Meet Vanessa Gonzalez — A Comedian To Watch In 2020

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Who Is Vanessa Gonzalez? New Details About The Comedian To Watch In 2020

There’s a huge misconception that women aren’t funny. Male comedians have been saying it for ages, possibly out of insecurity and jealousy, or it may be more deeply rooted. John Belushi famously once said women are “fundamentally not funny,” even though Gilda Radner was known to make him laugh.

Saturday Night Live cast member Jane Curtin also once revealed, “You’d go to a table read, and if a woman writer had written a piece for John, he would not read it in his full voice. He felt as though it was his duty to sabotage pieces written by women.”

We’ve come a long way since then, with funny women flooding the comedy scene with hilarious antics, new takes on feminine issues, and giving the guys a run for their money. Seriously, can we talk about how hilarious women like Natasha Leggero, Ali Wong, and Maria Bamford are?

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And thank goodness there’s never a short supply of funny ladies, just like one comedian out of Texas. Who is Vanessa Gonzalez? Meet the female comedian who is showing the world how funny women, and Latino women, especially, can be.

1. She’s always loved comedy.

Growing up in Laredo, Texas, Gonzalez has always been interested in comedy.

In the Austin Chronicle, she revealed, “Growing up, I loved watching HBO specials. I remember being in, like, sixth grade and watching these specials and memorizing them.” But it wasn’t until college, where she studied theater, that she wanted to be a performer, adding, “Comedy. Stand-up. I was always a fan of them, but it seemed so scary, I thought, ‘I could never do that!’”

2. But she had a career before comedy.

Before dedicating her life to comedy and making people laugh, she taught preschool for six years! Said Gonzalez, “I loved working with kids. They’re so honest, and the way they look at things is so genuine... [Teaching] definitely influenced me as far as how I look at things. I miss working with kids and being around them all the time. The adults, not so much.”

Her sketch series, Ms. Vanessa, was primarily about her experiences teaching, and had had anecdotes about her career in various stand-up sets.

3. She eventually became a comedian.

In 2009, Gonzalez began performing stand-up and was voted “Best Stand-up Comic” in The Austin Chronicle. But it wasn’t until 2017 when she really broke out. At the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, she was part of New Faces, soon beginning her web series, Ms. Vanessa, for Mas Mejor, a digital platform.

Since then, she’s had a comedy hour special, and has been featured on TruTV’s Laff Mobb’s Laugh Tracks. She has also performed in a long list of festivals, including ​Big Sky Comedy Festival, SXSW, Austin Sketch Fest, Sound On Sound, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Trill Comedy Festival, Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest, and Vancouver Sketch Fest.

In addition, she was featured on HBO Latino’s special called Entre Nos: Spot On, which aired in April 2019. The special featured four Latino comedians, one of which was Gonzalez, as they “took a turn at the mic to share their hilarious, universal stories of life, love and being Latino.” 

She loves writing the most, though. According to a piece in Comedy Wham, “I would love to, you know, write and act in my own show and keep telling my stories.” 

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4. Her roots are in improv and sketch.

When discussing the difference in the Austin Chronicle, she revealed:

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“With sketch, I feel like I pull from more absurd places. I let my imagination run wild. Because you’re playing characters and you have other group members and scenes, you’re able to get as absurd and wacky as you want. But with stand-up, you’re talking with your voice. For me, my best voice comes from being truthful...

With my stand-up, I definitely try to be as honest and vulnerable as I can. That’s just my type of writing style. I always pull from true, real things that have happened to me or my family, my friends, or my boyfriend. It does get scary sometimes. Especially if I’m talking about someone who’s real. I’m like, ‘Well, they’re going to hear about this!’”

5. She’s also opened up about her body image. 

While being interviewed for Comedy Wham, Gonzalez talked openly about how she’s transformed over the years, “reconciling feelings about her body image and professional readiness,” which has allowed her to take opportunities she may not have otherwise.

“I feel like I've definitely learned that in the past year of...being comfortable with who I am and not letting my insecurities stop me,” she said. 

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.​