stage actress. Currently, they’re busy creating new videos and going live on Facebook during this pandemic. But future plans include new live shows, developing new scripts, and even brainstorming a new TV pilot...but shhh, the project is under wraps for now.
Enough with the backstory and let’s get on with this interview. Brian and Derrick answered some of our burning questions for this exclusive liveLUSO interview. Thank you to you both for taking the time to settle serious matters, like whose mom makes the best sopa, which city has the loudest fans, who’s the funniest, and more!
A liveLUSO Interview with The Portuguese Kids
Who is the funniest?
Derrick: Okay, we’re starting early with the tough questions haha. I think we’re all “the funniest” in our own heads but if I had to answer that, I’d say it depends on the day (and the joke).
Brian: Our parents of course!
Are you Benfiquista or Sportinguista?
Derrick: My Dad’s favorite color is green, and his least favorite color is red…
Favorite throwback comedy movie?
Derrick: I’m a huge fan of National Lampoon’s Vacation (the original). It’s just a fun movie and Chevy Chase in his prime was unstoppable, love his comedic timing.
First video you shared that went viral?
Derrick: I think it was our Adam Sandler parody of the Hanukkah Song. He named Jewish Hollywood stars, so we named Portuguese Hollywood stars LOL.
Brian: The Portuguese Christmas Song
Who creates the most drama?
Derrick: Neither of us really. That’s one thing I can say we’re blessed with is that we’re regular dudes who don’t like drama. We’re friends first and foremost and we get along amazingly well. It’s not always perfect but at least one of us isn’t trashing hotel rooms lol.
Brian: We're Portuguese, we take turns being dramatic (especially with delays!!).
"Are we allowed to swear in this interview?"
Favorite Portuguese word to say when you’re pissed?
Brian: Are we allowed to swear in this interview? Ca*****, Fo*** ;)
Worst travel experience?
Derrick: We had an awful experience going from Edmonton, Canada back home. Took us two days worth of canceled flights to get home because of bad weather. We had little to no sleep only to get to the airport and not find our car. We forgot which terminal it was parked in!
Brian: Our first trip out to Australia. We flew 6 hours to California, hung out for a couple of hours, then flew 14 hours to Sydney, 2 hour layover, then flew 5 hours to Perth. We were drained.
Which city has the loudest fans?
Derrick: Hartford, CT for sure! Toronto is a close second!
Brian: That’s a tie between Fall River and Toronto!
Favorite Portuguese sweet to indulge on?
Derrick: Fresh malassadas or pudim flan!
Brian: Queijadas da vila franca, pastéis de nata, malassadas...
Who is the most difficult to travel with?
Derrick: Definitely me! I’m always running late to the point it’s become a running gag when we travel. I’ll say let’s meet at the lobby at a certain time, and as always, I’ll be the last one there — always about 10 minutes late.
"You trying to break the group up?"
Whose mom makes the best sopa?
Derrick: Oh man, definitely my Momma!
Brian: You trying to break the group up? Obviously my mom.
Favorite guest performer?
Derrick: Vanessa Medeiros for sure! I wouldn’t even say that she’s a guest, but more like a regular now. She’s incredibly talented and we get along so well. We’ve started taking her on tour with us and the audiences love her. At live shows though, my favorite guest star is the audience member we pull up on stage with us. Those moments are the most memorable at a live show and to be honest it’s what I miss the most during this pandemic!
Brian: We’ve done a few videos with Maria Lawton (the Portuguese cook also known as the Azorean Green Bean). She’s always so fun to work with and she feeds us, which is a plus!
It's a Netflix and chill night. What are you watching?
Derrick: Well if done correctly, Netflix n’ chill means no movie at all lol. But nowadays, there's no Netflix n' chill in my life. More like Disney Plus and refilling my goldfishes.
Brian: The Office, Stranger Things, Narcos, Master of None, Black Mirror, Daredevil...
Best place to visit in Portugal/Azores/Madeira?
Derrick: Oh, way too many amazing places to choose the best! But if I had to choose, I’d have to say that Furnas in São Miguel is my favorite place in all of Portugal.
Brian: We are going to Madeira for the first time this October (2020), so no clear answer for that yet. In the Azores, we'd say each island has something amazing and unique and everyone should visit them at some point in their lives. (Though in the end, Sao Miguel is our top choice). On the mainland, I really enjoy Sintra and Óbidos. Probably because I feel like I’m in Game of Thrones, seasons 1 - 6. We don't talk about the last 2 seasons...
I tried to make pudim flan from a box and it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted.
Dream destination to perform at?
Derrick: I’d have to say it’s tied between Hawaii and the UK, which I’m hoping will stop being a dream and become a reality in 2021!
Brian: Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.
Most awkward place you’ve been recognized?
Derrick: Definitely a strip club!
Brian: The men’s bathroom. "Yeah, let's take that selfie outside the bathroom ok?"
Weirdest thing you've tried to make or do in quarantine?
Derrick: I tried to make pudim flan from a box and it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. Better off waiting for mom’s…
(A recent skit by The Portuguese Kids duo created in quarantine)
— Written By: Gabrielle Horta