Audio and words by Lara
The first time I remember seeing Raul Sanchez was at an open mic in Austin, almost three years ago. It was a pretty cold room, with a lot of comics focused on their own set and patrons that were obviously not there for the show. Yet he stood out…he killed. I went up to him on the way to the bar and told him “great set.” He was humble and gracious, and I was completely ignorant that I had just met the current reigning Funniest Comic In Texas.
That’s the amazing thing about Raul Sanchez: he may seem shy and unassuming at first glance, but as I learned when I recently sat down to get to know him, he’s one of the friendliest and most personable people you would ever want to meet. Oh, and on stage, there’s another side of Sanchez, a guy who commands the stage and the audience with observations and expressions that stick in your head for days.
Born in Anahuac, Mexico, and coming to the US at the age of seven, Sanchez talks about what it was like crossing the border, and what it was like to slowly become immersed into the English language in South Texas. Settling in San Antonio a few years later, he was typically a shy kid in school, but like the Sanchez of today, he had another side that would cut up in certain classes for a laugh.
In exchange for American citizenship, he joined the Army in 2002. Sanchez served three tours with the Army in Afghanistan and Iraq as Airborne Infantry. Though he originally planned to make the military a career, after the exhaustion his final deployment, he decided to return home to San Antonio. Struggling with anxiety and depression, and in need of some levity, he walked into a comedy club open mic, and the rest was history.
One of the most fascinating things about Sanchez’ discovery of his comedic talent was the almost scientific approach he took to writing his material. That same analytical approach is also reflected in his humorous observations today. Sanchez remains very self-aware in the evolution of his comedy and where he would like to take it next.
As winner of Funniest Comic in South Texas 2012, Funniest Comic In Texas 2013, and a list of festival appearances including Just for Laughs in Montreal under his belt, it’s time you sit down and listen to our interview with Raul Sanchez. Then go to Last Gas Comedy to find his next show, as Sanchez plans to make that move to Los Angeles this summer.