With a career spanning more than 20 years and multiple continents, Pablo Francisco has seen comedy through the height of the cable special and the rise of YouTube and Netflix, but what he’s never seen before is Alaska.
That changes this weekend as the Arizona-grown, California-based 45-year-old comic, perhaps known best for his spot-on impressions, makes his Greatland debut Thursday night at Everett’s Resort in Wasilla and heads to the Anchorage Bowl on Friday for an evening at Chilkoot Charlie’s.
Shows both nights are at 7 and 9:30 and tickets are available at http://www.erickson.events.
“It’s still kind of hard to believe the fact that people come out and see me,” Francisco said. “It’s like coming up for the first time — gets me stoked. It’s all about getting people out and having fun, so come on by.”
Francisco’s credits include being a featured player on Fox’s MADtv, tours with Carlos Mencia and appearances on The Tonight Show, along with multiple Comedy Central specials, but he’s best known for doing a vast array of impressions, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover, Jackie Chan, and his personal favorite, Don LaFontaine.
“It has to be the movie previews guy,” Francisco said before dropping into a flawless LaFontaine ‘In a World…’ voice. “‘If I was me, I’d be doing you,’ he said to me. So I was happy with that.”
Francisco said he was first turned on to doing voices by watching Saturday Night Live skits, especially those starring Dana Carvey. That inspiration led him to comedy stages in his hometown of Tucson.
“Basically, my hobby became a career and I started networking with people,” Francisco said. “The Tucson scene was great then. Laffs Comedy Club brought in the best from L.A. Improv — you couldn’t go wrong.”
Francisco’s array of voices span decades, some of them so many decades their relevance may be lost on certain audiences. After all, what audience member under 35 even knows who Casey Kasem is?
“So much of today’s youth now is rehashing the 80s and stuff like that, so it’s always nice to go back to those topics and add on to some bits that keep the show fresh,” Francisco said. “I like to take more of a fun picture and just start to draw, start feeling impersonations. It’s a little harder these days because all of the stars are so much alike.”
Francisco has found the advent of YouTube to be a blessing and a curse, especially for such a niche comic, though it has helped him book tours in Europe, having played shows in Norway, Sweden, Poland, and the Baltic nations.
“The thing is, you can send your clips and e-blast them all the way to Europe and they’ll tell you, we want you over here,” he said. “I’m a universal comic, not really political. I’m like a Benny Hill divided by the square root of In Living Color. Basically, that translates pretty well so I’ve booked like crazy in Europe.”