The truly, insanely, freakishly talented comedian Pablo Francisco sat down with AmericasComedy.Com and let us in on his hugely amazing world. Fresh off of a trip to South Africa, the international sensation will now be touring America for the next couple months, including here in Sacramento September 8-10.
Always one to work fast, the comedian gave us some classic Francisco material within minutes of being on the phone. Talking about his recent visit to Cape Town he quipped, “I went there, I got a hooker. She put me in a basket, rolled me around in there for about twenty minutes. It cost me two bananas and I lost my wallet.”
All kidding aside, he very much enjoyed his trip, and mentioned that the city has become more hip as of late, thanks in large part to the internet.
“YouTube has done it’s job,” the comedian said excitedly.
Francisco, who began his improv career in Tempe Arizona, has achieved much in his still young career. His critically acclaimed Comedy Central special entitled “Ouch” is somehow still at the top of the network’s most requested performances despite being released five years ago. He’s been shoulder to shoulder with Tonight Show Host Jay Leno, and a member of the MAD TV sketch comedy show, a program known for churning out talent. The legendary Howard Stern was savvy enough to recognize Pablo’s pizzazz, and in 2009 the comedian had a once in a lifetime appearance on his massively popular radio show.
The speed at which Pablo performs is reminiscent of the one and only Robin Williams. He’s renowned for his impressions of celebrities like rocker Ozzy Osbourne and actor Jackie Chan. When asked about the art of coming up with such impressions, Pablo didn’t just explain, he showed us first hand.
“It can happen instantly,” he said, just before his voice broke into a dead-on Transformers impression. “Get ready…it’s TRANSFORMERS! We always have something positive to say…remember Billy, always pay the hooker $200 before she gets in there!” Francisco then immediately turned himself into Charlie Sheen, Michael J. Fox and the guy from the All State car insurance commercials.
“It’s goofin off, and you know making fun of all the TV shows out there,” the comedian said.
Talent like that takes not just a lot of practice, but the ability to think on your feet. His stand-up can twist and turn at any second, and has appropriately been described as “an hour-long comedic jazz rift.” His impressionist capabilities and material are a sight to see.
Francisco’s success isn’t just noted by his followers either. Comedian Dat Phan, winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2003, said of Pablo, “He’s a comedy rock star.” When hearing this Pablo first gushed about his peer, and then gave advice for up and coming comics who aspire to mimic his accomplishments – and maybe even be a rock star themselves.
“This is something everyone needs to understand. You’ve got three or four years before everyone catches on to you. If you’re a DJ or a writer you can do your own badass podcast, put it out there, and you’ll be a star…it’s amazing. I’m a sensation? Well…I’m just a regular guy doing regular things,” he said quite humbly.
Francisco, who’s comedic career started at age 17, mentioned Benny Hill and Rich Little as some of his first inspirations. He also spoke about the late Richard Pryor, whom he watched as a kid with his dad.
“Rich Little, doing that TV show ‘You Go For It’ was fantastic,” Pablo said. “Richard Pryor, you got a 45 year old guy talking about immature things – he did it so good, he did it like a gentlemen! My dad would walk in and say, ‘this guy is so filthy,’ but he’d sit down and watch the whole hour anyway.”
To this day, Pablo remains a comic’s comic. He lives for the stage, and routinely proves it by performing at any and all venues. You would think that a comedian of his stature would be picky – a diva even – but when asked where he likes to perform he admitted to enjoying just about everywhere.
“I like the improvisation. These clubs are getting a lot cooler. These guys are opening up clubs every three months,” Francisco said. “It’s crazy how these guys go, ‘hey these comics are perverts, they’re losers’…we’re millionaires! The crazy thing is you don’t care about the money anymore. The money is already saved, so I would say anything that caters to the microphone – Las Vegas – it doesn’t matter how much it pays as long as it’s available.”
Aside from comedy clubs, Francisco has also stayed busy making his own DVD’s. He just completed filming yet another Comedy Central Special entitled “They Put It Out There” at the Orange County theatre. The funny man gushed when talking about his most recent project.
“It was a beautiful thing. It’s retro, its grunge, it’s a beautiful thing. I’m going to just tell everyone out there, ‘hey man, if you came out to see me, we’re going to make fun of people.’”
For fans who can’t get enough of Pablo or his specials, you can find him on Facebook and on Twitter @Pablo_Francisco. He will also continue touring well after his visit to Sacramento; destinations include the Orlando Improv & Fat Fish Blue from Sept. 15-18, Forum Theatre in Binghamton New York on Sept. 26, and His Majesty’s Theatre in Australia on October 2. Ticket information and more can be found at www.pablofrancisco.com.
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