The man with the gift of laughter is back. Ricky Del Rosario is back in full effect and this time he is not stopping. He has taken off and putting smiles on millions of faces of all different races and ages. With all the laughter comes celebration. He is doing it big with the release of his new DVD entitled “I missed you…” and performance at Matt Barnes NBA All Star Weekend After Party. In this interview, Ricky talks about his years of comedy, what he has learned, what he has accomplished and where he is going!!!!
Where are you from?
I am originally from Seaside, CA. A lot of people do not know where it’s located. It is located in Central, CA. next to Monterey. It is a small city with a population of approximately 30,000 people. It is different from the Monterey area which is more upper class and wealthy. Seaside is more of a diverse neighborhood. We have African Americans, Latin Americans and Asians, whereas, Monterey and the surrounding cities are mostly Caucasian.
You have lived in Seaside all your life?
Well I stayed there a lot when I was a kid. I began to bounce back and forth from Seaside to San Diego. I spent most of my time in Seaside.
So how did you stumble upon the world of comedy?
(Laughs) The whole household was filled with comedy. We had a 3 bedroom home and depending on who was staying with us, we would have from 8 to 14 people staying with us at one time. It was a crowded house for sure and everyone had his/her own character. You hear Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock talk about getting their inspiration from their families that is definitely where I get my inspiration. I also got some inspiration from hanging out in the neighborhood with all the people playing basketball, being in the street and getting into a lot of trouble. That is where I get some of the comedy from.
Were you a class clown?
Oh yeah, I was a class clown in elementary, junior high and in high school. I got in trouble with a lot of my clowning like sneaking under the teacher’s desk while he had his back turned writing on the chalkboard and jump up and start imitating him and sneak back under the desk and go back to my desk before he turned around. One time, the teacher caught me and he leaned back in his desk and made me hit my forehead.
When did you know that you wanted to do something with your gift of laughter?
I always knew. I watched a lot of comedy growing up. I always knew there was a big difference between being in the street and making people laugh as opposed to going on stage and doing it. You are going to have a diverse crowd on stage, sometimes the people don’t know who you are so they are not going to laugh as easily. Everyone began to tell me, “You need to do comedy, you need to do comedy!” In college, I saw a flyer for an open mic and so I went for it. I actually had a lot of friends in the audience that night so that is why they laughed but I really think I sucked. As far as picking a joke and constructing it, format it to paint a picture and something to have people to listen to. I don’t think I did that correctly the first few times. I really love being on stage and entertaining people so I got stoked after that.
Who inspires you? Who do you look up to in the comedy world?
I was kind of labeled as an urban comedian back in the 90’s. A lot of times it was because I was doing comedy about where and how I grew up. Now my comedy has kind of changed where I can fit any genre and look at different inspiration. Back then, it was Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and people like that. Now my comedy is a little more well rounded, so I can look at people like Louis C.K, he can write a whole entire hour set in like a few weeks. Other comedians like Tosh Burress from the series Tosh.O, he is real funny too. The one who really cracks me up most of the time is Mike Epps. A lot of times you can watch Mike Epps and he doesn’t specifically have a hard hitting punch line but his animation, the way he smiles and the way he can tell a joke is awesome. Kevin Heart and Eddie Murphy does as well. That is the type of comedy that my comedy is based on. However, I do not want to be labeled as an Urban Comedian. Then you kind of get Pigeon holed as a certain type of comedian. I pretty much can do any type of comedy.
I here you have a new DVD coming out entitled “I missed you…”. Tell me about it
Yes it is a comeback DVD. I have been out of the game for about 9 or 10 years. I wasn’t totally out of it. I continued to write and do little things here and there. But, I was out of the spotlight doing comedy. The DVD is kind of a collaboration of a few things that I have done mixed in with some street antics mixed in with some interviews. I wanted to do a DVD that didn’t have straight stand up for about an hour. After watching somebody for an hour gets boring with the same visual and look. I wanted to make this kind of stimulate the mind with the way the world works today with all the electronics. I want to keep their attention span. It’s weird that I completed this DVD back in July. From July until now, I have a bunch of new material. I am almost ready for DVD # 2.
You said that you were out of the spotlight for about 9 or 10 years, was there a reason behind that or did you just want to take a break?
Well what happened was, I was down in LA and I had a real “high-powered” manager, she managed a lot of big names and a lot of big names in comedy. I was in a lot of interviews with heads of major networks. This lady was really hard on me and she pushed me, not in a good way. She had a negative personality and I came to a point where I wanted to take a break. I intended on taking a few months from comedy to regroup and things like that. It ended up being 10 years but within those 10 years, I started two businesses, I became a professional kick boxer, I wrote a children’s book, I had two kids, got married and a bunch of other stuff. So, I lived life but I always missed being on stage and doing comedy.
Can you talk about your other passions besides comedy?
I really like spending time with my family. I have 2 daughters and I talk about them in my routine a lot. I also train professional fighters. I am very athletic; I play a lot of sports like basketball and golf. I actually still have businesses that I run. When I am doing comedy, I have people who will come in and take over while I am out performing and doing what I have to do. I am the type of person that lives life where later I would not have any regrets while I am young. You know my back may go out any day, so I might as well do all that I can.
What are some of the changes that you see in the world of comedy over the years? Do you see comedy going into a more positive light?
I think comedy has evolved. If you look at comedians back in the 80’s and early 90’s, you have some comedians do now what they did back then but now it is really not that funny anymore. I think a lot of people are straying away from ignorant comedy and going towards the more well rounded comedy. It doesn’t have to be just political or it doesn’t have to be awe-inspiring inspirational and the comedians that go around cussing all the time are not funny anymore and that is my personal opinion. Back in the day when I use to do comedy I was little more not as well rounded so I try to hit all aspects. I try to hit every kind of personality of everyone that is watching me. I love it when 60, 70, 80 and 90 year olds come up to me and say “I love my show.” I think that is the most inspiring thing for me when I can hit a whole new generation. There is always going to be the story telling comedians, there is always going to be the ghetto comedians and there is always going to be the preppy comedians but honestly, whatever makes you laugh, you have done your job.
What makes you stand out from other comedians?
I think what sets me a part is that I take on characters. The first thing I ask the venue when I do comedy is how big the stage is. I literally will work the entire stage, front to back, side to side, it does not matter, I will use the whole entire stage. I lay on the stage and run across the stage. I use characters that will take up the whole stage. I don’t want to be that stand up comedian that never moves. When there is a big stage, I feel at home. I am very active. I am not a person that sweats but a few minutes on stage and I am sweating. I get a good work out up there. I am not just standing up there telling jokes but I am trying to give you a good visual on what is going on in my head.
What’s next for you?
We have the DVD going. I will be performing at Matt Barnes 2011 NBA All Star Weekend After Party. That will be a great event. There will be a lot of celebrities there. I am working with Luenell on some things. I am just trying to get out there make people laugh and see where it takes me. Hopefully, I will make people happy. I know I can’t make everybody happy .I am hoping to put a smile on a few faces.
Do you have any advice for any up and coming comedians?
You have to practice that’s for sure. There are a lot of comedians that are not good writers but they can do great physical comedy and vice versa. I think the hardest thing for me when I came back, was for me to think I would actually be at the exact same place that I was in 10 years ago. I went on the stage at a comedy club in the bay area and I ate it. I said to myself, maybe I should not come into comedy. I continued to go at it at different venues and got better and better. It is that way with any talent, if you don’t practice and try to perfect it, it will not work. So, I say Practice, Practice, PRACTICE!
Any final thoughts?
I just like being on stage and making people laugh. I don’t want to be like one of those American Idol contestants that go out there and says “I am the best singer in the world” and go out on stage and sound like a frog. I want to be one of those contestants that Wows the judges and the crowd. I have a lot of work to go. I think as a comedian I can never say that I am the best. I think there is always room for improvement so I just stay humble and learn. I see a lot of the comedians who are incredible but don’t have the venue to be seen or have the right people behind them.
Stay updated with Ricky, go to www.rickydelrosariocomedy.com
Stay updated with Ricky, go to www.rickydelrosariocomedy.com