Cristela Alonzo grew up so poor in south Texas, the first-generation Mexican American lived with her single mother and siblings in an abandoned diner. Back then she learned English from watching TV and dreamed of a life as an actress. She found her true love in stand-up comedy, and that eventually led to her co-creating and starring in her own ABC sitcom, Cristela. She could have gone on to co-anchor The View. Who knows, she still might! In the meantime, she gives a voice to the upcoming Angry Birds movie and is prepping her first Netflix special. Cristela let me know how she has made the most of her opportunities, and even created one of her own.
She tells me about her friendship with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s parents — Alonzo has seen Hamilton three times, while Miranda’s parents made Alonzo their first comedy club experience just this past month. About how she saw Dave Chappelle the first time she went to a comedy club, and about how clubs figured the very beginning of her stand-up journey.
So let’s get to it!