Carmen Morales describes her childhood growing up in Orlando, Florida, as having been “raised in the middle of an argument.” Today, she is a whiskey-swilling stand-up, who tempers a sarcastic edge with straightforward logic. Morales has been seen on Fox’s “Laughs” and is regularly featured on Sirius XM. She has appeared at Gilda’s LaughFest Comedy Festival and the World Series of Comedy. She headines The Caravan this Thursday through Saturday.
LEO: You’ve been to Louisville many times. What do you remember about being here?
Carmen Morales: I remember nothing. Your bars are open until four in the morning. Louisville is one of my blackout cities. I know I always have a great time there, I just never remember what happened.
You’re a Canadian whiskey drinker, but do you switch to bourbon here?
I wish I liked bourbon more than I do. Bourbon burns, man. I drink Canadian whiskey because I don’t want it to hurt. But yeah, I’ll probably still end up having a couple of bourbons. Why wouldn’t I? I’m a grown-ass man.
What was your childhood like growing up in Orlando?
I was raised in the middle of an argument. I had an adorable,sassy Italian mom and a bipolar Hispanic dad. So it was never a dull moment. They were cute, though. They would tag team stories. Dad was crazy, so he was the super passionate narrator; and then mom would come in with the sound effects. They would put on a fuckin’ performance about some innocuous story that only took up like six minutes of our lives. But you would think it was the most important thing to ever happen.
Growing up in the shadow of Disney World couldn’t have sucked.
I’m not a big fan of the ‘Nazi rat.’ I saw a lot of friends who got sucked in there to become just another of their forever employees. They never really got to explore their true passions. It’s like Wal-Mart with a mascot. I say that. I’ll shit on Disney all day, but I do love amusement parks in general.
How did stand-up comedy come into your life?
Growing up I didn’t know it was thing you could work up to doing. I thought comedians were like magical beings. Like Gandalf or preachers. And at the time I didn’t know you went to school to be preachers, either. I thought they were people who were ordained by God and gifted with this knowledge of the Bible. Then when I got older my boss asked me, ‘What are you doing with your life?’ And I was like, ‘Bitch, you are above me. What do you mean what am I doing with my life?’ But her neighbor was dating a comedian, and she thought it was something I’d be interested in doing.
Is there anything off limits in your material?
Not really. I have talked about the time my dad tried to kill my mom and me, on stage in front of him. So I’m kind of good with anything. But there are certain jokes that you have to grow into. I couldn’t have written a joke about that experience when I started out. But as you get older you stop caring as much, and that’s when things stop being scary. I guess some people get more scared the closer they get to death. Not me. I think it’s freeing. I’m just collecting knowledge and learning that none of this means a thing.
Has being so open and honest on stage ever come back to bite you?
Look, everyone in the world has made mistakes. When you think about history, people who ran from the truth have always paid worse than those who confronted it. That’s what I loved about Richard Pryor — how honest he was. Not just on stage, but in the stories themselves he’s being honest. He talks about doing dope in front of his grandmother and all of this other shit. And that was so amazing to me. I was raised by a crazy person so I was being lied to all of the time. I was skeptical that there was a Santa Claus from the beginning. I didn’t trust those people. I felt like Richard Pryor was the first person to be honest with me.
Thursday, Oct. 26-28
1250 Bardstown Road
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