Sebastian Wainraich: "I am against the culture of cancellation"


In the United States, one of the meccas of Western humor, comedians are said to be successful when they have a comedy special, a television show, and a movie. With the similarities and differences of the case, in our country Sebastián Wainraich lives a moment of great popularity and, although it is difficult to establish margins of absolute success, with a radio program installed many years ago, a second season of his series to be released soon and his play “Frágil”, we could talk about Seba being number one in his field.

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Because of his busy schedule, he chats with in the morning and tells that he has been awake for a long time because he took his children to school and is preparing to face a new workday. “I have no idea if I am easy to get along as a parent, you would have to ask them in a few years, to see how it turned out” ponder.

Wainraich returned to the stage to present again, with the interruption of the pandemic in the middle, his work “Fragile”. “Whenever you start in the theater, you say that you are re happy and happy, and all that. And the truth is what is happening to me now. I always enjoy theater, but I am always very neurotic as well. On this occasion, when they told me to come back, at first I felt insecure, and the day I started rehearsing I said, ‘no, I have it’, so from that moment on I enjoy it ”, explains happily.

-What was it like to meet the public again?

-The first performances were tremendous, spectacular, not only for me but also for the public, the room always full … People want to go out, to laugh and I feel very fired up. It is a work, that although it is some years old, I did not do it so much for different reasons, especially because of the pandemic. I really like doing it, I feel turned on, and I feel like I have more to go.

With “Frágil” he performs at the Maipo Theater.

-In the stand up you were more self-referential and now with the characters in a scripted play, you opened the spectrum …

-Inevitably everything is always self-referential. There are two ways to make humor for me, one is the literal self-reference, which is true that I did it and still do it, although not so much. And later, in the play, for example, I make characters that have nothing to do with me, but are obviously also talking about me, because I’m giving my opinion of them. It is inevitable to be self-referential. Anyway I don’t think about it, I start to write or I start to talk and from that I see what I want to say, or what story I want to tell, or what joke I want to do.

-Is it possible not to analyze in times of “cancellation”?

-I do not know what to say about it, sometimes I change my gaze on some issues that were as well established, anyway I do not like the cancellation, I am against that culture because it seems to me that art and comedy, if comedy it is part of art, it has no limits. The limit is set by the artist, the actor, the writer, the screenwriter, the musician. Each one will have their own.

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-And can you make humor out of anything?

-You can make a humor with everything if it is humor; If it doesn’t make you laugh, it’s not humor, it’s just aggression or what do I know, but for me in all that no, there should be no limits. I find it a shame that we are evaluating instead of enjoying. If you don’t like it, go the other way. and if you like it, enjoy.

“I think you can make a humor out of everything if it’s humor; if it doesn’t make you laugh, it’s not humor, it’s just aggression or what do I know”

They have been together with Dalia Gutmann for 20 years. The formula: laugh more.

Family man, comedian, actor, screenwriter, radio host and writer says Wainraich’s curriculum, a man with more than 20 years of experience who today not only enjoys his play, but all the projects he works on . For this reason, he reflects: “I’m very happy, I like most of the things I do and I enjoy it, I’m always thinking about how to continue. It is true that when you become known other doors open for you, but in this case I generated several projects myself, with colleagues, with friends, with partners, but I only generated projects, such as the theater, the series. But they tend to be within the mainstream and within the industry having independent projects is the most difficult and the most beautiful thing to do ”.

-Why is it difficult and cute?

-Because with the series (“Almost happy”) for example, we do what we want. Obviously there is the negotiation and the talk with Netflix but they have been very generous and very kind to us. I wrote the series that I wanted to write. The fact of being known, for working for so long, allows me to do the series on Netflix or perform at the Maipo Theater. But in itself it is a paradox, because when you have work, they call you to work more and when you do not have work, they do not call you, it is very rare.

