Watch out, the next blockbuster comedian could be right around the corner – Chicago’s very own Joey Villagomez is quickly taking over the standup scene generating laughs from colleges, comic clubs, and the internet. A Brighton Park resident and rising local celebrity who has been featured in HBO and NBC, talks to us about being a comic, living with three Latina women (his wife and daughters), and best places to grab Mexican grub. You can catch him performing at the Center for Performing Arts and Joe’s on Weed St, but his next major shows are at Club Ki-Yowga on May 23rd and the El Show Latino which happens in August. Outside of standup, Joey enjoys playing T-ball, so if you see an overgrown Mexican destroying the 11-15 year olds in a T-Ball All Star Game, grab his attention and ask him to tell you a joke. He’ll enjoy it. Seriously.
Joey Villagomez speaks to us about his life, inspiration, and fame
Wow. So you’ve been featured on NBC, HBO, and have done shows across the country. What is it like being famous? I have been to several universities and comedy clubs across the country. My HBO Latino appearance did give me some stardom in the Latino communities. I couldn’t go to the supermercado without having to autograph someone’s pack of tortillas! I also appeared on Cops, Jerry Springer and Cheaters!
Do people always expect you to be funny? YES! It’s kind of annoying at times.
Like do you come home, and your kids just want you to do a routine? Or do people hold you hostage and ask you to tell a joke before they help you out? No, people hold ME hostage to tell ME a joke! It’s usually an old joke that I’ve heard and then they tell it all wrong! Or they say, “Hey, here’s a joke you should put in your routine!” No, I write my own jokes man! My kids just don’t take me serious. “Do your homework”…they laugh! “Go to bed”…they laugh! “I’m not your real DAD”…they stop laughing!
Richard Pryor is watching Joey Villagomez perform, while Jerry Seinfeld takes notes. George Lopez just sits there and cracks up at Joey’s jokes!
Do comedians compete? Like how rappers battle? If you could do a comedian “battle” who would you do it with? Not really. Unless it’s a comedy competition. We all just try to do one thing, make the crowd laugh! If I were to battle, I’d like to battle Carlos Mencia! I don’t like what he says about Mexican people and our culture. Saying BEANER 1,000 times isn’t comedy! Forget that…let’s fight!
All the pretty girls follow you on MySpace because that’s what they do, my wife thinks they’re all hoochies!
There’s a great video of you explaining how you destroyed your Dad’s record collection from the 60’s playing “record wars” – throwing and cracking major collector’s items with your cousin in an alley. I always wondered if you got into major trouble for it. Oooh, why you gotta bring that up? It was with my brother and some friends. We were bored, we had no idea of the value and we were bad ass little kids! I really do regret that. My pops loves rock n’roll and he is a rock n’ roll encyclopedia so to destroy his collection of 45’s is something I wish I could take back. There were over 500 records. He whooped us for a month straight! “I want my daddy’s records back!”
I started doing standup too late! I started at 24 and I wish I began at 18, but my dad has always been my favorite comedian! He’s hilarious!
What is your biggest frustration as a comedian? The money! I have kids, bills to pay! I have to hang in there. It takes several years. I love doing it though!
Best place to sit when watching your show: Front row! Worst place to sit while watching your show: Front row!
Check out this hilarious clip of Joey V (requires plugin to view)
So Joey…tell us a bit more about Chicago
We understand you are an avid White Sox fan. Why do Mexican people love the Sox and not the Cubs? Because they sell elotes at U.S. Cellular Field…and tamales and paletas tambien!
Other comedians (aside from you) who people should check out: Alex Ortiz. He’s big time and moving up. I feature for him on the road so he’s taught me a lot about the business. He is another successful Latino comedian!
When I want to see more Mexicans, I go to my front window and look outside
Authentic Mexican food I love can be found at Atotonilco’s on 57t and Kedzie! My mom’s house and my wife’s cooking too, not so authentic but great Mexican food can be found at – seriously, I don’t eat at those places!
Around the city, I like taking my family to Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the Lakefront of course!
Best Chicago bathroom any tree or garbage can with no police officers present. Worst Chicago bathroom the one at Chuck E. Cheese…nasty!