Marcella Argüello brings her biting comedy to Gallo Center

Modesto-raised comic Marcella Arguello will perform at Gallo Center for the Arts on Jan. 25.
Modesto-raised comic Marcella Arguello will perform at Gallo Center for the Arts on Jan. 25. jlee@modbee.com

Marcella Argüello doesn’t scare easily, and it’s not because of her 6-foot-2 height.

The Modesto-raised comedian uses her humor, wit and sarcasm to offend liberals and conservatives alike. And, journalists are not spared.

“Of all the interview questions I’ve ever been asked “What are your parents’ names, and what are their professions? How many siblings do you have? What occupations are they in?’ is by far the weirdest. Like, wtf – Are you planning to murder my family, sir?????’” Argüello posted on Twitter and Facebook.

That was a question that came from this reporter.

Duly noted. The answer is, ‘No.’

Argüello’s first comedy album comes out next month, and she kicks off a national tour as well. But first, there’s a homecoming show at the Gallo Center for the Arts on Jan. 25.

She has been busy since moving to Los Ángeles after graduating from Johansen High School (2002). She hosts ‘Women Crush Wednesdays’ at The Hollywood Improv Lab, and is on the second season of the Starz program ‘Night Train’ with Wyatt Cenac.

Various publications have listed her as a comedian to watch.

Q. Growing up, were you the family clown who would try to make others laugh?

“Being the youngest of four, of course I was a clown. My parents encouraged it when I was young, and I got my ability to look at the world differently from my dad. And my occasionally dry delivery from my mom.”

Q. Did your parents encourage you to focus on a certain career path like teaching, engineering or politician?

“Of course they did – they’re Latino! Who comes to this country in hopes their youngest daughter will pursue stand up comedy? Definitely zero immigrants. I was still in school when I started doing comedy, so it was fine at first; me dropping out was their nightmare. My mom still encourages me to finish my degree!”

Q. How old were you when you discovered you could make people laugh?

“I don’t remember. But I was always funny, I do remember that.”

Q. Do you remember the first time you got paid for a comedy routine? When and where was that?

“Nah, I’ve been doing comedy for thirteen years. I’m a lot more interested in who is paying me what next.”

Q. Where do you mine your comedy? News, personal life, someplace else?

“There’s nothing I won’t talk about it. Which gets me into trouble. I can be an unpredictable roller coaster.”

Q. Are Latino comedians expected to stay in their lane with ethnic comedy?

“A lot of Latino comedians like staying in their lane. I think it’s important to do whatever makes you happy.”

Q. We have heard about the difficulties that Latina actresses have in Hollywood, that they are often stereotyped as maids, hotel workers, etc. How is it for Latina comedians?

“Everyone will always have their difficulties presented to them, it’s fighting the bigger fight that matters.”

Q. For your Modesto show on Jan. 25, will you have any special material in store? Are you nervous about performing in front of your hometown friends and family?

“Well, my first stand up album will be released Feb. 1, so the material I’m doing at Gallo is the beginning of my new material. It’ll be a fun, experimental time. Who knows – I might even tell some Modesto stories.”

Q. As to your future, do you see yourself concentrating more on comedy, acting, writing or something completely different?

“I see myself doing everything. The fun thing about doing comedy is that there are no limits to what I can do. My biggest goal is to continue to inspire women.”

Q. ¿Hablas español? Is this something your parents encouraged or discouraged?

“Claro que sí. Taking ESL classes as a kid was weird, but I always loved it. Knowing two languages and multiple cultures makes you more open to the world and helps you see things in ways you never imagined.”

Her Gallo Center show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$35.

Details: (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org