Vanessa Gonzalez: Homecoming Queen

October 9, 2022

Photo Credit

Comedy Central


Valerie Lopez


Alyssa Spatola


Despite Vanes­sa Gon­za­lez mak­ing unde­ni­able strides in her com­e­dy career while work­ing and liv­ing out in LA, she wasn’t sure how she’d be received when she had to move back home to Austin, Texas dur­ing the pan­dem­ic – Are peo­ple going to think I failed?” she wor­ried. Quite the oppo­site. Upon her return, proud friends and fam­i­ly flocked to the Lare­do native to announce, You’re famous!” 

It’s been just so over­whelm­ing how Austin has wel­comed me back… When I have shows, they come out and it’s a lot to take in,” Vanes­sa Gon­za­lez told Valerie Lopez.

Since that home­com­ing, Gon­za­lez has been named one of Vari­etys Top 10 Comics to Watch in 2022, as well as vot­ed 2022 Best Stand-Up Com­ic in Austin by The Austin Chron­i­cle – prov­ing her to be not only hum­ble but unan­i­mous­ly hilar­i­ous. And the Vanes­sa Gon­za­lez home­com­ing parade didn’t end there. It kicked off in 2020 with the release of her debut album My Birthday’s Tomor­row,” and in just this year alone, she land­ed her first guest star role on The Gar­cias” on HBO Max and had her stand up com­e­dy aired on Will Smith’s This Joka.” With all these acco­lades and cred­its, the peo­ple of Texas (and beyond) have spo­ken and though it’s tak­en her some time, this home­town hero has right­ful­ly begun to inter­nal­ize the praise for her hard work and hilarity.

It's been just so overwhelming how Austin has welcomed me back.
Vanessa Gonzalez

There was always this guilt of being too fun­ny, or too good. I’ve always had that, ever since I start­ed: guilt of suc­ceed­ing or being too much. And I’m learn­ing that I don’t need to feel bad about it,” Gon­za­lez said. It’s been so great to just own it and be like, Yeah, I’m fuck­ing good at this!’”

Turns out, come­di­an Chelsea Han­dler agrees. When Gon­za­lez received an Insta­gram DM from Han­dler ask­ing to be her open­er, she had to do a dou­ble take to make sure it was the real deal. Sure enough, Gon­za­lez would soon find her­self on stage for the very first show of the (hilar­i­ous­ly named) Chelsea Han­dler: Vac­ci­nat­ed and Horny Tour. Gon­za­lez knew that show would be a vibe check audi­tion” to see if she would be a good fit for the entire tour. It was no sur­prise to Valerie to hear Gon­za­lez passed the test with fly­ing col­ors. When Valerie first inter­viewed Gon­za­lez way back in 2016 she point­ed out – and has since loved to remind – Gon­za­lez that she suc­ceeds at every­thing she tries. When Han­dler invit­ed Gon­za­lez for the full tour, it would be yet anoth­er excit­ing suc­cess under the comedian’s belt. While Gon­za­lez was con­fi­dent in her set that first night, she did share that she nev­er could have imag­ined actu­al­ly being booked on an entire the­ater tour of that scale after expe­ri­enc­ing a string of hard­ships. From the pan­dem­ic, to her mom being diag­nosed with can­cer, to not being able to pay rent due to a lack of work, Gon­za­lez felt that get­ting the tour was too good to be true,” but like a light at the end of a long, Covid‑y tun­nel, it was. So for [Han­dler] to send all those dates for like the year, I was just like, wow.’ It just felt like secu­ri­ty, at least for one year – which is not some­thing I’ve had in a long time… I was just so grate­ful,” Gon­za­lez said.

It's been so great to just own it and be like, ‘Yeah, I'm fucking good at this!’
Vanessa Gonzalez

And Texas is so grate­ful to have her back. Gonzalez’s par­ents, whom she lov­ing­ly roasts in her set, sup­port her so much that they reg­u­lar­ly make the 4‑hour dri­ve from Lare­do to Austin to catch her com­e­dy shows. Gonzalez’s mom (adorably) used to bring her con­grat­u­la­to­ry flow­ers after every set. Gon­za­lez has since explained to her mom that this was a stand up com­e­dy faux pas. While a bou­quet may not be cus­tom­ary for com­mon jesters, it cer­tain­ly is for a home­com­ing queen. And with Gon­za­lez as our reign­ing, peo­ple-appoint­ed best stand up com­ic in Austin, I’d say the crown fits just right.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear these words and more from Vanessa

Fol­low Vanessa

Vanes­sa can be seen and heard:

  • I’m Not Busy Pod­cast — Co-host­ed with Michael Foulk 
  • Open­ing on Chelsea Han­dler’s Vac­ci­nat­ed and Horny tour Octo­ber — Decem­ber 2022 — Dates/​tickets
  • The Com­e­dy Store, LA — Head­lin­ing Octo­ber 12, 2022 — Tick­ets
  • Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val 2022 — Head­lin­ing Octo­ber 19, 2022 — Tickets/​Passes
  • Debut Album — My Birth­day’s Tomor­row (Avail­able on all platforms)
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Vanessa Gonzalez