Pablo Francisco, master of the movie-trailer-guy voice, is coming through Arlington this weekend, so his press folks generously made him available for an interview the other day. He was quite nice, and is a pretty skilled impressionist, and I suspect he works very hard to put on a show his fans enjoy.
But something he said threw me off.
We talked some about what it's like to have a bit -- in his case, Movie Trailer Guy -- that becomes so intertwined with your act. Of course, you could always just let it go -- Jim Gaffigan's not still screech-whispering "Hot Pockets," is he? God I hope not -- but you run the risk of pissing people off.
That's how he feels, anyway, so he keeps on doing it (and people keep requesting it). The press release announcing his visit even touted him as the "Movie Trailer Voice Guy" (or something close to it), even though I saw him do that voice ten years ago at a club in Orange County.
He said he works to make the joke new, so I asked which comics were inspiring him to stay fresh -- guys who were pushing his game, keeping him working, making him think harder about how to make people laugh. I was hoping to get a beat on some new material, some stand-up who was slaving away as an opener for guys like Francisco who I otherwise would never know about. I was hoping to have some YouTubing ahead of me.
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I'm not sure how much to buy into the joke thievery thing; I often see the same jokes fly around on Twitter, and it makes sense that guys who think about the world only through the prism of comedy will occasionally have similar thoughts.
But still: These are the freshest guys out there right now? Seems unlikely.
For details and more on Francisco, read Jesse Hughey's preview of Francisco's Arlington shows at dallasobserver.com/calendar.