As Stand-up comedian Alex Reymundo premieres his one-hour special on Showtime next month, the cultural chameleon sets his sights on Comedy Central and his own sitcom.
By Dylan P. Gadino
During the past 15 years, Alex Reymundo has had no shortage of major accomplishments. Early in his career, the 38-year-old stand-up comedian started on the path to become a huge national draw by doing no less than five tours with comedy veteran Paul Rodriguez. He eventually became part of The Original Latin Kings of Comedy, the 2002 concert film, which boasted the likes of Rodriguez, George Lopez, Cheech Marin and Joey Medina. Ever since, Reymundo, whose also seen action in motion pictures El Matador and The Movement, has been inching closer and closer to breaking out on his own.
With the premiere of Hick-Spanic: Live in Albuquerque, his one-hour Showtime stand-up comedy special on Saturday, March 3 (replaying all month and premiering on Comedy Central in May), Reymundo has arrived. With this performance, we get the full, unfettered version of the comicÃ¢â‚¬â€ a married family man from Los Angeles by way of Kentucky by way of Texas by way of Mexico who embraces his diverse cultural leanings for hilarious effect.
Between tour dates at the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital and Detroit, MI, we caught up with Reymundo to chat about his recent successes.
How important is it for you to be labeled as a Latin comic?
I’m very proud to be Latino. I’ve never been a fan of labels because people then begin to believe they know what to expect. If I must be labeled so they know where to put the DVD at the store, I prefer to labeled under Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfunny comics.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
There are stories out there about how you arrived in the States at age two with your parents, four siblings and four dollars. What did you guys spend that money on?
God bless Ã¢â‚¬Ëœem. I believe they bought baby formula and condoms.
Jennifer Lopez is coming out with her first Spanish-language album. What are the chances of you breaking new ground and coming out with a Spanish-language comedy album in the States?
In my live show I tell everyone to speak Spanish but I believe it is the duty of every immigrant to speak English. I did tour with Los Tigres del Norte for a little while, performing to about 3000 people per show in Spanish. It was a challenge but I did it. I probably wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t put out an all-Spanish album in the near, future but never say never.
You’ve mentioned that you’ve always wanted to be a musician but you were too lazy. Did you at least ever try to sing? I mean singers could afford to be lazy, no?
I always wanted to be a rock star. My Dad always was my hero until I realized Elvis got more chicks. I’m not lazy. I lack the discipline. And I aint a bad singer.
What type of music do you enjoy these days?
I’m a rocker, my freak flag flies. Turn it up and I’m happy. Like Bon Scott said: “Let there be rock.”
If you could quit comedy for a year and join a band now, which band would you join?
A band where the guys who listen would bang there heads to and girls would take there tops off for. I’d be el mero mero chignon!
When you started in stand-up at 23, were your parents supportive of your decision or did they freak out and pray for your soul?
Oh, I’m sure they prayed and I hope they still do. My parents were always supportive of everything I tried except drugsÃ¢â‚¬â€ you’re not gonna send them a copy of this are you? Their advice to everything was to be great and don’t quit.
Are there any topics you deem taboo for a stand-up comedy set?
A womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s menstrual cycle. I know nothing about it and there’s no manual.
George Carlin once said that you could make anything funny-rape included. Do you think that’s true-can anything be made into a joke?
Absolutely. if Carlin said it, it has to be true.
Do you spend much time in your native Mexico these days?
Not enough, but I have family there.
Is there one common trait that runs through Mexico, Texas and Kentucky?
Where do you live these days?
The high desert of LA and every city in America.
How old are your children now?
The perfect age. I love every minute of their lives. To all the parents out there, I say Ã¢â‚¬ËœBe a good one.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Your children need you and society is counting on you. Don’t pass the buck. It’s your job.
Have your kids ever seen you perform?
Yes, they get a bigger charge out of it than me. My daughter once asked me how come there were a lot of beeps when I’m on TV. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the same question my mother always asks.
Your on tour with Ron White now. Are you guys old friends?
For 18 years, yeah. The first time Ron did stand-up he first bellied up to the bar for a shot, I was the bartender. I started comedy a year later. We spent the first three years of our careers in his truck or mine, we called it the Joy to the World Tour but we then changed the name to the Joy to Alex and Ron Tour. Working with him now is just like old times, only now there’s nice shit everywhere.
Your deal with Showtime also has you starring in a scripted comedy series called Hick-Spanic, about a Mexican man who marries a white woman. Could you tell me a little about that?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about two cultures and three generations debating about who married up. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re gonna push some buttons and make you laugh. The inspiration is, was and always will be my beautiful wife and the wonderful chaos we brought to each othersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ lives. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll premiere hopefully by the end of the year.
Would you ever leave stand-up in favor of a full-time TV or movie career?
I’m gonna give everything a shot. Stand-up is an illness. I hope I’m sick forever.
How would you describe the current state of stand-up comedy?
I love it. I can’t wait for tomorrow. Support your local comedy club.
In terms of your career, what does this Showtime special mean for you?
A televised one-hour special is the Holy Grail to comics. I thank Showtime and Comedy Central for the opportunity and to the public I say thanks for the consumption of my dysfunction.
What other projects could we expect from you?
The Latin Divas and the Payaso Comedy Slam both slated to air on Showtime. I play host to some great comics. Scott Montoya, the executive producer of Hick-Spanic and The Original Latin Kings of Comedy and I produced these as well. I also have a film due out soon What we did on our Holidays. I’m living the dream, baby!