Funnyman Pablo Francisco returns to Pittsburgh’s The Improv for a handful of shows June 18-21

Pablo High Res Steet Point 2011By Michael DiVittorio

Legendary funnyman Pablo Francisco promises something special this week when he returns to The Improv in the Waterfront.

Francisco has brought his arsenal of characters, spontaneous outbursts, spot-on impressions and clever insights to Pittsburgh this time of year for at least the past six years.

This weekend’s performances will feature new material and an East Coast debut of Francisco and comedian Steve Kramer’s cartoon project, tentatively titled “Pablo’s Cartoon Cartel.”

The first show at 166 E. Bridge St. is Thursday at 8 p.m. Other performances are Friday at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., Saturday at 7 and 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 412-462-5233 or online at improv.com.

Francisco took some time in between shows in Las Vegas last week to talk with Pittsburgh In Tune about his upcoming stop in Homestead.

“We’ve got this cartoon we’ve been working on for a long time,” Francisco said. “(It has) Gary Busey giving people knowledge and some advice. We’re going to show it. The Pittsburgh room is a big room, kind of hollow. We’re going to show some ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ clips we did. It’s going to be a little different. The test run in Australia went good so we brought it back here.

“It’s like a Dave Chappelle meets cartoons. That’s what it is. The reaction for the cartoon’s been really good man.”

Francisco said Kramer provided a ton of work on the cartoons including perfect impressions.

“He’s the master of voices,” Francisco said of his collaborator. “He’s the master of figuring them out. He can hear a voice and get it way before I can and gets it right on the mark too. He’s a one-of-a-kind to see. He’ll be at the show all the way through Saturday. You’ll miss him Sunday.”

More information about the cartoons and other projects is available at stevekramerentertainment.com.

Along with the cartoons, Francisco said he has a new twist on some classic comedic topics.

“We definitely have to go back to psycho girlfriends,” he said. “It’s the only place where guys can talk out through me. I’ll be your voice. It’s basically ladies, you gotta make up your mind. Stop basically saying, ‘I want a guy with class and everything else,’ when you like gang member ghetto guys. I don’t get that.

“We’re going to talk about psycho chicks, psycho boyfriends and all kinds of things. We’re bringing more of the stupid stuff and making it funny. Bring a date. Bring two dates. We’ll do all the talking when the lights go down.”

Francisco had a suggestion for his Pittsburgh fans on how they should spend their weekend.

“Go to The Improv, get buzzed then go to Dave & Buster’s,” he said. “How bout that? Therefore you can fight with a video game afterward. Go to Club Erotica for the food.”

Francisco credits his grandfather, Gerbracht Francisco, for starting his love of the Steel City.

“Steelers are my favorite team so what’s up?” Francisco said.

Francisco said he will tap into Pittsburgh talent to help get the crowd going and comedian Sean Savoy may return to the Waterfront as well.

“He might be there he might not. He’s always fun to be with. He’s a cool cat,” Francisco said. “We’re going to give some locals some time to jump aboard the show. Pittsburgh got some good guys up there.”

Francisco has been involved in comedy since the 1990s. He appeared on numerous TV programs. His Comedy Central specials and DVDs — “They Put It Out There,” “Ouch” and “Bits and Pieces” — continue to be in high demand. Francisco’s worldwide fan base continues to grow with more than 137,000 Facebook fans and thousands of Twitter followers.

A portion of all proceeds from Francisco’s merchandise sales goes to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit dedicated to helping injured soldiers.

More information about Francisco is available at www.pablofrancisco.com.

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