On this day in comedy in March 2, 1956 Comedian, Actor, Angel Salazar was born.
Salazar once said that if he had a dollar for every time somebody said to him, “Chi Chi, get the YaYo” he’d be a millionaire. It was the immortal line in 1983’s Scarface uttered by Al Pacino’s drug kingpin character, Tony Montana to Salazar’s henchman during a drug deal gone wrong. That single instructive phrase to grab the almost forgotten cocaine came after a hail of gunfire in an iconic scene that made Salazar a pop culture fixture. Not bad for a Cuban-American comedian in an era when few Latin comedians were on the mainstream radar.
Angel Salazar was 27 years old when Scarface made him a hot commodity. He was a seasoned stand-up comedian, whose style was raw, interactive and manic. Like most ethnic comics he talked about being ethnic; punctuating punchlines as well as set ups with his catch phrase, “Sheck it out”. During his career Salazar opened for the Beach Boys, Billy Ocean, Van Halen, the Miami Sound Machine and Whitney Houston. He also appeared on Last Comic Standing and had numerous HBO specials.
Prior to Scarface Salazar had a productive film career going. He had roles in Boulevard Nights, Walking Proud, Where the Buffalo Roam and A Stranger is Watching. After Scarface he stayed right on track with appearances in The Wild Life, Sylvester, Hot to Trot, Punchline (w/Tom Hanks), Maniac Cop 2, Carlito’s Way (w/Al Pacino again), Vote For Me, Harlem Blues, Rose Woes and Joe’s, Made In Brooklyn, Trust Me, Crumble and The Last Gamble. Angel Salazar liked popping up in documentaries, too such as 2002’s Comedian and The Latin Legends of Comedy featuring Joey Vega and JJ Ramirez in 2006. Though mainly Salazar liked doing stand up and would take year-long extended breaks from films to hit the road and just be a comedian.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out the clip: