Marcella Arguello is Rewriting Latina Perception in Comedy

Lucy Flores interviewing Marcella Comedy

Marcella Comedy keeps it real. Check out her hilarious and insightful interview in a new episode of Jefa Status.

Video Transcript

Speaker 1: (00:00)

I have a really bad problem of saying everyone’s name in like full on Spanish. I prefer Marcella Josefina Arguello, what a beautiful name I have. It is a beautiful name actually. So, Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I have not had coffee. I haven’t eaten. Not a good fan. Not the fan she claims to be. I’m being a terrible host. If I had glasses I would pull them down. You know what don’t send me a nasty tweet. Be nice. All right. All right. Welcome to Jefa Status. I am Lucy Flores, your host, where we are talking to Jefa boss status Latinas. This is where we dig into what makes them tick, what motivates them, what pisses them off. But basically the how, the what, the why this week. Oh my gosh. You guys, I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to have this person. Um, I’m actually personally a fan. Uh, I’m a fan of all of my guests, but this was like a kind of like weird stalker-ish slightly stories.

Speaker 1: (01:02)

So, um. Good to know. Good to know that. Good to know. You know what, we’re going to get into the details. Um, but I have Marcella Arguello. Marcella Arguello. Arguello. Wow she could have asked me before she chose not to. In English it’s Marcella Arguello. Um, and she is this incredible comedian. She’s obviously gonna correct me if I say things wrong cause that’s what she does. I’m going to actually read, I don’t do this generally, but I’m going to read a little bit of her bio because one is hilarious and two, I just kind of don’t know what it means and I want to ask her about it. So she starts out by saying too lazy to shoot hoops and too tall to model Marcella Arguello stands over six feet, although she may be taller than most men, the only thing more intimidating than her height is her comedy. True story. Marcella mix is a combination of genuine reason with a sexy suggestion of street deemed as sexually and ethnically ambiguous. She appeals to everyone and is not afraid to tell you how she really feels about subjects concerning race, gender, politics, relationships, family work, music, pop culture, and whatever else is on her mind today. So we’re going to talk about all of that. Welcome everyone Marcella. Thank you, thank you! I know I feel like I need like a studio audience. So like everybody can clap. Marcella genuine reads a combination of genuine reason with a sexy suggestion of streets.

Speaker 2: (02:25)

I think that I, my background has allowed me to present my comedy with logic, sound logic, but kind of sprinkling in things that people don’t see because comedy is usually, um, it’s either like very hood or it’s very like white tailored for a white audience. And so I feel like I’ve, I’m like right in the middle of that where it’s like, I just sprinkle a little bit. Just like Latinas. Yeah. We live in the hyphen. Exactly. We live in the hyphen. Yep. We do. Okay.

Speaker 1: (02:57)

I, you know, and, and sexually and ethnically ambiguous. I mean,

Speaker 2: (03:03)

I mean the ethnically ambiguous is obvious. Yeah. Beacause you know, people don’t know I’m, I’m Salvadorian, I’m Nicaraguan, I’m Lebanese. Um, and so that kind of stumps people. People are constantly guessing. I talk about it on my album, The Woke Bully. Like, people are constantly trying to guess. And I’m just like, you know you could just ask me instead of playing this game, cause I didn’t want to play this game. Um, and I’m sexually ambiguous because there are a lot of people that, I mean, people. Can’t figure it out. They can’t figure it out. I mean, some people think I’m trans and so I’m just all over the place on the spectrum of how people perceive me. Yeah. And but it’s been fun.

Speaker 1: (03:36)

That’s ultimately it’s based on perception. Right. It is based on perception. Because people are constantly trying to put folks in boxes and then figure out from there. Right. Well, okay, prior I want and get into all the incredible stuff that you’re doing and everything you’ve been doing, you have so many projects going on. I do i’m very tired right now. It’s amazing. Um, but the purpose of this show is that really, um, there’s so few Latinas out in any industry, right. Um, forward facing, right? So we’re, our stories aren’t being told. We oftentimes don’t have, uh, access to mentors, et cetera. And so a big, big goal of this show is to really talk about people’s journeys and how they actually got to where they’re at. Cause I think another thing is that we tend to look at folks and we’re like, Oh, she’s this amazing comedian or you know, she’s this business woman or she’s the CEO, but, but then there’s never really any conversation about how they actually got there. Right. So you’re from Modesto. I’m from Modesto, California. And tell us how it started. You’re also Salvadorian and, Nicaraguan.

Speaker 2: (04:38)

Yeah so I was raised culturally Salvadorian because my parents were born and raised in El Salvador. And so like that, that culture is with me through and through. Um, I just, you know, because I’m, I favor the Lebanese Nicaraguan side. Like I have to like mention it, but like I, the Nicaraguan culture is very, I don’t really know very well. I definitely don’t know the Lebanese side at all. Um, so I’m always like, yeah, I’m salvi. I’m pure salvi, but I’m not pure salvi. But in my heart, I’m pure salvi, um, I can make pupusas and I can make tamales and, um, and that really sets me ahead of the curve there. Yeah exactly. You’re totally, that’s it. You’ve checked the boxes. I checked the boxes. Um, and so yeah, my parents moved to, well my parents came to this country in the 80s and they started in the Bay area cause we had family there and then we moved to the Central Valley cause that’s where the job opportunities were for my dad.

