Comedy impressionist Pablo Francisco will bring a variety of voices with him when he performs at Helium Comedy Club from March 2 to 4. The former “Mad TV” cast member is currently working on a new hour-long special to be recorded later this year, but he promises fans will hear some old favorites during his five shows in Buffalo. I caught up with Francisco during a recent phone interview.
Question: How are you doing today?
Answer: I’m doing good right now; just getting ready to hit Buffalo. I’m looking forward to it. I just want to let everybody know that if you’re going to start the party, start it at Pablo’s show. It’s a good appetizer and a good place to take a date, because we do all the talking. The lights go down, so you can save the conversation for later. We’re going to be making fun of everybody who deserves to be made fun of.
Q: What was your first impression?
A: It was Kermit the Frog. I saw him on a television commercial. Then my Kermit went into a Boz Scaggs, then the Boz Scaggs then went into an African-American. Then (I did) Aaron Neville, then it transformed into Casey Kasem, then into Shaggy from Scooby Doo.
Q: What kind of qualities do you look for when you think about doing a new impression, and what kind of work goes into it for you?
A: The first thing I look forward is something that’s different from most other comedians. Everybody does an impersonation of Arnold Schwarzengger, but it’s the tag of (the joke) of it. “I’ll be back” as he gets older becomes “Ow my back.” I try to hit it dead on, and the one person who really hits it dead on is the act who performs before me, Steve Kramer. This guy is an excellent impersonator. The first thing is to get the voice down perfectly, then tag it with a great joke or scenario.
Q: The most famous person in the world right now is President Donald Trump, and he seems like he has a lot of qualities that’s easy to impersonate. Is that a character you do now?
A: My friend Steve does a really good impression. Alec Baldwin is doing it on “Saturday Night Live.” I stay away from it because everybody’s going after it like crazy, like it’s another Christopher Walken.
Q: It seems like a Trump impression can easily go badly as well.
A: Yeah, right. Everybody does Christopher Walken, so I’ll go do Dennis Hopper. “Come on, man!” I always try to make it different or unique. You’ve got Mark Walberg, who’s in every movie. “Hey man, you doing good? You doing good?” He’s taking everybody’s roles. It’s very hard right now to find a good celebrity, because nobody really has pizzazz or really sticks out. Everyone is basically the same. As far as physical features go, Steve can transform into some of the guys from “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s a fun little show and we’re going to throw some cartoons in there. It’s going to be a little comedy and cartoons mixed together, so it should be a good blend.
Who: Pablo Francisco
Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.
When: 8 p.m. March 2, 7:30 and 10 p.m. March 3 and 4