Good One Podcast: Ricky Velez on stand-up

Ricky Vélez
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photo by Lloyd Bishop / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

When people talk about New York comedy vs. LA comedy, they’re usually talking about the scene time standards and the comics that make up the city scenes. But a bit like the players of a sports team, nobody asks where the actors really come from. Well, Ricky Velez, whose special first hour Here is all premieres on HBO on October 23, I’d like you to know it’s of-of New York. Queens, in particular. And although his career is off to a good start after playing and producing on The King of Staten Island, which led him to develop a TV show for HBO with Judd Apatow, this fact is more important than anything.

Among vultures Good podcast, Velez discusses his new special, working with Judd Apatow and representing Queens. You can read an excerpt from the transcript or listen to the full episode below. Tune Good every Thursday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast or wherever you get your podcasts.


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I wasn’t really on his radar. rock [Davidson] begged me to have an audition for King of Staten Island. This is who Pete is; he is the best. And I went in, I auditioned, and that night I had to do a show with Judd in Largo in LA. worst situation. I was like, If I bomb and have to stand in front of him … But I had a really good hearing, and then that night the two shows couldn’t have gone better. I saw him standing at the side of the stage while I was up there. So I did two different 15 minutes of just bangers – just for that. Then I got home to New York and was setting in bed with my wife, and I got a phone call from Judd, and he said, “I want you to write on the movie.” Basically he sent me the whole script to do a punch-up. Then he said to me: “What if you were on the set every day?” And quickly, he and I started to understand each other and to have fun and enjoy each other’s company, and we kind of became friends. It was really weird.

We kicked that for a while. We’re going to a few Mets games together. I saw Bruce Springsteen [with him]. It was awesome. I cried. It was crazy. I didn’t know anything about Bruce Springsteen. I didn’t know the story. I grew up in 50 Cent city. I didn’t know Bruce was the boss. I had no idea that was what it was going to be called. He came out and I thought people were hootin ‘at him. Fifteen minutes after this Broadway show started, I was using my mask to wipe my tears. It was unbelievable.

And he’s still my boss, but I really still appreciate Judd because he’ll let you go as far as you want with an idea, and sometimes he’ll push it away and say, “No, that’s not what we do.” let’s do. It makes more sense. Then it gives you answers on why it makes sense. He doesn’t just tell you. He kept putting me in good positions. When you work with people of this stature and people who have the past that he has and the way people look at him, you get a little nervous to start spitting out ideas because his idea is usually the best. And there was none of that. A lot of the things he preaches are like, “Lose the ego.” And that made the work comfortable.

It means more to me than to everyone, honestly, because I’m actually from here. Everyone says, “Uh, I’m a New York comedian. »No, you are a tourist in my city. It’s funny because some people have told me I have a chip on my shoulder for that, and it’s like, “Yeah, I want it.” When I started acting, I laid carpet. We used to come to New York and lay red carpets for events and then put them on the next day. I was basically trying to make my dream come true while Adrian Grenier stepped on my shit. It was just weird. One of my boys was fired for yelling at Entourage guys. He said, “You wanna see a real motherfucker from Queens.”

I have a chip on my shoulder because everything I have done. I worked in comedy clubs. I painted the ceiling of a comedy club in the 53rd. I didn’t have a parent paying me an apartment. Before, I had to take the F train to the last stop, go home, go live in my basement, come back to town the next day. Half an hour on the bus plus the last stop for the F train. There is nothing I haven’t done to try to make my dream come true.

And New York has been with me all the time. I mean, my high school won’t show me love. It’s really crazy. I saw them posting on someone the other day. I was like, “When am I going to start?” But I went to a performing arts high school, so it’s cool to see the kids who couldn’t keep following the dream like, “Yo, thank you. “I went to dinner the other day, and this kid walked up to me, and he said,” Thanks for representing Queens. And I was like, “It means more to me than anything.” And then I was like, Thank goodness I did tip this kid. It would have sucked.

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