Andreu Buenafuente (Reus, 1965) has been doing the same for 17 years. Still, each night he faces a different challenge. You have to try the lights of the monologue, the sound of the band and the pre-recorded videos. And, of course, every joke is a new challenge. From his iconic table, with the Benidorm skyline in the background, the director and presenter controls and reviews every detail: « I’m not a perfectionist, but my character forces me to be looking for how to do everything better, from the script to choosing the guest band This job is very demanding. «
Although Buenafuente knows his program to the millimeter, with Late Motiv – from Monday to Thursday at # 0 – he has achieved a success that he had not tasted before, that of the viral. A sketch by Bertín Osborne, Raúl Pérez imitating Ferreras or Iceta, Broncano telling his « moves » or a cameo by Echenique add up to hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube and hundreds of retweets. The audience for the live show is smaller, yes, but on cable they have discovered that the internet can make them more influential than ever.
Even in the world of multiple screens, seniority helps here too. The team, although in constant revolution, has been known for decades. It has appeared on Antena 3 and La Sexta. A difficult prize to obtain in the Spanish television of fast consumption. Behind the scenes, everything works like a gear, from 9.30 in the morning to around 10.00, when the program has just been mounted, which is recorded four hours before broadcast.
A humorous late night like this, with its monologue, interview and musical performance, may be one of the most invariable formats in the history of television. However, the immediacy and the new channels of information have forced the Buenafuente team to evolve. « We have a WhatsApp with the scriptwriters and Andreu. The current jokes that we make in the program are born there, » says deputy director David Lillo, who has been working with the Spanish king of midnight humor from TV3.
« 70-80% is thought in advance and then you leave gaps for the news, » explains deputy director Marc Amorós as he teaches a weekly blackboard where the few gaps are from the monologue. Lillo confirms it: « The current late night is a toy. We work with friends, we see the viral video that triumphs and we transform it. It is very difficult to overcome the ingenuity of Twitter, but Andreu’s voice makes us special. He is the one prescriber and controls everything. «
The payment has given Late Motiv the opportunity to now respect the more classic format. The codes were simpler than they imagined: in open air the program was broadcast at 2.00 and had to last 70 minutes a day. « With 50 we are not so slaves and we maintain the rhythm. We broadcast 280 minutes a week and it made us lower the standard. There are films that last like those programs. But you to the audience could not justify yourself like that. Now we can run », defends Amorós who believes that the secret is « to do different things always traveling the same format ». Surprise themselves and then the audience: « Make rice with a different ingredient every day. The rice is Andreu, the monologue, the interview … ».
The dish began to cook in 1994 when Josep María Mainat showed Buenafuente a Letterman program. « I had seen Johnny Carson in New York live but when I saw Letterman I knew that this was the complete expression of humor. At first I did not dare. Today I am still in love with the format. You play with him, but you respect him. The program is alive, he has nerve and anger « , but, despite being broadcast in the almost unknown # 0, he does not think about niches: » I still have pressure to connect with the maximum number of audience. The good thing is that here it is not at all costs « .
Maturity in the meme age
Buenafuente seems to have reached a maturity that makes it different from other presenters. That shows in his choices, far from the viral games of Fallon or the karaokes in James Corden’s car that triumph in the US and the internet: « Not all of us have to generate memes. At 51 years old there are things that I cannot do. the sincerity of Colbert. If you have to be serious, you do it « , defends the presenter who even traveled to Lesbos to do his program from a refugee center.
This evolution also led him to move from Barcelona to Madrid: « It is easier to bring guests without putting an AVE on them. It has become calmer. » Today he prefers interviews that « reach a certain depth », without having to pull the joke.