On this day in comedy on June 11, 1976, Comedian, Actor, Felipe Esparza was born in Sinaloa, Mexico.
Esparza wasn’t born in East L. A., but he was raised there and those experiences are the basis for his material. His comedy is raw, unflinching and filled with universal cultural references. You don’t have to be Latin to know what’s he’s talking about even though that’s what he’s talking about. With his signature wild hair and infectious catchphrase, “What’s up, fool’, Esparza got immediate attention as soon as he jumped into comedy.
Esparza received television exposure in record time. Within a year and a half of telling his first joke he was on Showtime; on the “Diamonds in the Rough” segment. From there he went on to appear on Showtime’s Comics Without Borders, Byron Allen’s Comic’s Unleashed, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, BET’s Comic View, Russell Simmons Presents Stand-Up at the El Rey and Que Locos on Galavision. On the latter program he made more showings than any other comedian in the show’s history. The culmination of all this TV hopping was his 2010 win on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. In 2011 Showtime aired his special, They’re Not Gonna Laugh at You.
He was featured in two films in 2009: The Deported co-starring Nick Turturro, Paul Rodriguez and Talia Shire as well as I’m Not Like That Anymore, a movie based on Esparza’s stand-up and also co-starring Rodriguez (playing Esparza’s father). In 2014 he launched his hit podcast on the All Things Comedy Network entitled what else? – “What’s Up Fool?”
In 2014, Esparza was in a Honda ad campaign to sell more Hondas to the Latin market. The way he did the commercial was to make fun of ads that try to sell products to the Latin market. He also did some ads with comedienne, Lauren Lapkus for Target Mobile services. In 2017 his special Translate This premiered on HBO. Esparza is a consummate personal appearance attraction and performs to capacity crowds.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: