Pablo Francisco Talks Bourbon Street Circus, Millrats, Frank Caliendo, and Country Music
It's kinda tough to be a stand-up comic from Arizona. No matter how successful and funny you might be, you'll always have to measure up the king of locally grown comedians, David Spade.
What are your roots here in Phoenix?
My family is there in the Valley and I'm from Tucson. I used to perform a lot at the Improv up there. Phoenix has always been a hub for me because it's hip and sexual. Got the topless bars on a lot of street corners. Table dances are still $10 and its gonna be the next L.A. so I've thought of it as home
Do you miss about anything abvout Phoenix?
You know what? I miss everything about it. I miss Bourbon Street Circus on a Friday night, and I miss going down Mill Avenue once in awhile and feeding all the homeless people and those post-teenagers that need money. "Excuse me sir, I've got a guitar. Can I get a burger?" No, son, you can't. I miss watching Phoenix grow, actually, since I'm not there all the time. I miss hanging out. It's a very hip town.
You've been called the "Man of a Thousand Voices"...
Actually, let me interrupt. The real "Man of a Thousand Voices" lives in Phoenix and his name is Frank Caliendo. That guy is talented. I'm more like "Man of 17 Voices."
Yeah, and if I use all 17 voices during sex with a hooker then she's going to charge me at least 17 times. And I don't want that to happen ever again.
Do people ever confuse you with Caliendo, since you're both Arizona comedians who do voices?
Not at all. Some of the voices we do are similar, but Frank is basically the best comedian doing voice impersonations today. He always nails it to a T. And he's helped me out. When I've needed to learn a voice or find out what shows to appeal to and get things submitted to Vegas or television, he's one helluva guy to go to.
You hit a ton of subject matter in your act -- from telenovelas to rolling on ecstasy and stuff about sex. What's your favorite thing to joke about?
It changes every like week or so. I would say that this week its making fun of country music. I love those guys on KMLE Country, but I just can't get into the country fantasy thing in the music they play. It's all about drinking under a porch light, Dairy Queen on a Sunday, and being a cowboy. I would say I've been joking a lot about music stuff in general lately, like about Justin Bieber, who went out and had 30-second sex and maybe became a daddy. It depends on my obsession at the moment.
There's always going to be human trainwrecks for comedians to joke about, isn't there?
Absolutely. There's always stuff like that. You've got to do it in a funny manner. Yeah, they're trainwrecks but you can go to far with it. I can't make fun of Chaz Bono too hard right in front of her, or him, I mean.
Are there any impersonations you haven't nailed down yet?
Maybe Howard Stern. I'm still working on my Howard Stern impression.
What do you have planned for your set at Stand Up Live this weekend?
There will be some old stuff and new stuff, like at any comedy gig. I'm just going to go out there, do my jokes, and get some laughs. It just depends. If the alcohol is there and people are feeling it. Who knows, maybe even Frank will stop by. Go out on stage, make fun of heavy metal, touch on some topics and pop culture stuff that need touching on, maybe make it like one big musical, like Scarface: The Musical. Who knows? It's gonna be like Family Guy plus In Living Color divided by the square root of Saturday Night Live. We're gonna try to make it like that. Make it nuts.
Pablo Francisco is scheduled to perform a four night set at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, starting on Wednesday. Admission is $28. Click here for tickets and performance times.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.