Ricky Velez Dives Deep Into New HBO Comedy Unique ‘Here’s Everything’

Ricky Velez: Here’s Every thing Mark Schafer/HBO

“I could be doing a great deal of other horrible positions,” Ricky Velez suggests, speaking to Observer around Zoom about his new HBO comedy distinctive, Ricky Velez: Here’s Every little thing. He grins and provides, “This could have long gone way even worse.”

The Queens-elevated actor and writer may appear to be amazed to be here, but there’s been a whole lot setting up up to this instant. Velez’s job route has been defined by hard work, connections to persons like Judd Apatow and, of program, seriously great jokes. He’s been a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Present with Larry Wilmore and appeared on Netflix’s Learn of None, while a real turning level was co-starring with pal Pete Davidson in last year’s The King of Staten Island. But for Velez, this hour-extensive distinctive is the first time he’s manufactured a little something that is seriously his very own.

“Even down to the credits, it’s so personalized,” he notes. “I wrote the credits with my handwriting. I’m truly fired up for people today to see it.”

The unique, government generated by Apatow and Davidson, was filmed in New York Metropolis on August 28th at Brooklyn Steel. Velez was in a position to tape in front of a COVID-safe audience—something he wasn’t in the beginning confident would even be probable. It is a gleeful, hilarious hour of comedy and it feels very private to Velez. And to have his first-ever stand-up distinctive be for HBO? Properly, which is a tick off the outdated bucket checklist.

“For me, it was the thing I remembered as a child,” claims Velez. “It’s what I viewed. An HBO exclusive feels various than Netflix. It feels unique than anything else. This is the initially issue I have ever place on television. I have under no circumstances had any stand-up on television. So for this to be the very first factor is definitely vital to me.”

In this article Velez discusses crafting and taping Here’s Anything, returning to comedy right after the pandemic and why New York Town is so central to his work.

How did this specific come about?

I was sitting down with Judd Apatow at lunch. He had noticed a bunch of my stand-up at this issue. I experienced yet another supply somewhere for a half-hour exclusive. Judd was like, “How about you just appear do an hour more than at HBO with me?” I was like, “I would adore that. Is that an solution?” And then it came to be. Judd has been so good to me and I’m so grateful to have him in my everyday living due to the fact he’s really just one of the much better individuals, especially in this organization. When he does imagine in you he’s your major advocate. He’s completed genuinely remarkable items and set me in cases that even my brokers or professionals haven’t been capable to do.

How long in the past did you essentially commence writing the specific?

I would say everything’s generally a perform in development, so considering that I started off comedy. I do not publish write—I do it all onstage and I master from memory and I develop that way. Overall, because the commencing, as you do stand-up the complete matter is a finding out method. This was a just a lengthy studying system.

Was it tough to do the job on product during the pandemic when you couldn’t execute?

Yeah, and I consider that’s why a good deal of comics experienced a lot of complications in the course of the pandemic. You can engage in guitar [at home] and continue to listen to it. We’re the only art sort that demands an audience to know how good you are. It was genuinely unhappy and difficult. I was lucky more than enough to be operating Judd Apatow and Judah Miller on a script, so I bought to continue to be active and discover a further muscle mass. But, yeah, I missed comedy far more than something. This is my to start with like. It was seriously tough to get off a yr.

There ended up days where by you’d just wake up and be like “Are we ever heading back to it?” There was an concept in my head wherever I was like “I never feel I’ll at any time get to do a unique with people with no masks on.” I didn’t think that would be a chance. Or at entire capacity. I by no means considered we’d get back there.

When did it come to be crystal clear that you could truly tape this special with an viewers in a secure way?

When New York began opening. We performed anything by the principles. We did everything by the policies, like with my security. I experienced five months to get back again on the street and start out undertaking stand-up. At the time I obtained my 2nd [vaccine] shot we waited 14 times and that working day I was absent [on tour]. It was a extended five months of figuring it out and acquiring all these new ideas and adding things in from for the duration of the pandemic. And new jokes—I opened the unique with two brand name new jokes that I acquired throughout that time. It was a actually intriguing, exciting knowledge.

HBO Ricky Velez: Here's EverythingHBO Ricky Velez: Here's Everything
Ricky Velez: Here’s All the things Mark Schafer/HBO

When you’ve been making up to taping your initial HBO particular for so extended how does it really feel when you’re truly standing on the phase telling jokes?

We did two exhibits. The first display felt like enterprise. At the first display I was like, “This is it. This is what you have been doing this for.” After the initial exhibit, Neal [Marshall], who was functioning on my unique, came up to me. He reported, “Ricky, if the put burns down now you still have a specific.” That gave me more relieve. And I turned to my creating companion, Judah Miller, and I asked him, “If you can get some thing out of me that I didn’t give you in the first display what would it be?” He explained, “I really like observing you have enjoyable onstage.” At that issue, I felt like, “We obtained what we needed, let us go have enjoyable.” And we experienced the ideal time.

