Written by Gary Miller
Chicago Comedian Ricky Gonzalez is set to record a live album this weekend. Ricky is an associate producer and regular performer at Comedians You Should Know, (CYSK) a comedy juggernaut in Chicago that runs a weekly showcase every Wednesday at Timothy O’Tooles, their home since 2010, as of this year they have started a show in Los Angeles as well. Their groundbreaking weekly showcases feature the top comedy talent from Chicago and Los Angeles as well as rising stars and established entertainers from across the country. We got a chance to talk to Ricky leading up to the recording. The decision to record at their home base seemed like a no-brainer,
“We were talking as a group and we’ve had about 10 album recordings done there. [Timmy O’Tooles] This will be my first and it’s the perfect venue.”
The album recording is highly anticipated in Chicago as one of the four shows has already sold out. The remaining shows for the album recording are Friday Nov. 20th at 8 P.M. and 10:30 P.M. and Saturday at 10:30 P.M.
One of the regulars in the Chicago scene, he also produces at the nationally renowned Lincoln Lodge, the longest running independent showcase running. in 2013, Ricky performed at the TBS Just For Laughs Festival and has since gone on to perform at some of the top comedy venues in the country, including Zanies and the Laugh Factory.
Ricky also works as a Wedding DJ, he got into it after his best friend’s wife got him into her business,
“At first I didn’t want to do it. I was so adamantly against it, then she just told me what they make and he was like definitely, yes, I can press play. (laughs) It’s the biggest con racket of all time to press play. It’s nice to get paid but it’s terrible when you’re a comedian killing yourself working hard on this material and getting paid in PBR tickets compared to what you do as a DJ.”
Perhaps DJing wasn’t something he always wanted to do, but comedy has been on his mind the entirety of his life,
“I was a comedy nerd as a kid. Loved comedy. Growing up, all I cared about was comedy and sports. I loved SNL and the bad boy era, loved Chris Farley. Currently, I love Eddie Pepitone. I’m a comedy nerd. There’s a running joke they always say to me that I don’t know about music.”
We got to talk to Ricky about some of his influences and how he got into comedy,
“There were two specials, Dave Chappelle’s Killing Them Softly and Jim Gaffigan’s Beyond The Pale. I saw those and thought I should seriously start to follow this. At first what terrified me was not being able to remember a joke. I thought there is no way I’m going to be able to remember a joke. Never had a performance background, then I started doing stand up. It’s like a muscle you train, now I can tell a ten minute joke without a problem. “
Comedy was the safety valve occupation for Ricky, a collegiate and semi-professional baseball player. Unsure of where to start at first, the Evanston, IL native started taking comedy and writing classes at Second City and the iO. Eventually he went to open mics,
“I was nervous and then realized it was ok to be new, everyone is just trying to get better. Eventually people will invite you to do their shows. I’ve been doing it for about six years”
On writing the album he said it was a goal he set for a year that he set out to complete,
“Most of the stuff on the album was written in the last year. Not everything, but a majority. I set a goal a year out by next November record an album, It was good pressure to have time to fill, forcing yourself to get material the best you can for 45 minutes to an hour, I just pushed myself to write the material in the past twelve months. It was the healthiest year I’ve had, it gave me tunnel vision. I was happy about not being bummed. Not being bummed to not be accepted into festivals, shows, its been the healthiest year.”
Comedy fans in Chicago and those familiar with Ricky should expect more of his sense of humor and style of comedy for the recording and should come ready to have a good time.
“I’m really excited, anybody who loves comedy should come out. If you’re familiar with me you know I talk a lot about kids. If you have worked with kids, hate kids, enjoy kids, you’ll enjoy this. You’ll enjoy it regardless.”
The album is set to be released on Itunes, Spotify, and Major Outlets.
“Being a part of this in Chicago. Being a part of Comedians You Should Know, it opens a lot of doors for people, I hope to make a name, for myself. It’s special.”
Tickets are available for sale at ComediansYouShouldKnow.Com
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