Cristela Alonzo

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Cristela Alonzo and Stretch Armstrong

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Cristela Alonzo
Guests: 
Stretch Armstrong

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Photo: Tommaso Boddi / Stringer

Cristela Alonzo has a new stand-up special on Netflix, Lower Classy

Cristela Alonzo is a veteran standup comedian, actress, writer, and producer. She's also something of a pioneer. You might remember her from the ABC sitcom Cristela, where she was the first Latina to create, write, produce, and star in her own show.

In this week's episode, she talks to Jesse about her formative years growing up in South Texas with an undocumented parent. Hiding from police and immigration raids were daily realities in her small border town. Her family was also desperately poor--she recalls squatting in an abandoned diner.

Down the road, Cristela discovered she had a talent for weaving those tough experiences into comedy gold. That gift is on full display in her new Netflix standup special, Lower Classy, as she takes on difficult topics including racial stereotypes, immigration, poverty, and parenting, all with her trademark smile and laugh. Cristela recalls the long journey that led to the special, and how being a comedian is, for her, about more than simply making people laugh.

Cristela Alonzo's new standup special, Lower Classy, is available to stream on Netflix now.


Photo: John Phillips / Stringer

Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong is a renowned DJ, record collector, and writer. It's impossible to tell the story of New York rap in the 1990s--what some people consider the Golden Era of Hip-Hop--without at least mentioning The Stretch and Bobbito Show, the influential college radio program that he and Robert "Bobbito" Garcia co-hosted from 1990 to 1998.

In their time, Stretch and Bobbito were among the only FM radio outlets for a generation of New York rappers. MCs like Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious BIG, and Nas. The behind-the-scenes stories from those days are the stuff of hip-hop folklore, and the subject of documentary that came out a little over a year ago, called Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives. It's available to stream on Netflix now.

Stretch, whose real name is Adrian Bartos, also recently co-authored a book. He and Evan Auerbach teamed up to make a visual history of New York City's club scene, called No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999.

The Outshot: "Wells for Boys"

In this week's Outshot, Jesse shares a Saturday Night Live sketch that spoke to him in a particularly magical way. Behold, Wells for Boys:

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Best Comedy of 2014 Special

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Bullseye

Today we're spotlighting what we think is the greatest comedy of the year. The Bullseye staff has poured over plenty of records, including industry veterans, newcomers and lesser known talents. Now we're ready to showcase what we think is the best stand up comedy of 2014.

You can find all of these albums available for purchase, except for the set from the Atlantic Ocean Comedy and Music Festival.

Patton Oswalt - Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time

Cristela Alonzo - Some Of The Hits

Cameron Esposito - Same Sex Symbol

Jasper Redd - Jazz Talk

Jim Gaffigan - Obsessed

Hannibal Buress - Live From Chicago

Tommy Johnagin - Stand-Up Comedy 3

Nadia Kamil at the the Atlantic Ocean Comedy and Music Festival

Chris Gethard - My Comedy Album

Andrés du Bouchet - 20-Sided Guy

Bob Odenkirk - Amateur Hour

Jackie Kashian - This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux

Sarah Silverman - We Are Miracles

Hari Kondabolu - Waiting for 2042

Did we miss your favorite stand up special this year? Add your recommendation to the list! You can discuss this episode on our forum. You can also talk about it at Maximum Fun's sub Reddit, or join our lively discussions in the Maximum Fun Facebook group. Or you can just Tweet us -- @Bullseye.

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.
And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

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