Support Your Local Latino Comedians at the Ice House
Latino comedy is vital to our community. Support the venue that continues to showcase our talent every Wednesday night
Latino Comedy has always been around, beginning back with such notables as Cantinflas, Tin Tan, and Loco Valdez. But the Latino American comic (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cubano, etc) boomed in the 90's.
Published on LatinoLA: February 26, 2013
Paul Rodriguez was representing the Raza and a new kid named George Lopez was on the rise along with others that were not getting as much recognition back in those days, including Raul Martinez, Dante Garza, and Larry Omaha.
Then in the 90's a Latino "boom" of comedians were discovered, and places like the Comedy Store, and the Laugh Factory were doing "Latino Nights" where comics with Hispanic surnames were allowed to work on that specific night to see how many people they could bring. It worked, despite the fact that the club would not allow those comedians to work on the "regular" weekend nights, kind of like the "No colored In the Pool" of the depression era.
In 1991, I was fortunate to perform at the Ice House for a Latino Comedy Search, where several Latino comics were performing and whoever won got to work the Main Room ALL week. This is the only club that had opened its doors to the Latino comedians, and offered work for them not only on a specific night , but if you were funny, you might even get to headline a weekend !
This was unheard of.
After working there for a number of years off and on, I met with GM Sean Sullivan and owner of the Ice House Bob Fisher and they approached me with the idea of doing a Latino night, booking predominately Hispanic acts, but with a flavor of white, black Asian comics as well. This turned out to be a successful idea, so successful, in fact, that the show has now celebrated its 15th consecutive year, the longest running show in the Ice House 52 years of business.
The dilemma is this: After the success if the Original Latino Comedy Showcase at the Ice House, comics started to develop similar shows in other venues, copying the format and ideas of the Ice House, therefore, diluting the number of people in the audience. It kind of sits in the "Divide and Conquer" files .
The number of people attending the show that originated 15 years ago is now having a dip in numbers due to the economy and the different venues doing similar shows and other factors .
Please understand that I encourage young Latinos to create their own work and to enjoy the fruits of being in the business, and I am not bitter of them providing another place to see comedy. My only concern is that we don't let go of the Mother Ship, where it started .
After starting our shows back in 1999, we have created and helped launch the careers of many, including Gabriel Iglesias, Felipe Esparza, Johnny Sanchez, Alex Reymundo, Carlos Oscar, and Willie Barcena, who has been on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno over a dozen times, unheard of a Latino comedian doing the Tonight even once back in the day.
We have been featured on ABC, Vista LA, Comedy Central, Latination FOX news and several periodicals , and have been visited on Wednesdays by several celebrities including George Lopez, Paul Rodriguez, Arsenio Hall, Roseanne, Chris Tucker, Edward James Olmos, and many many others that come and enjoy the hard work that we have put in .
The reason, finally, why this article is being written is that It has come to my attention that the number of Latinos coming out to support this institution in the community has dropped.
The shows remain at a high quality, but the support has dwindled.
We ask of our community to come and support us every week at the Ice House on Wednesday nights, otherwise we will eventually lose this staple, and we don't have many as it is. This place has been nothing but wonderful to me personally and to the comedians that have worked there for our show and any other show. This place is family and has been in business for 52 years, and will probably last another 52 ,.... we just happen to be part of the family and so we would like to remain in our spot.
It's a matter of business as well, we can be family all we want, but if there is no one coming out to support, then we will be thanked and excused from our post after all these years.
It's not the fault of the club, its not the performances, it's not even the comedians. Itss that we have to go to our own to find the SUPPORT .. We NEED YOU to continue to support this show for EVERYBODY's sake
Latino Comedians are a force and are recognized by the industry, thanks to the hard work they all put in. We are capable of selling out venues, selling tickets, performing in theatres, stadiums, and comedy venues across the country, not just back rooms of the So & So Mexican restaurant.
We are a force, and WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT. So please consider spreading the word here and come support your Latino comics at the Ice House every Wednesday night. It's located at 24 Mentor Ave. in Pasadena, CA. Click on http://icehousecomedy.com/index.cfm for more information.
We have worked much too hard to have this night and show disappear for lack of support.
Thank you & God Bless
Rudy Moreno is a headlining comedian for the past 21 years, born in Lincoln Heights he has performed across the country, Japan, Mexico and Korea, has over 40 TV appearances and is the Producer and Host of the Original Latino Comedy Showcase