The Laughspin interview with Pablo Francisco

If there are such things as rock star comedians, Pablo Francisco is one of the gang. The brilliant voice artist, impressionist and joke-slinger owns a stand-up stage the way Mick Jagger has owned stages for decades. There are few comics more animated, more full of energy than Pablo Francisco. And its all on display in his newest hour special, They Put It Out There, premiering on Comedy Central tomorrow at 11 pm ET. We caught up with the man for a wee chat. Check it out below and enjoy the video previews.

Your special starts off in a very high energy way, what was your thought process behind doing the metal thing and dancing around the stage?
The thing was that, basically, it’s like being with your friends and goofing off at the house. When you see and do that kind of thing, you want to put it into the special – the rock ‘n roll, the funk and soul, stuff like that. Anything that makes you laugh – put it in. That’s my philosophy.

It was certainly effective. The crowd was super into it. Is that’s the kind of reaction that you normally get when you do that kind of thing?
Absolutely. It works for me, it works for them. You don’t try it out unless it’s all cool with the gang. Other than that, it’s a beautiful thing. Basically it works out to the point that, if it makes your friends laugh, and it makes you laugh, you put it out there and get a little crazy and a little nuts.

For sure. I watched the special the other night, and one of the things that I really like about it is how reliant it is on your incredible talent for sound effects. I think that contributes a lot to the energy of the set, too. How did you discover that you could do that kind of thing in a really effective way?
It draws a better picture for the audience and for myself. Some comedians just basically go up there and can do without it. If I can use it and abuse it, why not? I started doing that when I was a kid, just taking my tape recorder and just recording myself goofing around. It basically worked out pretty much. It paints a better picture for the audience. But thanks for giving it a watch!

It was my pleasure. You’ve been doing this since you were a kid, then – were there any impressions or effects that you started out doing that you wanted to do? How did you begin on this path?
It’s your friends telling you. You always have your friends next door, your neighbors, who you goof off with. They would make fun of our parents, we’d make fun of their parents. Stuff like that. It was all in good fun, but after a while, it’s the best way to get someone pissed off and angry. It started off as just making fun of your friends, not going on stage, but just making fun of your friends to see if you could aggravate them.

A lot of the content skewers particular groups of people in a good-hearted way. Are you ever worried about offending audiences or saying things in a way that they might find distasteful? I’m thinking specifically about your routine about little people.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with being little, but there’s nothing wrong with making fun of it either, you know? They put it out there. They sign the contracts, they got the camera rolling, they’re putting it out there, so why not make fun of it? If people are watching the special, that basically means that if you get offended, then that’s your problem. It’s not meant to be taken seriously; it’s all meant in good fun.
Pablo Francisco – They Climb Over the Wall
Pablo Francisco Comedians Stand-Up

Have you ever experienced any kind of backlash?
No, not at all. I haven’t experienced any kind of backlash at all. It’s all been a positive response.

This is your second special?
This is my second one-hour special. I have a half-hour special, and the other hour-special is called Ouch, this one’s called They Put it Out There. This’ll be my second one.

Thinking about what you normally do in clubs and live venues, were there any adjustments you made in translating your act into the one-hour Comedy Central audience?
Not at all. I clean up some of the cussing, but other than that, it’s all ready to go. It’s all good to go.

It comes across that way – it’s seamless. It meshes really well with the one-hour format.
I think so too. Even though it was an hour and a half to film it, it basically went together pretty well. We edited it down, and Comedy Central took the edits and cut it down. We just kind of took out the brand names of commercial products like All State, so we changed it up to All State State State All State State. That kind of thing. It worked out pretty well. I’m very happy, I’m very, very happy.

Were there any moments that you wanted to keep in the special that were edited out?
We wanted to keep the real names in it, but of course we couldn’t do it, so we switched it up just to make sure it was legal. You can’t say people’s names – first and last names. And with Smart Car, they didn’t want us to say Smart Car too much. They didn’t want us to put down the car too much because it was made by Chrysler, and I guess Chrysler is a big supporter of Comedy Central.

That makes sense.

Always the corporate hand.
Yeah, there’s always a corporate hand that says no.
Pablo Francisco – Disrespectful to the Performers
Pablo Francisco Comedians Stand-Up

One final question. You’ve done stand-up quite a bit, and you’ve done improv quite a bit too – do you have any desire to move to other forms of comedy, like TV writing, movie acting, things like that?
Well, we write TV shows, and we get the deals and the money for them, but when we take them to the head honcho people, of course they give you the money but they don’t take the idea. It’s really strange. Right now we’re working on television. There’s a lot of webisode stuff, they have these webisodes. Vin Diesel is coming out with some webisodes – it’s like Entourage, but it’s called The Ropes. It’s about bouncers. It’s all coming out on the Internet, so you don’t have to program yourself to find it. The Internet’s basically one big television, nonstop information, entertainment shop. We’re going for a little bit of television, and we’ll see if things work out on that end. Variety shows, sketch shows, stuff like that.

For more info on Pablo, check out And pick up the uncensored DVD version of They Put It Out There on Nov. 22

Carrie Andersen

In addition to writing for Laughspin, Carrie is a graduate student in Austin, Texas, where she researches popular culture, new media, music, and social movements. When not reading or writing in any official capacity, she spends her time playing the drums, watching crappy TV, and eating copious amounts of tacos and barbecue. She also blogs sporadically at

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien