Entertainment

Comedian Ricky Velez Is Proving Himself As More Than Just Pete Davidson’s Best Friend

Ricky Velez hoped “Right here’s Every part,” his new HBO special, can be a inventive breakout. After in depth delays attributable to COVID-19, the undertaking remains to be knowledgeable milestone — solely now, it feels extra like a obligatory return to an artwork kind he loves.

Filmed earlier than a vaccinated viewers at New York’s Brooklyn Metal this summer season, “Right here’s Every part” finds Velez in stoner comedy mode, skewering politics and parenthood with acerbic irreverence. The lifelong New Yorker, who’s Puerto Rican and Irish, additionally contrasts his adolescence in a working-class neighborhood in Queens with the privileges he now accesses as a rising star on the nationwide stand-up circuit and in Hollywood.

“I’ve been on each side of every little thing my whole life, and I feel that’s extra frequent than individuals notice,” stated Velez, 32. “I identical to to go to the road, and make individuals perceive why it’s enjoyable to bounce on it.”

“Right here’s Every part,” due out Oct. 23, might assist set up Velez as his technology’s reply to John Leguizamo, one other champion of Latino identification. Like Leguizamo, Velez was drawn to comedy at an early age and has additionally confronted skilled obstacles as an individual of blended heritage.

An early supervisor, for example, recommended he change his final identify to avoid being “pigeonholed” as a stand-up performer. Extra lately, Velez opted out of an audition for a forthcoming film after he says he was requested to announce his citizenship earlier than submitting a self-tape.

“I’ve been on each side of every little thing my whole life, and I feel that’s extra frequent than individuals notice,” stated Velez, who’s Puerto Rican and Irish.

Guarionex Rodriguez Jr. for HuffPost

“I feel there’s ceilings to this shit for Hispanics,” he stated, “and I refuse to sit down in these rooms.”

One one that recognized Velez’s expertise early on, nevertheless, was Pete Davidson. The 2 males met as teenagers on the New York comedy membership circuit and skilled skilled breaks at roughly the identical time. Shortly after Davidson joined the solid of “Saturday Night time Stay” in 2014, Velez landed a job as a panelist and correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” which aired for 2 seasons, and he appeared on “Grasp of None” in a visitor spot.

Davidson and Velez acquired an opportunity to reunite onscreen as co-stars final 12 months in “The King of Staten Island.” Davidson co-wrote the screenplay with comic and author Dave Sirus and director Judd Apatow, basing a lot of the movie on his personal life. Velez performed Oscar, the drug-dealing and scene-stealing sidekick of Davidson’s Scott Carlin.

Like many motion pictures launched amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “The King of Staten Island” debuted to less-than-ideal fanfare after forgoing a deliberate theatrical run. Nonetheless, it laid the groundwork for Velez’s skilled relationship with Apatow, a inventive drive behind “Knocked Up” and “Trainwreck,” amongst different touchstone movies. The pair bonded over Mets video games and a shared love of Bruce Springsteen, they usually hatched the concept for “Right here’s Every part” — which Apatow executive-produced — shortly afterward.

“I like that he finds a solution to be brash and outlandish, however can also be very type and self-deprecating,” Apatow advised HuffPost in an electronic mail. “He was making me giggle a lot that I requested him to assist me punch up the script [for ‘King of Staten Island’] on weekends, and his insights about Pete and joke concepts had been invaluable. He’s a really deep, soulful author.”

"I love that he finds a way to be brash and outlandish, but is also very kind and self-deprecating," Judd Apatow said of Ricky Velez.
“I like that he finds a solution to be brash and outlandish, however can also be very type and self-deprecating,” Judd Apatow stated of Ricky Velez.

Guarionex Rodriguez Jr. for HuffPost

Joking that Apatow has turn out to be “like my dad,” Velez stated he appreciated the truth that each “The King of Staten Island” and “Right here’s Every part” allowed him to precise each his Puerto Rican and Irish sides. “A number of my auditions are available for one or the opposite, by no means each,” he stated. “And Judd, at no level, was asking me to be something aside from Ricky. That was one thing very particular.”

Following the discharge of “Right here’s Every part,” Velez plans to proceed working with each Apatow and Davidson on new film and television projects. He has no intention, nevertheless, of abandoning stay comedy, noting, “Stand-up is immediate gratification, and I stay my life like that. I don’t have to attend for anyone to inform me if I’m good or not. I can hear the group.”

As for “Right here’s Every part,” Velez is hopeful viewers will come away from the particular with a greater understanding that “no matter ideas that they’ve that they don’t speak about, they’re not the one one having them.”

“Additionally, individuals have to cease taking themselves so critically,” he stated. “Drop the ego, and also you’ll be in a greater place.”




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