You have to have lots of moxie to make any noise worth hearing in Texas. Cristela Alonzo, starring this fall in the new ABC sitcom “Cristela,” is a force of nature, charismatic enough to shake the whole state–with laughter. If a nationally syndicated show seems an improbable dream for a Latina girl from a small town in south Texas, it’s a dream she had even as a child.
A comedian, no matter how rock-the-house funny, doesn’t jump into the spotlight overnight. But over the past few years, Cristela has moved from small clubs to the national eye on venues like Showtime and Conan. Her quirky, observational humor has left them all laughing.
Why has she been featured on multiple “Comics to Watch” lists this year? Because she’s that perfect contradiction of being loose and pointed in her comic observations. Peek at her Twitter stream and you’ll see things like: “I thought the book of Genesis was about Phil Collins.”
The new show is semi-autobiographical, with Cristela playing a law student pursuing the American dream, and she’s approached it with characteristic gusto. She created the show’s concept, wrote the pilot, and will be a major force in the spirit of the show.
Though Cristela has never acted, years of stand-up performances before demanding audiences have taught her the fine points of timing, storytelling and how to deliver a laugh–or even a tear. Followed by another laugh, of course. Anyone who can tweet, “I always need a screwdriver when I’m building IKEA furniture because the vodka makes the time go faster” knows her way around a joke.