Comedy Wham LIVE: Chris Cubas Has a Story For You

January 11, 2019

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin

Listen

This week’s episode marks a pair of momen­tous occa­sions: our first ever LIVE pod­cast inter­view record­ing (from the amaz­ing Fall­out The­ater), and Valerie Lopez get­ting the chance to sit down with a guest we’ve been dying to talk to for some time now, Chris Cubas! 

Cubas is a pow­er­house in the Austin com­e­dy scene, and hosts The Sting show­case and the pod­cast Can­celed. He’s also been seen and heard nation­wide on Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies pod­cast, Com­e­dy Central’s @midnight, and his own show Chris Gets Mon­ey on FUSION

If you told a young Chris Cubas, bro­ken down on the side of the road on a 100 mile round trip from his first open mic in upstate New York, that he’d have a mile long cred­it list…well, he might actu­al­ly not be that sur­prised. Born in the projects of Stat­en Island, he grew up inter­est­ed in com­e­dy, absorb­ing icons of the time like Bill Cos­by, and soak­ing in the humor his fam­i­ly loved, like Soupy Sales. He even had some celebri­ty expo­sure, in the form of get­ting roast­ed by phone from Bob­by The Brain” Heenan, under his belt. That’s a 100% intend­ed wrestling pun; Cubas is a huge fan of the sport to this day. 

So when he head­ed out to that first open mic, it seemed like a nat­ur­al step, and – aside from the car giv­ing up the ghost – didn’t go half bad. 

As Cubas recounts this ear­ly tale to Valerie, you can’t help but imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nize an ana­logue to his sto­ry­telling style of com­e­dy. Rather than a note­book of labo­ri­ous­ly, metic­u­lous­ly craft­ed mate­r­i­al, Cubas likes to work from his self-described weird­ly good” mem­o­ry, putting the spin on the nar­ra­tive thread he feels comes most nat­u­ral­ly. I have ideas, I just say em. I’m not smart enough to say em smart, so I just say em,” he jokes.

I have ideas, I just say em. I’m not smart enough to say em smart, so I just say em.” Chris Cubas

Austin has been home to Cubas for 10 years as of this episode. In 2008, he came down to Austin for a Fun­Fun­Fun Fest appear­ance, and lit­er­al­ly returned home the next week­end, packed up a duf­fel bag, and moved here. 

It’s that kind of self assured spon­tane­ity that gets Cubas into some of the many inter­est­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties he’s land­ed, like open­ing for Ral­phie May dur­ing a 2013 sum­mer tour. Or mak­ing it onto the @midnight stage. The show was look­ing for unknown”, but fan favorite, come­di­ans to bring on, and Cubas was so suc­cess­ful, he end­ed up mak­ing a hand­ful of appear­ances. Those appear­ances got him man­age­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and led to the labo­ri­ous, metic­u­lous­ly craft­ed, idea for Chris Gets Mon­ey. (We kid; the con­cept came to him lit­er­al­ly on the bus ride to the explorato­ry meet­ing.) In Mon­ey, Cubas gets to live like the 1% for 30 days, and doc­u­ments the whole thing. His per­spec­tives on class dif­fer­ences on dis­play in Mon­ey mesh per­fect­ly with his well honed sociopo­lit­i­cal and philo­soph­i­cal obser­va­tions on mod­ern life. That’s a fan­cy way of say­ing he calls shit like he sees it: inequal­i­ty, racism, and absurd social norms are all fod­der to be deft­ly dis­sect­ed on stage and screen. 

When he’s not per­form­ing, it’s not uncom­mon to find Cubas dri­ving com­mu­ni­ty events that show the size of his heart match­es his giant per­son­al­i­ty. He’s helped run mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits and fundrais­ers, includ­ing for the fam­i­ly of the amaz­ing Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin Win­ner – and all around beau­ti­ful per­son – the late Lashon­da Lester, and recent­ly for RAICES, an orga­ni­za­tion that sup­ports fam­i­lies with immi­gra­tion and asy­lum chal­lenges. It’s been noth­ing short of inspir­ing to see Cubas jump into action to do what­ev­er he can to help make the best out of bad situations. 

While a move to one of the coasts (the tra­di­tion­al Com­e­dy Migra­tion Trail) is def­i­nite­ly a pos­si­bil­i­ty in Cubas’s future, he’s not sit­ting idle while he’s here in Austin. The first Wednes­day of every month Cubas hosts the show­case The Sting at King Bee Lounge. He also has a week­ly pod­cast, Can­celed, that fea­tures guests dis­cussing TV shows that last­ed only one sea­son (or less) on air; past episodes have cov­ered greats like Freaks and Geeks, and less­er known…gems?…like the short lived musi­cal police dra­ma Cop Rock. He’s got an ency­clo­pe­dic knowl­edge of many and sundry cul­tur­al top­ics, and it’s a joy to see and hear him opine on them. 

As soon as you fin­ish lis­ten­ing, start mak­ing plans to see and hear Chris Cubas:

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We’d like to extend a spe­cial thanks to Fall­out The­atre for host­ing this spe­cial event, and the many fans and lis­ten­ers that came out. Dou­ble that thanks, and add one giant bear hug, to Chris Cubas, for giv­ing us a stel­lar open­ing set and wide-rang­ing, hon­est, and hilar­i­ous inter­view. Be on the look­out for news from us on future events; we’re hop­ing to bring you more spe­cial sur­pris­es, so reach out with your ideas for guests! 

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