For one night, Latino Congressional members took shots at each other in what some would dub a comedy roast at the 12th annual Reyes of Comedy.
The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Rep. Charlie Gonzalez took the hot seat during the first half of the session. Yet, the honor was for Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas).
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) introduced Gonzalez on stage, but not without first hitting him with a light joke.
“A man who is bilingual—I taught him everything he knows in Spanish,” said Serrano. “I taught him everything about Mexican culture and music because he didn’t know what was either, right?”
Gonzalez admitted in a surprising tone that Serrano was actually very funny. He proceeded to introduce Reyes. And it was Reyes who stole the majority of the laughter.
Once he got on stage, the Congressman said the chairman has been a great friend and admitted they’re going to miss him after he retires this year. He then boasted that there might be some life after Congress by joining a niche market for a silver edition of a chip-n-dale performance.
Reyes is being commemorated into the Reyes of Comedy Hall of Fame for his support of the comedy act, which started when he was the chairman of CHC in 2001 to 2002.
Years later the promise of the comedy act has surged as one of the main highlights of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute annual festivity. It showcases up-and-coming Latino comedians.
Four comedians were recruited to participate in the 12th annual Reyes of Comedy show this Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Amphitheater as part of the CHCI’s Hispanic Heritage Month events.
Among the selected comedians are Alex Reymundo of the showtime hit “Red-Nexican,” Melissa Villasenor, who does stand ups in L.A., Eric Rivera and Felipe Esparza.
Alex Reymundo who admitted he is a first generation Mexican native took one last hit at the Congressman Silvestre Reyes during his stand up.
“It’s nice to see the Congressmen making very funny jokes—I don’t know where they find the time to write all those jokes,” he said. “They must have a lot of free time on their hands.”
Gonzalez was chuckling at the back seat of the theater.
CHCI has been portraying a message of empowerment to the Latino community for more than 30 years. It has helped thousands of young Latinos. Many of them are often first in their family to attend college. They go on to become leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
The funds for the Comedy show support CHCI’s mission to support young Latinos. Such programs include “Ready to Lead,” which promote high school students, congressional internships and scholarships.
To be eligible for the paid fellowships, aspiring Latinos would need to have recently earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
The comedians who garnered the most applause and laughs for an hour were the ones who were aptly able to connect to the humor of the audience and their sensitivity to culture.
It is their comedic portrait of Latino life in the United States.
The last comedian, Felipe Esparza, was the winner on season seven of the “Last Comic Standing.” Esparza is described as someone who is most well known for his raw comedy on stage and wild hair.
He garnered the most laughs because of his depiction of the immigration experience.
He recalled how his father can’t speak english, so as his son he has often served as translator. He then embraced in a sarcastic way the ins and outs of Mexican culture.
Like drinking Horchata.
“Somebody looks at me and says, ‘What are you drinking there, sir?’” he said. “I’m drinking Horchata—fruit of the gods.”
They ask, “What does it taste like?”
He responds, “Well, I’m Mexican to me it has always tasted like Horchata.”
The CHCI conference ends Thursday in the closing of the annual gala. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to address the guests.