Carnegie Mellon: easy to laugh at

So did you see that funny guy at the “non-alcoholic fair?” It was great, man; like we all did a “round of waters” and then went. With jokes like this, Pablo Francisco had everyone on Midway laughing for a good hour on Thursday night.

Francisco developed an intense interest in comedy at age 13. With the aid of a VCR his dad bought him, he started taping every comedy set possible; his favorites were Johnny Carson and David Letterman. His career began at age 17 when he and a friend formed a duo called the “Blowout Boys,” snuck into a local steakhouse comedy competition, and won. Fifteen or so years later, he came to Carnegie Mellon’s Spring Carnival (a very accomplished comedian by this time) and shared his talent with an audience of Carnegie Mellon students and Pittsburgh locals.

Opening comedian Jasper Redd, from Comedy Central, helped get the crowd going with his jokes about fast-food joints and astute observations about how society’s obsessions with being thin has even created a flat-screen TV.

Then Francisco and his endless impersonations stole the stage. He kicked off his act with a few cracks about Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh. He asked the audience, “You guys wanna go to the petting zoo? Yeah, they got a petting zoo — it’s all girls from MIT.”

His impression of getting directions in downtown Pittsburgh also went over quite well: “When you get directions it’s like ‘Just go that way (gunshots), and if you see a guy who asks “Hey, you got a quarter?” you’ve gone too far (more gunshots).”

In an interview with the Appleton, Wis., Post Crescent, he said, “It’s a universal act, basically; I’m talking about family, my girlfriend, relationships.” He doesn’t just talk about these things; he is able to tie all of them together. The theme of the show seemed to be “cock-blocking” — every skit either started or ended with some line about the notorious sexual interference. He started talking about the typical annoying college roommate who never lets you get any, and listed off some hilariously extreme scenarios such as the roommate who plays songs like “lollipop, lollipop...” to “block out the noise.” He then went into Mexican music and “black music” and how black people never cock-block.

Francisco’s act was full of energy, especially in his Jackie Chan skits. When he made a few jokes about Indian people, and how they own every business in America, a group of Indian students cheered him on. Pablo Francisco knows how to work a crowd. He even gave some valuable advice to college girls: “If you wanna turn on a guy, get an Xbox tattoo.... Three to four guys can play.”

He ended the show with his famous Arnold Schwarzenegger tortilla impression, leaving much of the crowd in hysterics.

Where has he been before?

Francisco was nominated for 1998’s Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic award at the American Comedy Awards. He has been on such TV shows as Comedy Central’s Short Attention Span Theater and Make Me Laugh, Fox’s Mad TV, and Showtime’s Full Frontal Comedy. He also has guest starred on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and has done voiceover work for Family Guy and is working with David Spade on a new cartoon series. He has produced a CD, Knee to the Groin, and starred in national commercials for Coke and CitiBank with Elton John. He has toured the country and also performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival.

Where can I see him again?

Look for Francisco as the movie reviewer on David Spade’s new Comedy Central show, The Show Biz Show. Also, Francisco can be seen regularly as the host of Latino Laugh Festival: The Show on SíTV.