Speaker 2: (05:27)

And so, and then it was just like suburban living, but like with a fight, like I didn’t know until I got older that like the neighbors were calling the cops on my mom for walking in the neighborhood, you know, like stuff like that. And I’m like, what? I didn’t know that. And I was like, Oh yeah, of course we’re the only Brown family in that block, you know, and stuff like that. Um, and so I was like, uh, I think I lived a relatively privileged reality compared to, especially in my family in El Salvador. Um, so it was I, but I was, I’m like the classic story of a comedian, the youngest in the family, like the class clown. I was all those things and I just liked performing. And I used to like impersonate Michael Jackson and in middle school and high school and people knew me as that, oh the girl that does Michael Jackson at a theater. Um, and then I, I always wanted to be a teacher cause I liked kids and then I got in the classroom and I was like, these kids are idiots and I don’t, I would laugh at them when they would like cry. And I was like, I’m not.

Speaker 1: (06:28)

Yeah, you’re probably not, not teacher material. Yeah I’m not teacher material.

Speaker 2: (06:32)

I’m a good tía, I’m a really great tía to eight nieces and nephews. But, um, that’s because I can laugh at them that I’m not, I don’t get in trouble if I laugh at them. Right. Yeah. Uh, but, so I started a comedy in San Francisco and I dropped out of college and I just pursued comedy as much as I could. But I was like working as a bank teller. I was like, I became assistant manager at a bank and then I just finally was like, I was responsible for like millions of dollars at the bank and I was like, I can’t do this. I just want to tell jokes.

Speaker 1: (07:04)

It’s too much pressure. It’s too much pressure. Can I tell a joke about all these millions of dollars. Exactly.

Speaker 2: (07:08)

And also, when I was working as a at, at the bank, I was like, you know, you get paid to be nice to people essentially when you’re doing customer service. But the problem was at nighttime I was getting paid to do whatever I want and say whatever I want to people. So I, and I favor being mean to people. So I was getting paid to be mean to people. So it was like at nighttime I get talk shit. I feel like most banking customers feel that that’s probably the case. That yeah, most of the folks that work at banks are being paid to be mean to us. I mean. That’s what it feels like. That was thing is, I was a manager so I had to be like considerate and polite and stuff. And it was tough though. So like at night I was being paid to be mean to people and then the day I had to like be nice to these idiots that don’t know how to like balance their checkbooks and I was like, I don’t ******* have time for this nonsense you ******* idiot.

Speaker 1: (07:54)

I feel like you’re going to make our sound editors work overtime cause because. Oh I can’t cuss? No, no, no. You could totally cuss. I can hear our camera operators laughing. Oh sorry. My bad. That’s good there’s an audience. So yeah, if folks are listening and you hear random people laughing, it’s totally fine. Hey the crew needs a laugh sometimes. Exactly. Don’t judge. Okay, but before you go on though, let’s, let’s stop there cause I want to dig into a little bit about that process of comedy again because oftentimes, it’s the old adage, you don’t, you can’t be what you can’t see. I’m sure you didn’t see a lot of. There was no Latinas. No women and definitely no Latinas in comedy. So as you’re being the class clown, your, and then I also kind of want to get a sense of, you know, that the whole sexy suggestion of street and your comedy, it just really speaks to me because, um, and especially your last album Woke Bully, which we’ll get to that as well.

Speaker 1: (08:52)

Um, and just the political commentary that you do. My background is in politics. So, uh, you know, I, I obviously identify a lot with what you talk about, what you joke about, um, that oftentimes, you know, it’s very much based on truth. Um, but generally speaking folks with that perspective, um, experienced various hardships or, or they come from. Sure. Um, challenging families, challenging backgrounds, you seem to have a really strong grasp of everyday struggles and what folks are going through. But you also say that you kind of were raised and you were, you were typically middle-class, kind of in, in Modesto. So first, how did you one think that without there being anyone who looked like you, you could possibly make it in, um, in comedy. And then second we’ll get into like, where does that perspective come from?

Speaker 2: (09:51)

So I, so I was obsessed with comedy, obsessed with standup, obsessed with sketch comedy. I just loved it. I absorbed all of it. I loved like Seinfeld was my favorite show when I was 12. I had a crush on Dave Attell when I was 19. Like I, my taste in comedy was not like the girls that, you know, I was sharing space with in school. And uh, I luckily I had like my older brothers and their friends and they just loved comedy and they were goofballs and I loved spending time with them and they kind of forced me to push myself to be funnier and funnier. And I talked about on the album of like how like my home girls when I was 13 tried to change who I was and I was like, and I knew myself too well to be like, bitch, I don’t give a ****.

Speaker 2: (10:31)

If you don’t want me to say what I want to say, like that’s not my problem. My problem is not you. Right. I’m going to say what I want to say. And um, but again, never thought I would do comedy. I never thought, it was never a thought for me. I remember specifically my brother’s friends telling each other, you should do stand up, you should do sketch, you should do this. Like they would tell it to each other. I was never told that no one ever said I should do it. And it wasn’t until I started, I went to go see Jim Gaffigan live doing standup. This is, I mean now he’s, I mean a household name. How old were you? I was 20. Okay. And I went to just see him. He, I was a fan of his and we’re were just after the show, we’re just talking **** back and forth and he goes, you should do comedy.

Speaker 2: (11:16)

And I was like, what? He’s like, you should do standup. I was like, Hm. I don’t, what? I didn’t had, no, no one had ever said that to me. Wasn’t even computing. But once I thought about it I was all, you know what, he’s right. I should do standup. Why not? I’ve always performed. I like, I’m a selfish performer. I like to be alone. I don’t like depending on other people. Cause when you do theater or improv you depend on other people. And I hated that because people aren’t dependable. Right. But in stand up I can do whatever I want and it’s just me. And like I come, my family. I mean my, my dad was Los Hermanos Flores in El Salvador in the 70s. So I come from a musical background and a performance background. But again, I, I was like, I’m not going to like follow in the footsteps of my dad.