In this fiction that has him as the protagonist, different figures of the show appear, such as Natalie Pérez, Santiago Korovsky, his wife Dalia Gutmann and Adrian Suar. On it, he is more than happy with the result: “I feel like it’s different, because even though it’s a comedy, it has its most melancholic points or dramatic twists, it doesn’t just stand on the joke. But because it turned out like this. Then the way of filming Hernán Guerschuny, and the photography direction too, it turns it into something else and makes it a dramatic comedy, a melancholic meal, I am not so concerned with defining it, but as the definition calms down and the rest asks you for definition “ account about it.

In “Almost Happy”, with Natalie Pérez. (Photo: Netflix)

-How do you feel acting in those dramatic scenes?

-I love it when comedy is mixed with drama and when you go from one place to another, you have to be careful to do it, so that it looks good, but I love when it is played with, I like when the characters they enter other places, when a certain discomfort arises, but I feel comfortable working on that register ”.

-Did they call you for the Maradona series?

-No. They didn’t call me for that. They called everyone but me! It is tremendous. I should make up and say yes they called me.

It is said of me

Throughout his career, both on stage and on the radio, where he can show his most intimate side, Sebastián always showed as a virtue and sometimes a defect, his obsessive and sometimes neurotic personality, which he obviously takes advantage of to play and make humor. “It’s a bit of a game but it’s also true”, reveals about it. “A while ago maybe I kept it for myself, I said ‘what a beautiful November, it started on a Monday’, something that reassures me, I feel that there is a balance. But he didn’t make an epic of that. But suddenly if I take it to the radio, I take it to the networks, it generates empathy because there are many crazy people who enjoy this, but hey, it’s also a joke ”.

-In what do you feel these little follies are manifested?

-I’m like an obsessive fan of dates, I like to know when people have their birthday. Before, I had an ability, which I am losing, that I used to show what day your birthday is going to fall, things like that.

-To achieve that you also need an audience that gets involved. Do you feel that that code is on the other side?

-People get involved, obviously, in that moment of the air or of the function, which is when you feel it live, you are leaving everything there. At that moment you take it seriously. The same thing happens on stage because if you do it as a joke or do it in half, it is not funny. And I think it has no impact either.

Radial renewal

At the beginning of 2021, Sebastián, along with the best known Radio Metro hosts, Andy Kusnetzoff, Matías Martin and María O’Donnell, left the popular station and moved to Urbana Play, a radio station that included a more audiovisual project and meant a structural renovation for presenters and their teams.

Did you need that abrupt change?

-Today with the Monday newspaper I can say that we needed that renewal. The energy is renewed, it is true that my team is practically the same, but something changed; It was renewed because the fact that the radio is seen also generated something for us, and the change of house also made us think about new things, that we have another energy, that it is like starting over with the advantage of already having something armed. It was uncertainty and it came out great.

-It was also said that Metro had become such a traditional medium that it was classified as macho. Was it necessary to come from that?

-I didn’t feel like that, it didn’t happen to me, I don’t know what to say, it didn’t happen to me.

“The influence of Fernando Peña for me is clear”

With so many edges in his career, Wainraich consumed a lot of film, television, comedy and literature to train.

-Is it difficult to accept influences in a time when originality is required?

-For me we all copy and we are all original, that’s the way it is. We all copy because we have a training, we have inspirations and it is inevitable not to show it to that. And at the same time when you start doing it yourself, it’s yours, even if it’s a hundred percent copy, it’s your opinion, your label, your voice, it’s your way of doing things. And in this it is the same, obviously the influence of Fernando is clear, it is present, I quote it, but I do not dare to compare myself with him. In some artistic matters it also seems something sacred to me to compare it.

Golden Times on FM, with Fernando Peña, Ronnie Arias and Diego Scott.

-What other references do you have?

-I have many, and not only humor. I always come back to them at the end. Speaking of cancellations, obviously Woody Allen is part, is well on the pedestal. Now I have not consumed it for a long time, but its films marked me forever. Then you have Super Agent 86, which is a series that marked me, the way of making humor, the way of presenting a character, the depth that the series actually had when it didn’t seem like it. There are also writers, there is a humorist who is not so well known who is called Efraín Quillon and the one whose stories marked me.


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