With a new DVD about to go international and thousands of fans across the country hanging on his every word Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and voice(s) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ stand-up comedian Pablo Francisco is living large. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got the hot tub to prove it.
Interview and photos by Alana Grelyak
Talking with Pablo Francisco is like having a discussion with three people. Being a man of many voices, one never knows which character is going to answer a question next. Enjoying the success of his recently released DVD, Ouch!, Francisco is touring comedy clubs across the U.S and beyond. He took some time to tell Punchline Magazine, among other things, about where his career is headed, installing a bigger hot tub and about skateboarding while drunk.
I watched your DVD, Ouch! How did this one compare in popularity to your last one?
It went over pretty well. The thing is, with the Internet, everyone gets it free before itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even out. It went alright. Sales went pretty good. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going international in September so weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see how things go. The first one [Bits and Pieces] was a little bit more fast paced. I slowed this one down a little bit because I had more time to do.
What countries is it going to?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to England, Sweden, Norway, Poland.
Is it getting translated or staying in English?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be in English. They all understand it.
About the extras on Ouch! Do you really have a hidden hot tub and is that your real house?
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my real house. And, yes itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my hot tub. Since then I got a bigger one. I put it in there because the other one only sat like five people. This one now sits eight. I also got a better looking couch.
Do you actually skateboard?
I skateboard a lot. I get a few beers in me and I go skateboarding. Once you get a few beers in you, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to push your own board. So youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to get an electric one and let it just take you all the way down.
That sounds dangerous.
[Laughing]. Well, yeah itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a little fun. It depends, you have to go really slow.
So you were recently on David SpadeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Showbiz Show. Is that a regular gig?
No, we did that a few times. I did some voiceovers for that. Sometimes when theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re making fun of movies theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give me a buzz and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll go in there and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll goof off with them and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll make fun of a trailer or something.
If the movie guy that does all those trailer voiceovers retires or dies, do you think theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll want to hire you to take his place?
TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re already using me for some previews. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been doing commercials like crazy. So itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been working out pretty well. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve talked with the movie previews guy, Don LaFontaine, and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been really supportive. If it happens, it happens. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re getting a studio built inside the house so itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all going to work out.
Inside your house?
Yeah, it costs like $20,000; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to look pretty sharp.
Do you think LaFontaine is angry youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re taking away some of his business?
Not at all. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like five other guys who do the same voice but a little different. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re different guys, different inflections and stuff. Don is really easy. He goes, [in movie guy voice] ‘Well you know, Pablo thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot of ways of doing this. You can do action or you can do scary movies.’ So I basically do all the scary movies because I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really have that uppity voice that he does.
What about when you do the voices of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Keanu Reeves or Aaron Neville and all that. Have any of them ever said anything to you?
Not Keanu Reeves or Arnold Schwarzenegger yet. Aaron Neville came up to me after a show. I was walking to the parking lot and his tour bus was hanging outside and I asked him for his autograph and I did a little bit of the Aaron Neville. He looked at me really funny and gave me a strange look. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t good but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bad.
Did you look at the Ã¢â‚¬Å“chorizoÃ¢â‚¬Â on his face?
I think he shops at Baby Gap. He has some really tight clothes.
I kept looking it up and everyone has different ideas, but where are your parents from?
My parents are from Santiago, Chile. I was born in Tucson, Arizona. I was born and raised there and just really enjoyed it. I never went to Chile. Actually, I think I went there one time when I was a kid. And the United States is my home and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m American. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I am. I just have a Latino name.
I think Wikipedia said your parents are from Puerto Rico.
Do you ever get any odd requests from your fans?
No, not really. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve all been pretty cool. It gets crazy sometimes and people will yell things out during a show so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll just turn into the comedy juke box. You have to make sure the timingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right and then I’ll do it. But as long as you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t talk during the show, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m fine. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m all good.
So youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re still not married, right?
No. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m kind of seeing some girl right now. Kinda sorta. SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty cool but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m too busy on the road so I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really want to get into too heavy of a relationship with anybody. But so far so good. EverythingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cool. My relationshipÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s with the audience right now. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m rockinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and rollin.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
If money and time were no objects, what would be your perfect date?
Go out go-cart riding? I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been on a date in awhile. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really go on dates. My perfect date would be to get boozed up in Vegas.
How much of your comedy comes from reality?
Eighty to 90 percent of that is all true. Except for the boyfriend and girlfriend stuff because IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not a jealous boyfriend and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t deal with jealous girlfriends.
Are you telling me that Rosa, the Mexican girlfriend, doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really exist?
Oh yeah, of course! I had to change her name. Her name was Diana.
So she does exist!
What kind of audience do you attract?
Right now IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m attracting a lot of young ones. I swear to God! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got 13-year-old kids trying to get into my shows. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hilarious. So, I would say the demographic would be like 13 to 20 years old.
Are most of your shows usually 18 or 21 and up?
Yeah, usually. Sometimes the parents will be really cool and will be able to go to the club and somehow they get the kids in but they put them in the back so I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see them. When I see them I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do my act. I feel like IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to cut things out. I usually find out when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m done.
How would you describe your time on MadTV?
I filled in for Artie Lange. He was going into movies and I went and did a guest spot, and then filled in for some episodes for him, whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s now on the Howard Stern Show. It was a fun experience. There were a lot of stars that came in from Ike Turner to Ray Romano.
Do you think that had a lot to do with the success you have today?
No, I would say that the comedy clubs and the Internet helped me more with my success. Because I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really do television, you know? I did a few voices on Family Guy here and there but the only thing I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really pursue was the television thing. And yeah, basically, I would say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all viral, through the Internet. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what really made me very successful.
So if the Internet was part of your success, does it really bother you that people are watching your DVDs without having to buy them?
You know, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ t matter. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care. I have enough money. The money doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make any difference to me. If the kids want them, and they want to see it on the Internet, they can see it on the Internet. If itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in stores and you want to check it out you can check out the whole entirety at stores.
You can come to a show and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll sign it for you. But now the Internet is dominating everything. So, you can make some money off CDÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s but the record business should be wiped out soon in about five years.
Tell me one thing your fans donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know about you.
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really like to drink.
You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really like to drink?
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really like the taste of alcohol.
For more info, check out www.pablofrancisco.com.