Speaker 2: (11:58)

You know, I didn’t like want to be a musician. Like I love music, but I didn’t, I was like, Oh no, this is not, this is not the Avenue for me. So when Jim Gaffigan was like, you should do comedy and you know, straight white dude, you know, he’s the one telling me it, it did make me go, Oh I could, but no one had ever said to me before then. And um, and looking back, cause I remember like right after he said that, I was like, Oh, he probably says that to everybody. But then you get older and you realize comedians don’t tell that to anybody. We don’t encourage anybody to do this ****. It’s so terrible. It’s so hard. Yeah. And I don’t know what he saw in me, but I’m glad that he did because if he hadn’t planted that seed, I would have never done it.

Speaker 2: (12:35)

Right. You know? Okay. And so from then given, because that just kind of fit into your personality, it was like, actually, yeah, I can do this. And so then it was just a process of you kind of getting into it. So what does that look like? I mean you just hit open mics and, and I had um, I went to school, I went to San Francisco State for a semester and I was like, I should take a theater class. Cause I always took, took theater when I was in college and I took the art of comedy not knowing what it was. And it was cool. We learned the history like all the way to the Greek times, the comedy. And it was really fascinating and it was really cool. But, excuse me, one of the assignments was doing three minutes of standup and I had already been thinking about it after he had said it.

Speaker 2: (13:17)

So, so, uh, in a lecture hall of 200 students, I got to do the three minutes of standup and it was like 30 other students and me and another guy did really good. I was the only girl and I went up to the guy who did really good because he ended up telling the teacher like, yeah, I do stand up. I do open mics. And so I went up to him afterwards I was like, where do you do open mics? Cause I want to do it, you know. And so he gave me the info and it was crazy cause I never saw him in that class again. I never saw him at the open mics. I don’t know if he died. I don’t know where that fool at. But because of him I went to this place called The Brainwash it was a cafe and now it’s shut down.

Speaker 2: (13:51)

But um, you just hit open mics and that’s, I mean it’s a grind, you know. And back then, 13 years ago, it wasn’t a lot like we were in a comedy boom right now there’s a lot of comedy, there’s a lot available space for comedy, a lot of stage time for beginners to, to vets. But back then it was really tough in San Franciso. Not to mention digital media. No to mention digital media. Like you just create your own thing. Exactly. You even have a little bit of a personality, you have a chance. You do. It’s true. You do. And um, but the difference is that there is no, there is no trading. That work ethic of being in front of people. Like you learn a lot, you know, being in front of people, performing in front of people, seeing what actually works in front of regular people and um, it’s invaluable. But yeah.

Speaker 2: (14:34)

And how was your family adjusting to all of this? Cause I’m sure comedian in a space where there’s no other Latinas. I mean your family’s from El Salvador. What was the reaction? They were pretty disappointed at the beginning. It was tough. what did they want you to be? They didn’t want me to drop out of school. Right. That was bad. Sure, of course. And then they didn’t want, they wanted me to stay at the bank because they were like, you could be a branch manager. And I was like, that sounds **** why the **** would I want to do that with my life? You guys, you guys didn’t come to this country so I could manage a bank. That sounds terrible, you know? Um, but in their perspective, that sounds amazing because it’s a bank, it’s white collar and it’s an office.

Speaker 2: (15:19)

They probably consider it an office job. And that was the other thing is they were like, well if you’re going to drop out of school, stay at the bank. Like, and so I did for a few more years, which is how I became the manager. But it was like, I don’t want to, I, this is, and I get it, I’m good at it, but I’m good at a lot of things, you know, like I don’t need to do this. This is not the place for me. So the first like, I don’t know, six years is really, really, really hard. My parents were, my dad was not supportive. Um, but like my mom is like, she’s just a good Latina mom. Like just trying to be sweet, trying to be, you know, supportive. Even though she doesn’t get it, I don’t think she really found me that funny. I still don’t think she does because she doesn’t get it. Do they call you Marcella? Is it Marcella or. Marcelita yeah. They were like Marcelita, you’re not that funny. No. Well when they’re talking to me about it, like Marcelita, I can’t believe you’re talking about. That was my dad. He’d get really mad at me. Trying to convince you. But you know he was a musician in the 70s and he traveled the world. He knew it was a hard life. That was a thing that I didn’t understand until years later. Like, Oh, it’s a hard life for a man, let alone for a woman. Yes. Yeah. So

Speaker 1: (16:33)

it’s so funny that you mentioned that a lot of people, I, my background is fully out there. Um, that’s why I love talking to women about their journeys, especially Latinas about their journeys because it’s so important that we understand how we got to where we are. Right. Um, so that, you know, others really benefit from that. They benefit from hearing all of these things and the obstacles and the challenges and, and also the successes. Right. But, um, one of the things that I don’t talk about that often about my own background is that my dad was also a musician. I do talk about that. But, um, we ended up moving to Las Vegas because of a family tragedy. Both of my brothers were murdered around the same time in East LA. And my dad was, um, touring and he’d gotten his first gold record. Um, so he was like, you know, this is back in like the Vicente Fernández days.

Speaker 1: (17:24)

You know, like I’ll, all of like when all of those guys were coming up, my dad was to, and from one day to the next, he, this tragedy was just so, it was so much for him that he took us all to Las Vegas and that’s where we started, tried to start a new and he literally went from being this famous singer to working a buffet line in Las Vegas. So fast forward years, I have my own struggles. My mom leaves my family I school to prison pipeline and hanging out in gangs, getting arrested, juvenile parole, all that stuff that I talk about a lot. Um, but one of the things that I don’t mention often is that I’m one of the few in our family of 11 of us that were left, um, that actually inherited any of his talents. So he taught, one of the ways in which we reconciled was because I recorded a Selena song on this tape recorder and I had done, when I was locked up, I participated in this, um, uh, musical thing.

