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The Chicano Comedy All Stars show at the Punch Line Comedy Club sold out on Thursday Night. The show was a presentation of ZERX Entertainment and Big Al Gonzales. Seven comics took to the stage and did a great job performing some very funny stand-up.
Abe Taleb started off by giving some instructions (regarding cell phones etc.) to the Punch Line Comedy Club audience. He started to pump up the audience by encouraging the audience to get ready for a fun evening. He gave instructions regarding etiquette, where the bathrooms were and introduced Big Al Gonzales.
Big Al took to the stage and welcomed the audience. He was on stage to do some stand-up as well. He announced that 7 other comics were going to take the stage. Big Al announced that an after party was going to take place at the Vive Ultra Lounge. He proceeded to mispronounce the name of the lounge and made fun of himself for mispronouncing the name. From that point on laugher could be heard until the show finished. Actually my cheeks still hurt the day after.
(Big Al Gonzales)
Big Al introduced some of the well known people in the audience. Some members of the Midnight Players were in attendance and were going to be playing at the Vive Ultra Lounge. A few times, in between acts, Big Al asked patrons to be generous to the staff at the Comedy Club that night. They were pretty busy, every few minutes I kept seeing them carrying drinks to the tables in front of me.
“I’d like to give a shout out before we start the show to my co-producer Gabriel Robles!” said Big Al as he was starting his comedy act. I’m not sure when, but he started talking about his eyebrows. “Glad I got my eyebrows waxed for this night to get that Mexosexual look. Except when I did it I looked like Count Chocula, sounds funny now but what if your mother is walking down the street with a box of cereal,” Big Al said and made a gesture as if his mom was carrying the box of cereal showing it and pointing to the box asking, “Have you seen my mijo?” That got a good laugh from the audience and it was about one of a few funny lines said that can be reprinted.
As with many comedians these days the show was full of jokes about just about everybody, including themselves. Comedy for the evening was raw and uncensored. Somewhere along the line a cell phone rang. “Is that a cell phone, really, really, who the hell is that? You better be a doctor, a pimp or some green beret.” The guy said "neither". Big Al continued, “He probably doesn’t even have a job. It’s probably his parole officer. It scared half the crowd there. I better call mine too.” That was the “clean” version of what was said.
The Chicano All Stars will be taking their show to Lodi, Sacramento, Fresno, San Jose, Stockton and other places. The cast is made up of comics from various places in California. The show has been described as an eclectic mix of the best and brightest Latino comics.
Also, as with some comedy acts you take your chance sitting close to the stage. Just make sure you can laugh at yourself because with the Chicano Comedy All Starts you may have to. As long as it’s not you that they’re making fun of the show is cool, otherwise be prepared. Many routines started off by asking questions of the people sitting in front of the stage.
As Big Al fished his stand-up he again took the opportunity to thank the staff at the Punch Line. He gave a shout out to Tony the Tiger who was in the audience. Big Al proceeded to introduce the next comedian, Carlos Rodriguez.
Carlos’ routine dealt more with family and as a matter of fact his father was sitting next to me in the audience and seemed to have gotten a big kick out of watching his son perform. Jimmy talked about stuff his dad used to say, like when he would threaten Jimmy that he would take his other brothers to McDonalds and not him if he didn’t do something he was supposed to do. Other people in the audience nodded as if relating. He quickly changed from one subject to another. He talked about getting a tattoo but he’s afraid of needles. He said he finally thought of something really cool but asked the audience not to steal it. His idea was actually clever; he was going to get an inkblot that way when somebody asks him what it is he would just point and ask them, “What do you think it is?”
Jimmy Earl took to the mike and introduced himself saying, “My name is Jimmy Earl, I’m a Filipino from Canada”. With that interesting heritage he went on and made light out of the way some things are pronounced. He related a story about his dad watching him play hockey when they lived in Canada. His dad would yell “shoot the puck, shoot the puck” except that the “p” sound was pronounced as “f” or “ph”. He had some other keen observations about his culture and others as well as religion and Red Lobster reservations.
One of the comedians that has been with the Chicano Comedy All Stars from the beginning Alicia Madrigal went to the stage to do her brand of comedy. For some reason I thought her brand of humor would be a little bit more subdued but nah, she was just as raunchy as the other guys. Her routines were heck of funny though, especially her observations about girls going out together.
Los Angeles’ Fernando Flores who’s taken his act around the country was introduced by Big Al. As he started his routine he announced that he was taking ethnic inventory and as he called out an ethnic group people from the audience cheered. His delivery was more deliberate but just as funny as the comedians before him. He made some life observations that he’s made and related them to the audience. He made fun of his weight and size and had other routines that dealt with these situations.
Modesto’s Monique Flores followed Fernando. Her routine again took from life’s experience and shared some funny observations especially about being laid-off. One of the things that many audience members identified with was when she asked the audience if anybody had a father who called you with a whistle. As she said that all kinds of whistling came from the audience many actually sounded like when my father used to call me and a couple that I used when calling my kids.
Big Al introduced Frankie Quiñones who joined the tour and had just finished selling out 3 shows in Ventura and who regularly tours with Paul Rodriguez. He wore a t-shirt that he said was like a standard Chicano response to almost any question. Like other comedians he put an accent to the characters in his routines.
One of the finalists in the San Francisco Comedy Competition, Roger Lizaola was the last comedian from the Chicano Comedy All Stars who took the stage. He also had his observations on Chicano whistling noting that he thinks that R2D2 was a Chicano, always whistling.
As they continue to tour they bring their unique brand of humor that’s become popular in different clubs throughout California. No topic is out of bounds, sex, drugs, alcohol, family, ethnicity, politics and everyday life events are all discussed and made fun of. They will be touring in northern California and spread their humor from Sacramento to Hollywood. The mix of some of the best and brightest Latino comics from the Chicano Comedy All Stars is bound to continue to sell out comedy clubs.
Photos by David Alvarez