The Premier Filipino American comedian Rex Navarrete was in town last week and we manage to steal his precious time for an interview with us. Join us in our inaugural episode of Seriously Kam and you can also be treated to a video of Rex and the rest of the comics that performed on Fri & Sat at LOL Livehouse, Kuala Lumpur's premier comedy club. Prakash Daniel was the host and we were also treated to our very own Dr Jason's comedy routine and to bring it home ...Rex Navarrete. Tune in tomorrow as we talk to Rex on his comedy, live and everything in between.
Many claim that college is the turning point in one’s life, when one finds his or her future. This was the case for San Francisco Bay Area comedian Rex Navarrete, when Navarrete’s college professor told him he was wasting his talents.
“He told me, ‘Get out of my office-we shouldn’t be joking here, you should be taking those jokes to the stage,” recalls Navarrete of his Asian American Studies professor Dan Gonzales, the teacher who encouraged his dream to be a comedian in 1989.
That spring, 19 year-old Navarrete was baptised by fire, entertaining a crowd of 800 at the annual Asian Pacific Islander Student Union conference at UC Santa Cruz.
“I was looking for my identity then just as everyone else was at that age,” says Navarrete. “Much of my material was very serious, it lacked comedy. I figured that I had some important stuff to say, so say it in the format of stand-up. This is where I started to take comedy as a vehicle seriously.”
By the early 1990’s, Navarrete began seeing his routine evolve through the use of characters, many of whom were struggling underdogs. His portrayals, which ranged from his ESL teacher Mrs. Scott to his Uncle Boy and to Maritess the domestic worker, gave him the voice to air his thoughts on issues and speak about things that otherwise wouldn’t be mentioned.
Navarrete gathers all of his material from what he calls “real Rex moments,” reality and shared life experiences. “I think everything has humor; you will always find humor. I don’t always make stuff up. Even though most of my material is geared for a Filipino audience, if you’re smart enough you’ll understand the universality of it. Look at the comedy traditions of Jewish and African American comics, which are now the mainstream througNavarrete remains to be a one of the hardest working, relatively unknown American comedians today though he’s performed alongside notable national headliners as George Lopez, DL Hughley, Paul Mooney, among others. He does plan to release a number of other comedy albums on CD and DVDs under his label for fans to enjoy.
The future seems to only give him the chance to connect with a larger audience that is now finally getting the opportunity to experience the changing face of American stand-up comedy.h Seinfeld, Bruce, Allen, Rock, Pryor and Murphy. Our struggles become our comedy.”