Speaker 1: (18:27)

What do you call it? Showcase, you know, and I did a song. Anyways, long story short, um, I was, I was a lounge singer in Vegas. Oh my god how fun! That’s cool. Yeah it was so much fun like a couple of years. In Spanish or in English? In English. Okay cool. Yeah. It was like all the, all the seventies hits, like covering all the, all the disco hits, you know, and it was a blast, but I thought that I, that was one of the things that I wanted to do was pursue music, you know, become a singer because my dad was a singer and I was actually pretty good at it and I loved it, like absolutely loved it and it was fun. Um, so it was like, you know, 19, 20, 21 around there. Um, had not even gotten my life together, really. Not even gotten my GED yet. I dropped out of high school and stuff.

Speaker 1: (19:11)

The one thing my dad never, ever, ever discouraged me ever from anything. My dad was like, kind of the antithesis of toxic masculinity, Mexican machismo male. Right, right. He was like, you can do whatever you want. That’s nice. It was nice. Um, and one of, you know, my saving graces and all of that. The one thing he told me that I could not do and that he did not want me to do was to pursue singing and to pursue it as a career. And he went to, you know, some of my performances and everything, but it was exactly what you’re saying. He was just mad.

Speaker 3: (19:47)

Yes, like with your dad.

Speaker 1: (19:48)

You know, was that they understood my dad I think. And also the trauma from not being there and blaming himself for all those years for my brothers being murdered or you know, in the way in that went down. He really blamed himself for a long time for feeling like he wasn’t there. Um, so anyway, it’s, it’s, so, it’s just fascinating how these, that’s just the same kind of over and over again and it’s exactly what your dad did to you. Is what my dad did to me. Only you didn’t listen to. I listened to him. You didn’t it. Oh yeah that’s good. That’s probably why you had a good relationship with them. I had a horrible relationship with my dad. But you know, I mean, you know, I ended up pursuing other things. I ended up in politics, law school and here I am. So I don’t regret any of it. And I actually started a mariachi when I was in college and still I still sing on occasion and I, you know, like kind of do it. But you know, it’s really just fascinating. Dude now I want to hear you sing.

Speaker 3: (20:45)

No. Este corazón aun te quiere. I totally will.

Speaker 1: (20:45)

Amanese orta vez.

Speaker 2: (20:48)

No, no. Oh my god.

Speaker 1: (20:52)

But I love it. And, uh, and you know, that’s the thing is like, it really is about, I have never once felt, um, uh, like any regret for not pursuing those things. Right. Because I still pursued, like you said, you know, there’s so many things that we’re good at, but it has to be that thing that you love. Right. Frankly, I love my public service and everything that I’ve done thereafter. And you obviously love what you’re doing. Sure, sure. Um, so you know, like it’s given that and the fact that your dad was not supporting you, what was then like your biggest challenge moving forward beyond that?

Speaker 2: (21:30)

Um, I mean, just the industry, the industry is the biggest challenge. Cause like it didn’t, I mean, of course it’s annoying that your parents won’t support you, but that doesn’t, it’s not going to stop me. And it’s, to me, it wasn’t a challenge. I was like, yeah, of course they’re gonna support me. They’re like conservative Latino, third-world upbringing. Like why would they support me? That doesn’t make sense. So that, that was not the challenge for me. The challenge was being in this industry, being white passing, people not knowing what box I fit in, you know, cause it’s like, okay, she’s Latina but she’s not like that kind of Latina, you know? And I’m white passing. But I’m also like speaking against the government issues and you know, things like that. So people were like, what? What is she, what is she doing? That was the biggest challenge. And even still, I mean, as, as well as I’m doing now, it’s still confused. I’m still confusing to a lot of people. Right, right. Well, and one more thing I’ll add before, excuse me, before

Speaker 1: (22:21)

we go onto some of these different things that you’ve done, um, is that I think, you know, for our audience also growing up Latina and, and having these ambiguous identities and also our cultural challenges with our families, obviously that doesn’t apply to everyone, but for a lot of us, it’s not uncommon that your parents don’t support you. And so in many ways it’s like you are doubly challenged in that you want to pursue these different things. Even just the sheer concept of, um, moving to go to college or moving away from home. You know, some parents are like, absolutely not. You’re going to community college or you’re staying here, you’re staying local. And they don’t allow their children to flourish in that way. But then also it’s like, okay, not only have you, or you’re doing your own thing, your parents may or may not be supportive. But then in addition to that, you’re facing all of the obstacles that we faced just being us, you know, out in the world. And that doesn’t sound, and for you, I think, um, maybe it was more because you were just very confident in the things that you wanted to do and, and like what was serving you best? Like what do you think was that thing that most helped you not only get through, um, the challenges with your parents, but then also just pushing past all of these obstacles that exist in the industry? Well,

Speaker 2: (23:46)

so going, I mean it’s good that your dad was like the opposite of like the toxic masculinity, the machismo, all that ********. My dad was that and I at a very young age at like seven, as soon as I could put thoughts logically together, I was pushing back on my dad because he would say, Oh, you girls, you can’t do this. You girls, you can’t do what the boys are doing. And I, even though I didn’t even want to do those things, I was all why though? Explain to me why I cannot do it because my sister very much, it was more like as a physical tomboy. I was like a, a um, I was like a presenting tomboy. But my sister was like, like climbing trees, like tank, like, like getting her knees scuffed, you know, like she liked rough housing with the boys and so they would get her in trouble for that.

