Felipe Esparza

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias got his start in stand-up with the help of Felipe Esparza. In town for a one-day, three-show stint, Esparza tells us he was working at a comedy club several years ago and Iglesias sent word that he wanted to perform. ''He had some cholo friend of his come over and ask if he could go up. I said, 'Hell, no.' If he wants to go up, he needs to ask me himself.''' Iglesias eventually made his way over and managed to get onstage. The two men hit it off and eventually toured together. Esparza points out some differences between him and his ''fluffy'' friend. ''I'm a joke writer. I write jokes about my life, and Gabriel tells jokes about what's going on around him. If I'm around him and I say something funny, he'll use it onstage, imitating my voice. His fans think Felipe Esparza is a character he made up, but no, I'm a real person.''

Esparza, who won Last Comic Standing in 2010, hasn't been to Houston in a while. He's not sure why, but we think it might have something to do with a Houston hotel room he destroyed while on tour. ''They gave me this hotel room and my bed was right next to a jacuzzi. I have a lot of friends and we got drunk. We were jumping off the bed into the jacuzzi like the bed was a diving board. And somebody stepped on the [faucet], and it broke off. Water went everywhere. After that, I came back one more time but then nobody wanted to book me. I don't know why.''

6, 8 and 10 p.m. Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, 11460 Fuqua. For information, call 281-481-1188 or visit jokejointcomedyshowcase.com. $20.
Sun., Sept. 15, 6, 8 & 10 p.m., 2013

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Olivia Flores Alvarez