Jesus Trejo scored an impressive debut with his first stand-up special, which premiered on Showtime in May.
Trejo’s first joke will hit home with people stuck at home in quarantine, as he describes an unusual online purchase. “I ordered an hourglass, and man it came, I was so excited. I didn’t know what I needed it for, but I was like, I need one.” He takes this premise into some amusing directions, all of which eventually circle back to reveal the joke’s on him.
That’s a recurring pattern for Trejo.
He reveals he’s not only bad at self-defense, but often awkwardly or embarrassingly so. Whether he’s a child mugged at gunpoint forced to translate the mugging to his Spanish-speaking mother, or walking back to his car late at night after a gig when he was 32, or even just sidekick to a friend who got into fisticuffs in Las Vegas, Trejo isn’t exactly hopeless, although he always finds himself quite helpless. And in tears. Sad for him. Funny for us.
Trejo also found himself becoming a caregiver to both of his parents for a while, for a time even giving up comedy to take over his father’s landscaping business. “I felt like I lived the American Dream backwards,” he realizes, having graduated from college and pursued his comedy dreams, only to wind up mowing lawns. Once again, though, this potentially sad story has a happy ending.
Don’t worry: There also are a couple of bits that don’t carry much emotional weight. Such as an act-out imagining how one of his childhood friends, a gynecologist who paid his way through medical school by working as a mechanic, may have kept some of his old habits in his new job. Or how some popular trends in contemporary America, such as ripped jeans or abstract art, might not translate to his immigrant parents.