So the particular is minimize from people two performances?

It’s generally the second efficiency! I assume folks are addicted to entertaining. Folks like getting in it. Viewing them both, I felt that way.

Can you actually feel that tangible release from the viewers soon after remaining stuck inside of for so lengthy?

You really feel that straight away. Persons wanting to be a part of anything. It is incredibly major and you can recognize it suitable absent. I carry out at the Comedy Cellar all the time and that was almost certainly just one of the a lot more intriguing items I acquired to see. It is been packed since it opened. But when it first re-opened it was only New Yorkers. But then it turned infiltrated with travelers. And then out of nowhere the NYU young ones are back again. It was like watching the globe come again.

But the issue that I see—I found it suitable away—is that some folks didn’t know how to act the minute they acquired allow out of the household. Much too lots of men and women had too much to consume and did not know the social norms any longer. They shed people.

Stand-up comedy appears to be like a minefield right now, with a whole lot of concern about what might be regarded as offensive. Do you think about that when creating jokes?

Of study course. You usually attempt to hold that in intellect. But at the similar time I assume funny is humorous. How I compose is I go again to the matters that make me and my near close friends belly snicker and then I consider to bring that to stage. But I by no means attempt to harm [anyone] when I generate. Which is under no circumstances the point.

How aged have been you when you understood you want to do stand-up?

I was 19. I started off incredibly youthful. I stayed in one particular comedy club, the Broadway Comedy Club, for a few several years and just learned the ropes. Viewed the guys that ended up truly amusing. There were men who weren’t funny. I was very keen to audition for other clubs and things like that. I had this just one comedian, Mike Vecchione, who was actually in The King of Staten Island, and he informed me, “Stay listed here as extended as you can, get your act and you’ll be wonderful.” When I bought my initial audition it was at the Comic Strip and from there I basically passed by means of each individual comedy club in New York City inside of a few months. I was 23, 24 years previous.

HBO Ricky Velez interviewHBO Ricky Velez interview
Ricky Velez in The King of Staten Island. Universal

How much did showing in The King of Staten Island alter your profession?

I’m seriously famous on Staten Island. Like, I’m genuinely famous on Staten Island. It is actually amusing. And it is often seriously amusing how folks on Staten Island do not fully grasp I’m not essentially from there. I was going for walks as a result of the city with my child, keeping fingers with him, and this person goes, “Staten Island!” I was like, “Thanks man!” He was like, “I reside there, also.” I was like, “I don’t!” He went, “Oh damn.” I guess this person believed all the characters definitely reside there. Like, do Star Wars [actors] are living on the moon? What does he think is heading on?

But that film starting bringing in new options. I was also a co-producer on it. Which is the place the writing arrived in. I acquired to do punch-up on the movie Judd did for the duration of the pandemic—The Bubble. It is undoubtedly been the biggest switch for me in my job so significantly.

What does it experience like to locate on your own at this position of genuine achievements as a comedian ideal now?

There are a good deal of feelings. I come to feel genuinely blessed. When your everyday living results in being this you have to enable go of matters and you have to move on and go versus the grain of what people today imagine you should really be executing. I missing my mom when I was 26, out of nowhere. So not obtaining her in this article for all these exclusive moments—I experience incredibly blessed but at situations I grow to be extremely emotional about it. It just feels rapidly. Lifetime feels extremely fast right now.

It’s amusing for the reason that it feels like we all had this prolonged pause and now daily life is going at prime speed all over again.

It was awesome to be inside for that yr! I feel it is time we have one more calendar year within. I’m completely ready. I’m flying again to L.A. upcoming week and I have not been there since right before the pandemic. When we ended up cutting The King of Staten Island was the last time. Me and Pete flew out to go view it once it was locked. It was just me and him seeing it in a area and that was the very last time I was in Los Angeles. I utilized to go like two or 3 moments a thirty day period!

It appears like you do have a deep connection with New York City however.

I believe that is why it was so crucial to shoot right here. HBO was actually superior at listening to my suggestions and my thoughts. There have been distinctive ways we could have went about this. We could have shot in Miami in November past yr. They didn’t treatment down there! But it was significant it was performed in New York and HBO was awesome enough to hold out right up until it was best to do it. And we did it.

What’s upcoming for you?

I have a couple assignments. I actually want to get again into composing. Me and Pete have a project we’re genuinely enthusiastic about. Me and Judd have one more undertaking we’re psyched about. I want to stay as active as attainable and really glimpse at chances for what they are. The audition are having cooler. I’m significant: They are acquiring cooler! It’s all been actually exciting.

Rising Comedian Ricky Velez Knows ‘People are Addicted to Fun’ in New HBO Special

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