Comedy club competitions aren’t always the best indication of who’s funnier than someone else. On any given night someone’s best 6 minutes can kill or be killed by many different factors. Saying someone is the funniest is always subjective, but on some occasions it is highly accurate. On Thursday March 29th, at the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, twelve comedians performed their best 6 minutes. Any one of them easily could have been a favorite to win, but on this night Raul Sanchez was the clear stand out.
The first time I saw Raul perform he was funny, but in a very predictable manner. His jokes depended on setting up an idea than saying the opposite ‘surprise’ to get the laugh. It was simple, but still a lot better than most people’s first times in that he at least knew how to write an actual joke. Slowly, by working every stage he could find, Sanchez started bringing in the surreal and abstract to express his own unique personality. Finding ways to incorporate God and the Universe in challenging, but endearing ways, Raul has worked hard to set himself apart from both his peers and influences.
Off stage, however, Raul is aloof and quiet, hiding under a low brimmed ball cap while sipping whatever domestic bottle is on special. He shuffles around occasionally interjecting in conversation, but usually just stands to the side coping with social anxiety. A former Iraq veteran, Raul carries the weight of his war experiences like an emotional burden – the kind of burden that comes out from time to time in very bad, but manageable ways. He’s a work in progress, not just as a comedian, but in life as well and as he matures on stage his confidence in interacting with society seems to follow. In just two years of Stand Up Raul has developed farther than many others could do in ten.
Comedy may be his passion, it may be his therapy, or it just may be his honest true voice. Whatever it is, it’s funny – and well earned.