Speaker 2: (24:29)

And so I would straight up to speak to my dad. Like why, why can’t, why can’t we, what? Why? Why can’t she just go and play? Why can’t, why, why do the boys get to go and I can’t and we can’t. I don’t understand. Like, and he couldn’t explain it to me. You girls just don’t, we just, the girls don’t do that. Okay. But why though? Tell me why and then I will wrap my head around it. But you can’t. So we’re going to, I’m going to keep, you know, we’re going to keep ******** with the boys until you can tell me. And I would just put up a fight. They wouldn’t let us out of the house cause that was the other thing, not being allowed out of the house while the boys get to go to a party. Meanwhile we got to stay in the house. That **** did not make sense to me. And it really infuriated me that he could never explain it to me. My sister was like a little more like passive and went, Oh okay, I guess we can’t. Okay. And I’d be like,

Speaker 1: (25:12)

no, we’re fighting for our rights in this household. Protesting with a sign. Yeah protesting.

Speaker 2: (25:19)

Feminst rights. You know I didn’t know what being a Feminist was. I didn’t know what sexism was. I just knew what he was saying, made no logical sense. It still doesn’t, you know. Exactly. And so fighting him at a young age and, and I mean, you know, when you’re fighting your own dad in the house and, and you’re, you know that you’re right. Because I did, I knew it was right. And um, you know, dealing with that for whatever, 15 years, however long that took, and then seeing it in other people and seeing it in school and being, and being ready to fight these people because I was like, you can’t, I’m not stupid. Like you can’t tell me I can’t do this stuff because I can do this stuff. Cause I also know you can’t explain why I can’t do these things. So that has really helped me, but that’s the thing is that like that’s a personality trait that I inherited from my father’s side. Like he’s a very aggressive person. He, he’s very argumentative and he passed that to me and thank God he did because I don’t think I would’ve survived. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have this personality, you know.

Speaker 1: (26:21)

Well especially in your industry. Right? So your industry is particularly sexist. Um, definitely male dominated. I mean it’s. Comedy, when I think when I analyze it in terms of industries, it feels very much like the tech industry. Right? Right. Like you have your comedy bros. But then you also have your tech bros, right? Like women are very much discouraged and, or just kind of beaten out of the system. Right. Um, and so yeah, you have to really, I would imagine you have to just develop. You have to be ruthless. Yeah. You have to be ruthless and you have to develop beyond a thick skin. Like you gotta just like plow through. So let’s talk a little bit about that. All right. So you’re, you’re there, you’re doing open mics. Um, you know, what are some of your experiences in terms of one people not, and then you’re totally into your comedy, right? So getting back to the perspective that you have now, which now I kind of understand where it’s coming from. Um, and that you’re like very much, I’m a Latina. You talk about it. That’s one of the ways in which you got on my radar. Cause you were on Two Dope Queens.

Speaker 2: (27:28)

My father made me, had us be proud of our culture like that. I always think about how so many Latinos and to this day, even people who are famous right now are like, Oh, when I was growing up, I didn’t know if I was a white side or where I was, where I fit in and dah, dah, dah. And I was like, I, I didn’t care. I was, my dad taught us to be proud, to be American, proud to be Salvadorian. Like he taught us to be pro. And so I’d never, and again, I can’t be talked into some nonsense. So if anyone, like if somebody at school was Mexican, they were like, Oh, what is that? And I’m like, Oh, what are you like, you can’t, you can’t tell me I’m not good or great because I’m this other thing. Like there was no talking to me down. Right? And so when I hear these stories from people that are even my age, um, and there’s all like, Oh, I don’t, I’m this, this and that, I know it. Oh, I don’t speak Spanish. And it’s still on my identity isn’t just like, ugh, you don’t have to allow what other people expect from you to be a part of your identities, you know? So I knew that at a young age, and again, thanks to my dad, um, what the hell was the question? I don’t even know.

Speaker 1: (28:30)

So that’s, so you’re taking this into your comedy and you’re leaning into your identity and, um, and there’s a certain challenges associated with that because people don’t get it and, or you’re a woman and, or you’re Latina and they don’t even know what to do with you at that point. Right? So like what are some of the things that you’re coming up against? Oh God. Trying to get booked and trying to get gigs and like, you know, just the struggle. I mean you know it’s never ending. Yeah it’s never ending. I mean that’s the other thing is that it’s so much of me

Speaker 2: (29:02)

as a comic has always been like, I just do comedy. Like it’s not about my identity. I do think that I’m just a funny person and cause they’re like here and especially in LA, it’s very segregated. It’s like the comedy club scene, the white like alternative scene. And then the black scene, there’s, those are the three scenes and they’re all different to crack. I’ve cracked all of them at different times and I see where I fit and it’s my own lane, you know? And that makes sense because I, I’ve always considered myself like a comedy club comic because I can go into comedy club and entertain people and it’s fine. Um, but people are, again, trying to put you in these three separate boxes. And for me it’s just been like, I’m just funny. I’m just funny, I’m just funny and just as I happened to talk about these things, but why shouldn’t people have to listen to this? Like I’ve had to listen to, you know, white dudes talk about whatever the fuck. Hating their wives, which is like, dude, get a divorce. And they do talk about hating their wives a lot. It’s just like what are you doing. Why are you married to this woman. Anyways. So it’s like.

Speaker 1: (30:01)

The funniest thing is when if it’s a special or something, then the wife is there. Oh man. And you’re like, Oh, that’s. That’s abusive. Very supportive just like the whole set was based on how horrible she is. So ridiculous.

Speaker 2: (30:14)

Um, but um, yeah, so I mean the obstacles, they feel never ending. That’s why it’s funny to be asked that question because they do feel never ending. They’re happening now as we speak. And it just, it’s a matter of, you know, convincing people. I’m funny telling people I’m marketable, like finding the lane for me, you know, uh, talking guys into booking me, you know, like it’s just, this is part of why I started my weekly show because I was kind of sick of like people having to, you have to have this many credits to get booked on this cool show. And it’s like, why, if you’re funny, you’re funny it shouldn’t matter what you’ve done. Um, and I understand why you want to book people with credits and have been on TV and shit. But I just remember when I first moved to Los Angeles that I was like, I’m funny and I’m getting kind of caught up in all this ******** that has nothing to do with comedy.

