Marcella Arguello.

Marcella Arguello Fiercely Shows Us Why It’s A Good Thing To Have ‘Mercury In Reggaeton’

Immediately in her album recording set, the audience feels like they know Marcella Arguello. She shares that she has a cold, and dunks on her friend who responded by telling her that mercury is in retrograde. “That’s a weird way to pronounce, ‘hey, I’m sorry you’re going through that right now.’” She then adds, “Not everything is the moon.” From there, the set plays out as a loose, fun, and at times wildly chaotic time that feels truer to Arguello’s sense of comedy than most albums that release. It never feels like you’re listening to anything other than a 1:1 experience of what it’s like to see her work out, and it’s thrilling to hear.

Marcella Arguello.
Marcella Arguello.

Marcella Arguello is brilliant at engaging with her audience.

At one point, Arguello tells a tall man that he probably doesn’t know how to fuck to the delight of the audience. She then clarifies that her brothers are tall, and that “My brothers are the most garbage people I’ve ever met. And women just throw themselves…they’re just tall. That’s it.” What could have sat as a simple roast in a lesser comic’s set becomes personal, and the back-and-forth Arguello has with her audience is enthralling. She manages to make the struggle for a couple to be interesting or clear about how they met into an entertaining feat of crowd-work that manages to pile on jabs at the couple without feeling mean or aggressive. Even when someone says they’re a spiritual healer, to which Arguello retorts, “Are you working with dead people, or like, white women that you’re taking advantage of?” it feels like she’s getting away with something no other comic could.

Arguello uses dynamic language to color her jokes with a vibrant palette of comedy.

A lot of Arguello’s jokes build steam, with the smoother or flatter language used being accelerated by brilliant turns of phrase. When discussing how white male policy makers decided that 18 should be the legal age, she says they “mean, median, and moded it.” a joke that starts off with her sharing how she doesn’t like to tell people what she does on a plane because of her height, has a man purring “all Eartha Kitt.” In that same bit about tall men, Arguello gives out tips for telling height in dating apps, which includes the phrase “Renaissance Fair turkey-leg for a forearm.” Again and again, Arguello uses incredibly perfect and interesting phrases to accelerate her jokes, to the point that Mercury In Reggaeton is one such turn-of-phrase that comes up in riffing.

Arguello knows how to put people in their place and be thanked for it.

Straight men come up throughout the record, with an early bit seeing Arguello mention that abortion access bans are odd because “You guys should be the first people that want to decriminalize raw-dogging.” She shares an anecdote about hitting on a man, and his flustered, delighted reaction, all because she has a theory that “men hit on women the way men want to be hit on by women.” 


She shares a lengthy story about her journey to doing comedy full-time, which includes her being cursed out by a customer at the bank she worked on. Feeling the man had “dark energy” to begin with, she wasn’t a fan, and when she saw his girlfriend at a show later, she ripped into him. The woman sat there quietly, but after the show, she tapped Arguello on the shoulder and said she was “a sign from Buddha” that the woman should break up with her jerk boyfriend. Only in the comedy world of Marcella Arguello could something astonishing like this happen.

Marcella Arguello: Mercury In Reggaeton.
Marcella Arguello: Mercury In Reggaeton. Courtesy of 800 Pound Gorilla.

Stream & download Marcella Arguello's comedy album Mercury In Reggaeton available on 800 Pound Gorilla & everywhere you listen to comedy!

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