Chuy Bravo has an ability pretty much any stand-up comic would kill for: He doesn't have to tell jokes — or say much at all, really — and still manages to get people to laugh.
Of course, part of this might be due to his combination of his rotund build, diminutive stature (Bravo has dwarfism and is 4-foot-2) and thick Latin accent, all of which makes him comic fodder for the barbs of comedian and host Chelsea Handler on her hit E! late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately.
As the good-natured, fun-loving sidekick, Handler's "little nugget" says he is just enjoying making people smile — even if it's occasionally at his expense.
"I feel very happy when I see people laughing," Bravo said. "They get so happy, and I like that."
Most people can see Bravo on their small screens at home, but they'll get the chance to experience him in person — along with several other Latino comics — thanks to his Chuy Bravo's Mustache and Comedy Fiesta, which comes to Comedy Off Broadway this weekend.
This is the first comedy tour Bravo has spearheaded, but it's not the first time he's hit the road. He made a guest appearance as part of the Comedians of Chelsea Lately comedy tour and felt a different shade of joy by getting to interact with fans across the country.
"They can get personal, shake my hand, hug me," Bravo said. "I feel good. I think the most important thing is to bring this happiness to the towns."
Bravo says his current tour isn't to advance his own celebrity, it's to use it to shine the spotlight on others.
The "comedy" portion of the Fiesta will be provided by up-and-coming Latino comics including Nick Guerra, Joey Villagomez and Erik Rivera.
Bravo will serve as host and party starter. When he was planning the tour, he said, he worked up some scripted bits but finds he gets a better reaction when he's just being himself.
"I don't need no script," Bravo said. "I want to be me and say whatever comes from the heart."
Bravo said he's rounded up some of the funniest Latino stand-up acts in the country and hopes he can give them a chance to shine, much like Handler has given him.
"She opened the door for me," she said. "I'm just doing what she taught me: to give a little helping hand."
IF YOU GO
Chuy Bravo's Mustache and Comedy Fiesta
What: Comedy show hosted by Bravo and featuring Erik Rivera, Nick Guerra and Joey Villagomez
When: 7:15 p.m. Aug. 15, 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. Aug. 16, 17
Where: Comedy Off Broadway, The Mall at Lexington Green, 161 Lexington Green Cir.
Tickets: $15 Aug. 15, $18 Aug. 16, $22 Aug. 17. Available at (859) 271-5653 or Comedyoffbroadway.com.
Blake Hannon is a Mount Sterling-based writer.