Speaker 2: (30:59)

I just want to be funny at a show. And it did, it almost like didn’t exist. Like you either had a kiss somebody’s ass, you had to have television credits or whatever you had to do, bring your shows, you know, which is like your friends paying and you don’t get any cut of the money. It’s so bad. Like it’s so much ******** in LA. And I was just like, I just want to be funny. It’s just so hard, which is why I spent so much time going back and forth from Southern California, Northern California, because I could get booked up there and based off the fact that I was funny, it wasn’t anything else. But yeah, cause you’re funny. And then I could get road gigs according to being funny. And that was nice. But that’s why LA sucks is because the industry kind of ruins the art of comedy and just being funny.

Speaker 2: (31:40)

And also the audiences in LA are not great either. Oh really? Oh they’re bad. What do you mean, in what way? A lot of them are expecting to see a celebrity, whether it’s a comedian on stage that they, that they recognize or a celebrity in the audience that they recognize. Cause those two things are so common here. They’re almost spoiled. But some of the celebrity comedians aren’t that great because they, they have stopped challenging themselves to be great comedians. You know? And there are a few like Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, like these guys were like constantly trying to be really good at standup. And, um, I think a lot of people kind of like they, once they obtain a certain level of success, they stop trying to be really funny. Sure. In many ways, cause they don’t have to. They don’t have to, their audience is going to eat it up no matter what. Yeah. Um, which was like, I wonder what I will be if that, if that day comes, you know, I’m like, God, I hope I try to keep doing good at comedy. Well I mean,

Speaker 1: (32:35)

you know, let’s, I know you are not a self deprecating person. No not at all. You’ve like done some really cool ****, like you know, I, so I first heard you when you did some standup on two dope Queens and um, which is, you know, when I became the fan, I didn’t start stalking you until after. It’s good you got to give a little space. A little mystery with the stalker behavior. So still everyone knows, um, everyone knows I used to work at mitú a digital media company and I was an executive there and um, Marcella walks in and I had already was already a fan and I look over and I’m like, Oh my God, it’s Marcella. What a loser. And I was like so such a loser and I didn’t want to say anything to you cause like that’s unprofessional. Right. So I did the next best thing, which was like send a total random DM to you. Yeah and I was like cool thanks.

Speaker 3: (33:35)

Through Instagram.

Speaker 1: (33:36)

I’m total fangirling. By the way, that is reserved for only the most special people because I don’t do those things. I appreciate it. But you know, a big part of it was because I, you know, you’re, you’re set on um, on two dope Queens. You don’t know the ethnicity of the person. Sure. Cause you’re talking about the podcast. Because it’s radio. Yeah. You’re talking about the podcast. I’ve done the HBO series. Yes, but that’s not where I first heard you. I heard you on the podcast. Long time ago. Yes. I remember having the flu or something. When I, when um, I taped that epsoide. I don’t even remember. It was a hilarious. It was a really good time. But it was also the things that you were talking about were I totally identified with, right. Because you were talking about a lot of kind of like culturally related things and, and I think at one point you did say you were Latina and I was like

Speaker 3: (34:20)

I knew, you know, and I was like, Oh my god a Latina. And I was like so

Speaker 1: (34:25)

excited. And then of course became a fan. Great. I’m only like vaguely stalker-ish I guess. So, you know, but that’s like one. Rude. So one of the things is for people who are listening, she was like indicating that maybe I was slightly crazy, which I mean, I guess I kind of am, um, so you do women crush Wednesdays on, on at the Hollywood improv. You can talk about that. You’ve been on two dope Queens, you’ve done the HBO and the podcast. You’ve been with Wyatt Cenac on stars. Um, you’ve written for Bill Nye saves the world. Um, and obviously like Bill Nye could not have been funny on his own. So now we know why he was so funny. I don’t take all the credit. I mean, you’ve worked with Amy Schumer, Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong. I mean, it’s just like this list is super never ending. I’m tired. Yeah, I mean, I think you’re a celebrity, but maybe. I don’t. You haven’t hit, people don’t think you’ve had celebrity status. My mom doesn’t. My mom doesn’t think it then it’s not true. Your dad probably still thinks it’s a bad idea. My dad is dead. My father is dead. Okay, well then he’s not telling you it’s a bad idea. So yeah. Like what, tell me about these projects and what’s next. Oh God, there’s so much in four minutes. No,

Speaker 2: (35:37)

I’m kidding. I’m like 10. Uh, yeah. I mean, I have a lot going on right now. I’m working on projects that we’re hoping to sell, you know, and hopefully get on TV, but they’re, you know, in this industry, you don’t know. Um, but women crush Wednesdays at cool because it’s every Wednesday at the Hollywood improv lab and it’s just stand up. It’s only women and it’s so fun. It’s usually fun. Sometimes it’s not fun, but mostly it’s a really good time. And, um, I created that show, like almost like for the, the, the girl that moved to LA at the beginning, you know, who couldn’t get booked on a good show. And so I’m, I’m constantly trying to encourage women who don’t have a lot going on to submit to the show. Yeah. Because I also know that like sometimes those seven minutes at a good show, it keeps you going for like six months. Dude. You just are like, you ride that high and it keeps you going. And it feels so good, especially in the early years nowadays I’m like, Oh God, I killed it. Okay. Next show. You know, like it’s so there’s so much going on, but um, yeah, so try not to take any writing jobs cause I hate writing for television. It’s really not that fun unless it’s like for a friend or for myself. Sure. Um, yeah. Trying to sell some shows. I have a new series on All Things comedy called You Welcome. Oh yeah, I saw that. I actually wrote that down.

