Comedian Ricky Cruz on Charlie's Angels, Patrice O'Neal, and Miami Posers

Very few comedians in this city can drop a joke better than the indubitable Ricky Cruz. The Miami native has been a staple of local standup comedy for years. His constantly evolving routine consistently possesses a sharp insight into our city's multicultural mess. Miami's downright funny, and Cruz is not only a consummate professional in his satire and shtick, he's a cool motherfucker. You've seen him on HBO, Comedy Central, NBC's Last Comic Standing, and at the South Beach Comedy Festival. And now you can enjoy him in an intimate and exclusive interview with yours truly.

New Times: How was your 2011?
Ricky Cruz: Twenty-eleven was great. I celebrated my 13th year in the business and had some amazing opportunities in film and television. I got to work with Tom Cruise for two months on Rock of Ages and had a co-starring role on the now cancelled Charlies Angels. Bummer it was canceled, but still cool to have a small part in an iconic series. Stand-up was steady. I continued working in great clubs nationwide with some cool cats. Sorry one of my favorite guys to work with, Patrice O'Neal, passed away. He was amazing to watch work. RIP, buddy.

What was the best comedy film in 2011?
Horrible Bosses without a doubt. F'ing hilarious. We've all been there, working some job we hate for some clown that gets off on riding you.

Who was the best national comic you opened up for in 2011?

O'Neal. We did a couple of weeks together. He was just a giant, never

compromising what he believed. He definitely wasn't trying to be a

crowdpleaser, which I love. So many of us forget that. It's not about

what they want you to talk about, it's about what you want to talk

about. I love it.

What's the best venue for comedy in Miami?

me it's still the Miami Improv, but I tell you, it's not like the old

days. When I started out it was the one game in town. Now there's this

indie movement of young comics who open rooms in bars, restaurants, or

wherever they can. Forrest Shaw has a spot in downtown that's a blast at

Elwoods pub. Also, it's always fun at the Comedy Inn.

Would you move to LA or NY if they called?

lived in LA for five years. I love it out there. Me and my wife moved

back to raise our kids close to family. I've been fortunate that although I live down here, I still get around for work. I would definitely

move back but I would also miss hitting Publix on Sunday mornings for

that Cuban bread. Got to have it, baby.
What's the funniest thing about Miami?

thing about Miami is grown men acting all big-time with the chain, and

the car, walking around with their paycheck in their pocket but living

at home with mami and papi.
Are comedians fun to hang out with?

are like pit bulls: If you socialize them at a young age, you can take

them to the park and they play nice. If not, it's a nuisance.   

What advice would you give to aspiring comedians?

on stage as much as possible. Be original. Take lots of chances,

explore all sides of your creativity and eventually "you" will come out.

Oh yeah, and don't be annoying. Nothing will make experienced comics

not want to work with you more then trying to work bits into

conversation in the green room, or saying you're a headliner because you

closed a show at some podunk chuckle hut, have a gang of Facebook friends, but

only have two minutes of material. Gross. Stay hungry and original.
Fill in the blank: "Miami is so..."

I love it, though. It has a big city feel, everybody knows us worldwide, but it's really like a small town where you're one or two degrees

separated from anyone in the city.

Catch Ricky Cruz live at

a one-night only performance Saturday, January 7th at the Area Stage

Theatre. Shows are at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Tickets start

at $10. For more info visit

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J.J. Colagrande
Contact: J.J. Colagrande