Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

The Pablo Francisco-related Shame I've Carried With Me All These Years

Thursday, February 13, 2014

this entry brought to you by nine inch nails, "love is not enough"

You might not know this about me, but I was an aspiring artist who wanted to draw comic books my entire life until I had kids unexpectedly. But I've been drawing all my life. Never once did I trace. I strongly disliked even using poses from comic books as reference. I distinctly remember in the seventh grade friends showing me something they'd drawn and looking at it and instantly recognizing the tell-tale signs of tracing, and I'd say "...But you traced that." They'd get annoyed and say something like "So? It's not like they're going to find me and sue me."

That wasn't the point. The point is there is no point in tracing. Anybody can do it. It means nothing, teaches you nothing, and it looks like shit.

I've always loved Stand-up comedy. I was surprised when I would learn that other kids were watching really, really bad cartoons like The Super Mario Brothers Super Show when at the same time there was stand-up comedy going on. I would actively watch stand-up, but even stand-up I'd seen before I would leave on in the background. I had always been a weird kid with a sense of humor that was different than other kids, but watching stand-up at such an early age I started to develop a comic's timing.

I've always, always, always hated it when people told comics' jokes as if they were their own. Always. I had seen so many comics I couldn't possibly remember all of them, but whenever I was relating a comic's joke in casual conversation I would either say the comic's name or, if I didn't remember it, I would say "Some comic I heard once had a joke that went..."

I should also say that as a teen, I did an impeccable Beavis and Butthead, and it's irritating that I've lost it. But when you're the weird kid in the 9th grade who can do Beavis and Butthead, you essentially become a dancing monkey. Hey weird kid. We hate you. But we'll like you for a minute if you can do Beavis and Butthead. And you know what? If you don't do it, people get annoyed. Why you gotta be like that? It's so funny! But I always hated that me just sitting around doing Beavis and Butthead was itself the laugh. Sure, I liked it at first, but I would rather just sit and riff and say things that were hilarious as Beavis and Butthead, and not just say "I am the great Cornholio!"

Which leads me to Pablo Francisco.

I was in the 10th grade and had been making a series of observations about chola chicks that was getting pretty consistent laughs amongst my peers, and then I saw Pablo Francisco do five minutes that were similar. Same voice about Mexican girls who want to fight, but really, really funny physical comedy that I wasn't doing. As a young person, if you have a comedy idea and you see a professional tell a joke that's very similar, you think, oh, awesome. That guy's a professional and I had the same thought as him. It validates you.

So I did my joke for my friends and got huge laughs, and I swear the first time I gave him credit. I said "I just saw this comic the other night who was saying the same thing," and then I did his jokes for them, getting bigger laughs. But it didn't bug me, because it was under the auspices of adding to what we were talking about.

Someone the next day wanted me to "do the cholita voice", and when I went into my own bit, it was no, no. Do the thing. They didn't know it, but it was the Pablo Francisco part. I told them it was some other comic that had done it. "Who cares! Just do the thing!"

It irritated me, but I obliged. And before I knew it, I was the guy with that joke. And by now I was too far down the hole to say "You know, that joke isn't actually mine." And the thing is, I'm sure none of the rest of the teenagers I knew cared. But when I met my friends from high school as grown ups, now that Pablo Francisco is a big huge comedian, I expect them to call me out. "Those jokes about the chola girls weren't even yours!!"

They never do. They might not even remember them. But it's a shame I've kept with me all these years.

with love from CRS @ 1:55 PM 


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