Speaker 1: (36:45)

Um, you just recently tweeted you are a prolific tweeter so if people want to follow her. Follow Marcella on Twitter. @Marcellacomedy. You can find her there. Um, that you talk about this on woke bully, by the way. I’ve listened to woke bully a couple of times. Um, and y’all need to download and you need to find Woke Bully. It’s on all, um, streaming services. It is hilarious. Um, but you also talk about a little

Speaker 2: (37:16)

incident that you had because, um, and I thought the title was super appropriate. Woke Bully. My Dad is the original woke bully. My dad was. That, Oh my gosh, that totally makes sense now that you’ve just explained and talked about your dad. He was very antigovernment, you know, and you know, he, he, he was, uh, and he was very opinionated and, but he was also like, you’ve got to support small businesses. You got to like support people. You got to help people. You go look out for people. And, um, and he was also like, you know, anti racist cops, you know, which is most of them. And, um, so he was very vocal and I was always listening. That was a thing. It’s like, I think he didn’t realize how much I was paying attention when he would go on his rants. You know, George Carlin was his favorite comedian.

Speaker 2: (38:00)

Um, so I was very informed at a very young age. Very paradoxical kind of person, you know, like toxic masculinity, but then also, so not necessarily the best feminist, but yeah, definitely pro social justice. The thing is, and the argument I make for my own dad is that he was a feminist because he helped my mom. He encouraged her to get an education, you know, because she was I think 19 when they met and you know, he kind of snatched her up, which is what you do in El Salvador in the seventies and eighties. Like that wasn’t weird back then. Um, it’s probably still not werid now. And uh, he like, he would tell her, what are you going to do when I die? What are you going to do when I die? You need to have an education. You need to, cause my dad started a family business and he was like, and you need to be a part of this business.

Speaker 2: (38:45)

You need to make your own money. You need to be able to stand on your own, which is the most feminist shit a man could do for his wife. Yeah, definitely. And especially a, a woman that, you know, with minimal education from the third world country, like not everybody encourages that in their, in their partners. So it’s, you know, it’s one of those things where I’m like, men, a lot of men have that issue where it’s like they can’t see feminism beyond the women in their lives, which is why it’s like we can’t just do cancel culture with all the men that are being dumb-asses about women. Absolutely. Because they do kind of make those changes within their mothers wives, daughters, you know, as we all know, a daughter changes a man most of the time. Not always, but most of the time. Yeah. And they do start seeing things differently. Correct. Yeah. And so like that’s why I’m, I’m very much like we can’t cancel every man that says some dumb shit

Speaker 1: (39:33)

because you know. I 1000% agree. I, you know, one, first of all, we have to allow people to get better. You know what I mean? Like it’s one thing to, there’s some things that are so egregious and so heinous. Right. There has to be accountablility. Shout-out to Bill Cosby. Right. What a piece of ****. Gotta be accountability and like, yes, you are canceled and also you’re going to prison. Right like it’s those things. You’re going to die in prison. Right. But then there’s like the lower level, right. Where it’s like, okay, yeah, like they might’ve screwed up once or they might have done some bad behavior over a certain amount of time, but they recognize it. They’re wanting to learn, they’re listening, you know, someone changed their life, whatever. You know what I mean? And like, like how are we, where are we going to end up if we’re not giving people the opportunity to be better? Because then you’re encouraging them to be more toxic because they’re like, well, might as well ****.

Speaker 1: (40:21)

Yeah. Cause everybody hates me anyway. But you know, that’s what I really love about, you know, some of your commentary and if you’re not following her on Twitter, you absolutely. I just tweeted today, uh, it’s, it’s good to know that, um, I’d be a mother of 12 if I didn’t have any rights. Right? Yes. I’d be really good mother of 12. I don’t know that you’d be a good mother of 12. I would. I mean, you know, I think it’s debatable. Wow. Okay. I gotta go. No, I’m sure you’ll be amazing. Um, but you know, I agree with, with what you say so often, you know, you talk about this in woke bully where you say that, uh, the left is too scary and they’re just too afraid of their own shadows, which like a thousand percent. Right. And the right, the extreme right. Not like, you know what used to be what we consider normal, republicans. Yeah or conservatives, but like full on racist, like just some crazy shit going down. That’s their personality. They’re eating our lunch, they’re a thousand percent eating our lunch. Right. And you are constantly kind of saying like, look, I, yes, I’m a comedian, but I’m also kind of telling the truth often. Right, right. And, and that kind of got,

Speaker 2: (41:34)

well that did get you in some hot water. Always gets me in hotwater. It depends on his reading. The thing that you talk about in Woke Bully was the tweet about the shooting that occurred during the congressional baseball. Yes. Match. Yeah. The senators. Do you want to say what you said? What did I say? I don’t remember if I said something like, um, you said that if an old white, if, if, if a few old white conservative, if a few old, I don’t remember what I said. You said something like if it takes a few old white conservatives being murdered for gun violence reform, oh yes, I’m willing to take that risk. You’re willing to take that risk. Yeah it was a stupid tweet. And literally everybody just lost their minds. Well the right wing got ahold of it and they found out that I was a writer at bill Nye at the same time and goes kind of around the same time I think.

