Don't miss his show at Martinis Above Fourth on Dec. 28.
Alec Mapa isn’t afraid to talk about anything, and the LGBT community should appreciate that a little more, especially if they are parents because that’s just another thing he’s honest and funny about.
He’ll probably kill me for saying this, but he’s been in the business a long time. Not that he’s touchy about the size and girth of his resume which includes everything from Seinfeld to Desperate Housewives and Black-ish to movie appearances in films Marley and Me and A Very Sordid Wedding.
But first and foremost, he is a husband and a father doing a great thing for an unfortunate child who ironically turned out to be very fortunate indeed. I asked if he was going to adopt another.
“F*ck no,” he says. And I completely understand that response because I am a loving parent of two adopted foster children myself and they as rudimentary human beings can be downright awful.
I have seen Alec perform on TV in stand-up comedy specials. And honestly, he kills every time; I can relate to what he's saying
He is coming to San Diego just a few days after Christmas and I recommend that you get to Martinis Above Fourth to see him, the show's called "Holiday in Alec Mapa." That’s not only a plug, it's an honest suggestion.
I recently talked to Alec while he was on set playing second-fiddle to a hawk, a real bird of prey, for a project he’s starring in. He’s also braving through the holidays which he calls a tsunami trying to survive them with his husband and overzealous son Zion.
“No one tells you this before you have children, but Christmas basically makes them lose their goddamn minds,” Alec says. “Have you had a friend who’s done one bump too many? Imagine he’s on vacation with you for two straight weeks and that’s what the holidays are like with children.”
I hate to be one of those people who say if you aren’t a parent you won’t understand, but it’s true. For many months, maybe years, raising a child is a wonderful experience. Then suddenly everything changes and that usually comes in the nightmare period we call the tweens.
Alec calls it a “hellscape” and Linda Blair's portrayal of a teenager in The Exorcist is about as accurate as you can get. He recalls one awkward discussion with Zion while he and his husband were at brunch.
“I said ‘I am so hungry’ and my son muttered under his breath ‘for dick.’ He’s 13.” Alec says his parents would have killed him for saying that, and adds, “But he has two dads and all his babysitters were drag queens so that’s on us. I did, however, take away the phone for a day.”
Being a successful stand-up comedian and television star in Hollywood is not something that comes easily. But Alec has managed to do it. If he gets overwhelmed, he reminds himself there are people getting by doing far less.
Arranging for someone to pick up his son at school while he is on set for Raven’s Home with Raven Simone, “definitely falls under the hashtag #whiteladyproblems,” he laughs.
And yet, he doesn’t stop. He is making a special appearance in San Diego just a few days after Christmas. His Showtime stand-up special, Baby Daddy is soon to be on HERE TV. He jokes that Xanax helps carry the workload, but I think it’s more his love of truthful storytelling; that honest energy often sells out the theater.
People want to hear about this gay Asian's family from a truthful perspective, and that is exactly what they get plus bonus content.
“All my shows are autobiographical because I’m a narcissist, but I’m also a masochist so it’s a lot of humiliating stories about myself,” Alec explains. “Usually anecdotes about butt sex, poop or any number of personal or professional epic fails.”
He says it’s his mission to make the audience feel better about themselves. He follows a rule which states that bad things happening to others isn’t funny, but if it’s happening to him, then it’s hilarious and should be shared.
“I once got the hottest guy ever into bed, someone I thought was completely out of my league and the first thing he did was fart in my face. That would be humiliating to anyone else, but for me, it’s raw material for an evening of wit and sophistication.”
And nothing could give him more material than this previous year and what’s played out in the political world.
“This has been a shitty year for everybody politically because of that misshapen orange troglodyte, but my show is a nonstop holiday party where you can’t stop laughing and that asshole isn’t invited. I’m a great hostess. I will stop at nothing to make sure each and everyone of you is thoroughly entertained and has at least one revolting story about me you can’t wait to share. “
Still, he is a parent and despite the political climate, the caustic wit and the detailed descriptions of a trick's bodily functions, Alec makes sure he and his husband are raising Zion to be the best human possible.
“If all I ever do is release an adult into the world who is thoughtful, kind, gentle and compassionate then I’ve done my job. I’d also like an Emmy Award and a weekend house in Palm Springs.”
Alec Mapa is a gay ham with a faux-hawk in a business dominated by white men in wrinkled clothes who sell out arenas because they talk about sex and women: They give Netflix specials to those guys.
Alec is just as funny as they are, perhaps moreso because he attacks the crowd with stories from the gay world. Straight people laugh because it’s weird, gay people laugh because it’s true.The common ground being hilarity.
He has recently shelved some of his material because of his roles on children's TV shows (Henry Danger, Raven’s Home) in which he has to deliver milquetoast dialogue, but won't hold back here in San Diego, "Being live onstage in a place as fabulous and queer as Martinis Above Fourth makes me want to be as filthy as humanly possible," he warns.
Always funny, painfully honest and never shy, Alec Mapa lives to share his life on stage. It's a unique voice, probably the loudest of the gay male stand-up comedians, but it's also an important one.
To him, it's a performance; he lived it. To us, he represents growing up gay and of color in-between Stonewall and marriage equality. Now he just happens to be a dad too.
There may be no better person to laugh with through that timeline than Alec Mapa.
"Holiday in Alec Mapa" comes to Martinis Above Fourth on Thursday, December 28, at 8 pm.
You can download Alec's Showtime special Baby Daddy by clicking HERE.