Pablo Francisco To Take Stage in Timonium
Jun 04, 2014 12:59PM ● Published by Jake Russell
Photo by Tomas Whitehouse.
His impressions range from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Casey Kasem and Mark Wahlberg to voiceover master Don LaFontaine. He has three Comedy Central specials and DVD's “They Put It Out There,” “Ouch,” & “Bits and Pieces,” and has been featured on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
Francisco took the time to speak to What's Up? on Wednesday as he prepares for his upcoming shows.
For tickets, call 410-252-2727 or visit Magoobys.com.
Q: Explain to someone who has never seen your show what they can expect. How different is your live show from one of your TV specials?
A: Everybody shows up and people say they’re fans. It’s basically a bond. We’re all as one. I would say when you see me in person, it’s basically the same but there’s alcohol served.
Q: The world of comedy is tough to break into. Talk about your rise to popularity and what you had to do to get your name out there.
A: Everyone has goals and dreams. My hobby became my career. I just was having fun on the side doing this and then all of a sudden the Internet came. The Internet is what it’s all about. I would say the internet is a big publicist for me. It worked for me and against me. But YouTube was an amazing tool. That’s what’s incredible about it. Instead of VHS tapes and putting promo packs together and sending them out to clubs and hopefully the network will see you, all you gotta do now is put yourself up and put up quality stuff and put yourself all over the place. Basically the Internet took away about maybe 15 years of working "hard hard" like some comedians have in the past in the 80’s to basically saying "Hey man, we’re going to give you a shot at it with this Internet thing but you better be good at what you do." There were a lot of struggles but the struggles were good struggles.
Q: Growing up, was there a comedian you wanted to model your comedy after or did you think it was best to develop your own style?
A: Steve Martin, of course, was the man. He was the funny guy. Anybody that takes martial arts will take one or two martials (classes), three martial arts (classes) and then they’ll develop they’re own style. We all learn from each other and we all rub off on each other. I would say Steve Martin was the one. And ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. I just could not believe the genius of those guys.”
Q: Explain to someone like me, someone who tries his hand at making people laugh every once in a while but could never make a career out of it, how tough it is to be funny on a regular basis and not let up.
A: Everyone’s funny. You’re funny. Everyone has a person in that group that has to be funny. It’s mandatory. In every neighborhood, in every family there’s gotta be something. It could be a dog or a cat or a kid, a relative, Uncle Buck Buck or whatever. Everyone’s funny in their group. It’s just that when people say "be funny" I’ll try my best to make you laugh. If you ask me to do something I’ll do it. I can’t be comedy jukebox all the time. When I’m sleeping or in the shower I can’t do it. Other than that I’m pretty much open. It’s pretty easy for me.
Q: You’re well-known for your celebrity impressions. How old were you when you did your first impression and who was the celebrity?
A: I was 11 years old watching a commercial with Kermit the Frog and Fozzy the Bear. "Hey-O it’s Kermit the Frog here on NBC!" That was the first one and then it just kind of started falling into other ones.
Q: What’s the latest impression you’re working on?
A: Mark Wahlberg. There are a lot of impersonations that are very difficult to get down because a lot of people don’t have that pizazz or that kind of crazy Al Pacino "Hoo-ahh!" There’s something there but that’s Al Pacino. I want something more modern. I'm still working on that so we’ll see how that goes. I’m trying to get a Jimmy Fallon but it’s going to be a while before I get a Jimmy Fallon down.
Q: Do you ever struggle to come up with new material and how hard is it to craft a new impression?
A: Sometimes it takes five minutes. I still can’t get Christopher Walken but everybody does Christopher Walken so it’s not really worth knowing. Material is fun but the thing is if you come see my show, it’s like the movie "Alien." You’re going to see the alien in every single movie but you’re still going to like it because we change it up. Things happen in life. If you do [a] joke word for word, it’s cheating the audience.Q: What is the most unexpected perk you’ve received from being a comedian?
A: The money. The money is incredible. It’s good if you save a little bit of it. I’ll play coffee houses. I don’t care. It pays very well and it helps a lot of people. I figure I’ve got some money so why not help some people [like at] the Walter Reed Hospital up in Washington? I never thought I would be donating money to a cause. When you get two shots of Jack Daniels and you get paid as a comedian you may just buy a lot of things for people.