Speaker 2: (42:20)

And um, and they hate Bill Nye cause he’s so feminist liberal, like he’s a good man and loves science believes in science. Wow what a concept. Um, and so, uh, yeah, they like, I mean I was, it was and it was funny too be. Was it hard at all though? I mean I know you say it was funny and not, but no, like none of it was hard. No I when I tell you that other people’s opinion of me, doesn’t matter. I mean like maybe my mom and even that’s starting to like dissolve. Um, but like I, you know, I care about what my nieces and nephews think about me and how they perceive me, but um, cause they’re children and I want them to be good when they grow up. But like, yeah, I don’t care. But you have to understand, I found out my brother was an internet troll quite a few years ago.

Speaker 2: (43:07)

One of my brothers like goes online and just, he’s like, Oh, I just see the opposite thing a person believes just to piss them off. And I was like, what? You’re like why. It was watching it unfolded. I was like, this is crazy. But it was fascinating to watch cause he was like, no emotion doing it. And I learned a lot about trolls that day, but also, you know, these people, they, that’s, that’s their life. It’s pretty pathetic when you think about, you know, like this is what they do with their free time. But also like, yeah, we’re in an opioid epidemic. Imagine living in the middle of the country and you don’t have anything to do. Like where unemployment is where it’s at and you don’t have any opportunities and you know, w whether you’re white or non, like if you’re poor, like yeah, that is what you’re going to do.

Speaker 2: (43:50)

You’re going to go online and be mad at some comedian you’d never heard of saying some **** that doesn’t actually apply to you. Right. You know? Um, and it doesn’t, it doesn’t bother me. It really doesn’t bother me. In fact, I that weekend, um, that like they got ahold of it and then Tucker Carlson and put it on his show on Friday night and I was like about to get on a flight. But as soon as you know, when you’re like, you lose a reception on your phone and the plane, it was like, right then I found out Tucker Carlson had blasted it. So I like lost reception and I was like, Oh, this is going to be exciting to like land and see what nonsense is going on online. But like, it doesn’t bother me unless someone is like really doing like death threats or saying some really wild **** like, you know. They tried to break into I think my Instagram account, but they couldn’t. So, and it’s fine. I can retrieve all that. Right. It’s a nonissue. It doesn’t bother me. It shouldn’t bother people. I wish that more people didn’t care what anyone, especially online is thinking about them. Yeah. Didn’t care what people in their life thought about them. Um, and as long as you’re not being a crazy piece of **** like, you know, you should really, if you know you’re living a good life, you shouldn’t be worried about other people think about you.

Speaker 1: (44:57)

No, I think that’s right. And you know, unfortunately we have to, we have to call it. I know I’m so sad. Um, but no, that’s, that’s exactly right. I mean, and that’s just, we talk about that so often on this show. You know, that it’s like what others are thinking and what others are doing is a reflection of themselves and nothing else. Right. Like, you know, you got to do, you, you’ve got to live in, in your identity, in what you believe in, what makes you happy, et cetera, and just move forward and, you know, stop like buying into this manufactured social media lives that people present for everybody, et cetera. And yeah, no, I, I, I wish I could be, I’m getting there, you know, I’m definitely working on myself. Um, but I’m every day reminding myself, you know, to frankly live the way that you’re, you live online.

Speaker 1: (45:43)

Think about Trump lives that way. Right. And if he can live that way you should be living that way. You got to think about it that way. Exactly like, as long as you’re good people, yeah, you should be focused on you and you only because everything else is a reflection of somebody else and pissing people off is, should make you laugh. Well, that being said, okay, women crush Wednesdays. I love it. I just, the concept of women supporting women. Have you been? I’m not, but I’m going to go, I know. Well, well, well. Oh no. I know, I know it’s been on my calendar for, so long. You gotta come. Zero excuse. September 18th is a really special show you should come to that one. Okay. All right. Very special. I’m there. I’m there. We’re going to be there. I’m going to take like everybody, everybody, you’re welcome. Join me. We’re going to be there. Tickets are only $10. Like there’s zero. There’s no literally no excuse. No drink minimum. Which doesn’t happen in comedy clubs. Yeah, absolutely. It is like you just have to go and be entertained. Like there’s no negatives here. Um, women crush Wednesdays every single Wednesday. Every Wednesday, every Wednesday. Whether I’m there or not it still happens. Okay, good. Because, so you don’t necessarily have to be there because you book it, I book it. You book all the talent. I host it and sometimes they close it out because hosting is a lot of work. Right. Are you going to host on the 18th yes. Okay. was gonna say cause otherwise I’m not going.

Speaker 2: (46:53)

But like my, my, my friend Lydia Popovich, she’s a really great comic. I take her on the road with me and she hosts when I’m not there. And Katie McVeigh is the other person that it also hosts when I’m not there. And they both been on my series. You Welcome.

Speaker 1: (47:04)

Um which is on So check that out. Okay, so all things, that was the next thing. All things comedy, which is a video podcast that you’re doing. Um, any other new projects that we should, that people should know about right now?

Speaker 2: (47:18)

I don’t think so. I think those are like the main, um, I’m working on new material. Getting a new hour ready.

Speaker 1: (47:24)

Are you gonna go on tour anytime soon? I’m doing a couple of dates here and there. I’ll probably go on tour in 2020. Okay. If anyone wants to find more information, they can go to I have a really bad problem of saying everyone’s name and like full on Spanish. I perfer Marcella Josefina Arguello, what a beautiful name I have. It is a beautiful name actually. So, Oh, I’m sorry. Marcella comedy. I’m sorry. I have not had coffee. I haven’t eaten. Not a good fan. Not the fan she claims to be. I’m being a terrible host. If I had glasses I would pull them down. You know what don’t send me a nasty tweet. Be nice. All right. All right everyone. Deal. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. Yeah, this was amazing, and I think everyone’s gonna really enjoy it and I’m looking forward to just all the really cool stuff that you have going on in the future. Thank you. Yeah thanks. Thanks. [closing music].

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