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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Latin Comedy Jam brings hilarity and culture to Tucson

    Courtesy+of+Mike+Aquisto-Gotti

    Courtesy of Mike Aquisto-Gotti

    The Latin Comedy Jam brings its lively cast of Latino humorists to the Leo Rich Theater at the Tucson Convention Center at 8 tonight.

    Tour producer and host, Mike Acquisto-Gotti, also known as Mike G, said the show is “better than P90X,” as each comedian incites insane amounts of laughter within every spectator. Acquisto-Gotti, who appeared in Warner Bros.’ “Three Kings” and “Any Given Sunday,” said each comedian featured in the tour brings their own brand of comedy to the table that appeal to many different senses of humor. Tucson has been a stop on the Jam’s route for three years.

    “When we cast the show, we make sure we have dumb comics, older comics … middle ground [comics] everyone can relate,” Acquisto-Gotti said. “We make sure the show is funny from the first [act] to the last.”

    Jam comedian Roberto Rodriguez considers himself an energetic jokester, while fellow tour mate Javi Luna defines himself as a smart-ass . Comic Steve Trevino says his humor is “like hanging out with him at a party.”

    The three performers all display their own dynamic humor sprouted from their differing roots, but each equally entertains the crowd.

    Though comedy is obviously a core theme of the Jam, Acquisto-Gotti also holds giving back to each tour stop community as an essential part of the tour. The Jam has paired with countless organizations since its conception, including those helping fund Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis efforts.

    This year, the tour pairs up with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to grant a scholarship to young Hispanic students aspiring to attend universities and community colleges such as the UA or Pima Community College.

    Rodriguez incorporates his own intellect and education into his act. He said both he and other Jam comedians reflect their aptitude through their various comedic styles, breaking unjust stereotypes directed toward the Latino community.

    “[The Latin Comedy Jam] showcases Latinos in a different, [more positive] light. The Latinos in the tour are different,” he said. “We’re educated, we’re smart, we’re sixth generation. We have a voice other than someone telling us how ghetto we are. … Those old stereotypes never hold true.”

    Rodriguez said he includes a bit of political commentary regarding social issues such as illegal immigration and racial stereotyping in his comedy, as he believes comedians possess the ability to affect social change regarding “things that are just ridiculous” in our society.

    He said the Jam grants Latinos a positive voice, which debunks the “ghetto” stereotype, while still communicating his “goofy” style and his “uniqueness to communicate who [he] really [is].”

    Luna doesn’t consider himself a political comedian, but thinks that deciphering a comedian’s set of beliefs based off his jokes really isn’t rocket science.

    “If you listen to any comedian that’s doing it honestly, you’re going to pick up on their message,” he said. “If you really listen, you can get where I’m at, but at the same time, I’m not going to bash your head with my political views.” Trevino said he discusses politics, but outside of his comedic endeavors his style jokes are more exclusively about his life experiences.

    Luna said every comedian differs in their own way. Trevino shares a more “countrified, redneck” sense of humor while he allows his childhood in “the barrio” to shape his jokes.

    Luna says that they all resonate in providing themselves and their audiences with perspective. Each comedian helps the other improve with constructive criticisms, and they all have similar goals they aim to achieve through their comedy. Rodriguez said the sense of community the Jam creates within its comedians is one of the best parts of the tour.

    “We try to create a line where Latinos are just as well-respected as any other race,” he said. “It’s important to bring a little bit of social conscience to stand-up comedy.”

    Rodriguez himself, a Tucson native, said he “delves into his family and perspective on life,” as do Trevino and Luna. He incorporates his modest, community-oriented Tucson roots into his stage presence, which affects how the audience perceives him.

    “I think people in Tucson are a bit more real with you—we wear everything on our sleeves,” Luna said. “My perspective on stage is the same as my perspective on life. I’m not a character.”

    The Latin Comedy Jam is a unifying community event which will not only slay spectators’ senses of humor, but also provide them a humorous, yet insightful, experience with Latino culture.


    Follow Brenna Bailey on Twitter.


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