Pablo Francisco had his agenda all sussed out after landing in Spokane, until he heard that the mercury recently dropped to single digits.
“I planned to walk up that hill into that neighborhood (the South Hill) and think of some jokes but man, that’s so cold,” Francisco said from his Los Angeles home. “I had no idea it was that cold in Spokane already and it’s not even winter yet”
It’s been more than three years since Francisco last performed in Spokane.
“This will be the first time I’ll be in since the pandemic started and I can’t believe it,” Francisco said. “It’s taken me awhile to get back to some cities but I’m so glad to be back on the road. I had an amazing experience performing in tents in Los Angeles in 2020. I would be in a tent or on a roof in Los Angeles with comics like Adam Carolla and David Spade. It was so cool to see those guys.”
If you close your eyes you can hear those celebrities since Francisco is a superb impersonator.
The witty comic perfectly impersonates Arnold Schwarzenegger, Howard Stern, Celine Dion, Dennis Hopper, Mark Wahlberg and Michael J. Fox, among many other celebrity voices.
When Francisco, 48, was coming of age during the 1980s, he started goofing on his neighbors and took it to another level when he mocked their accents.
“I discovered I could sound just like them,” Francisco said. “They were our Mexican neighbors, and they made fun of my dad, who is from Santiago, Chile, and that set me off. It was all friendly, but it was funny.”
There are no sacred cows in Francisco’s act. The energetic humorist, who will perform Friday and Saturday at the Spokane Comedy Club, pokes fun of everyone and everything. “I have fun with it since it’s something I just can’t avoid,” Francisco said. “Like (podcast host/comic) Joe Rogan said, ‘If aliens came down from outer space and asked who is the most popular human and they were told it was Kim Kardashian, how weird would that be?’ These girls make sex tapes and they become big stars. It’s crazy.”
Francisco’s personal material is arguably his best since he takes people and experiences from his life and runs with them. “I change the names, just like ‘Law & Order,’ and go for it,” Francisco said.
During the ’90s, Francisco was a featured player on the underrated “MADtv.”
“It was a wild experience,” Francisco said. “It had a huge impact on me but I can’t believe that so much time has passed since I was on that show. It was a lot of fun being part of a show like that.”
But Francisco is not a comic who is using stand-up as a bridge to a sitcom.
“If something were to happen for me in television, that would be great, but I’m not doing stand-up to just get a show,” Francisco said. “I love it. There is nothing like getting up there onstage. It’s all me up there. I don’t have to deal with anyone looking over my material saying, ‘Well, that won’t work.’ I air it out and just take chances. But if there was an opportunity for a sitcom, it would be fun if it were like the old-school sitcoms, like ‘All in the Family’ or ‘The Jeffersons.’ They were great sitcoms.”
Francisco is looking forward to his Spokane gigs due to how consistently enthusiastic the crowds have been at his shows. “I love how excited fans get there,” Francisco said. “They make me feel like a table dancer at a topless bar. I’m going to come in and make fun of everyone on TV and somehow keep myself warm since evidently it’s already winter in Spokane.”
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