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She’s also ribbed celebrities for bad table manners, at one point calling out radio host Epi Colon for licking his fingers in public after a big meal “like a suckling pig making noise.”

“Before everyone at the table, this well-known announcer was eating a pig hoof, this he grabbed with his hands,” she reveals with a seriousness more befitting the sharing of a national secret, before breaking down in guffaws. “Then he went on sucking his fingers without washing his hands. He sucked his fingers, one by one, one by one.”

Fans of La Comay say she has enough power to make or break someone, giving the show relevance on an island rife with corruption. She reflects Puerto Ricans’ natural curiosity in their neighbors’ affairs and has demonstrated the importance of demanding explanations from people in power regardless of their social position, according to one fan who identified himself as “Jorge” in a public online discussion about La Comay.

Santarrosa “is teaching our masses to be irreverent when it comes to questioning and confronting our social and government leaders,” wrote the fan, who didn’t respond to requests for an interview.

Thousands are entranced by La Comay’s antics, as the Rev. Juan Matias of the First Baptist Church of Carolina can attest.

He recently visited a hospital to pray with an ailing 85-year-old woman, but her TV was already tuned to La Comay when he arrived shortly before 6 p.m.

“I notice she’s not paying attention to me. She’s focused,” he recalled with a laugh. “I had to wait practically the entire hour so she could watch the show.”

Matias said he occasionally watches La Comay so he can relate to his congregation, and while he’s not a fan, he praised the show for keeping certain cases in the public eye, including that of 8-year-old Lorenzo Gonzalez, who was killed in an upscale neighborhood in March 2010. Authorities have named his mother as a suspect, but no one has been arrested.

“If it wasn’t for the pressure that has been generated specifically through this show, that case in this moment would be (dead),” Matias said.

In a move to ensure that no one forgets about Lorenzo’s death, La Comay has a picture of the boy next to a candle on a table in every show.

San Juan resident Victor Ayuso, 43, said such touches endear La Comay to him while he also appreciates the boisterous side.

“It gives you the news with a bit of gossip,” he said.

Yet La Comay also relishes replaying lurid videos such as one showing the hanging of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. In one special segment, she announced the new breast augmentation surgery of a popular local model who allowed Travieso to play on-air with her breasts.

It’s a lineup that sickens Manuel Ocasio, a 54-year-old Puerto Rican who lives in Miami.

“What I don’t like about the show is that they simply take advantage of other people’s misfortunes to make light of them,” he said. “There is no need to publicize people’s personal problems.”

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