Meet Ron White’s funny longtime drinking buddy


publicity photo

Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (2 a.m.)

If You Go

  • Who: Alex Reymundo
  • When: 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday
  • Where: The Improv at Harrah’s
  • Tickets: $29.05 to $44.95; 369-5223

Beyond the Sun

Friends for 20 years, comics Alex Reymundo and Ron White have become practically inseparable.

Reymundo has been White’s opening act since the Blue Collar Comedy Tour made superstars of White, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy.

Reymundo takes a break from White this week to perform at Harrah’s Improv.

The two met at the now-defunct Funny Bone Comedy Club in Arlington, Texas. Reymundo was a part-time college student and a full-time bartender at the club.

“Ron walked in to do his first amateur night and ordered a shot of tequila and a Budweiser,” recalls Reymundo, who gained national recognition of his own as part of the Original Latin Kings of Comedy show featuring Reymundo, George Lopez, Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez and Joey Medina.

Later that night White and Reymundo partied.

“We drank that night together, we smoked that night together, we became good friends that night,” Reymundo says from Los Angeles.

At the time Reymundo had no plans to be a comedian, but eight months later he decided to give it a shot and went onstage for amateur night.

White had established himself on the comedy circuit.

“By then he had been elevated to the middle of a three-man show,” he says. “When I started going out, we booked a bunch of dates together, so for the first two or three years we traveled together 70 percent of the time. I would drive my truck or he would drive his. We had one rule: Whoever wasn’t driving couldn’t sleep and if anybody handed you anything to smoke, drink or snort, you had to do it. We made each other laugh for three years.”

When both he and White became headliners, the two didn’t work together for several years, though they remained good friends.

Then the Blue Collar Comedy Tour turned White into a superstar. When it ended a couple of years ago, he called Reymundo.

“He said, ‘Alex, I’m big enough now. I’m touring on my own. I can pick whoever I want to work with. Come work with me again,’ ” says Reymundo, who has opened for White in 80 percent of his concerts since they teamed up.

“I try to do three weeks with him out of the month, and one week jump out and do clubs on my own. I can’t just keep doing 20 minutes — but I do love that opportunity to be in front of his audience.”

Reymundo was born in Acapulco, Mexico. His family came to the United States and settled in Texas.

“I always wanted to do entertainment of some kind as a kid,” he says. “As a kid my father was my hero, till I realized Elvis got more chicks.”

Reymundo says he isn’t naturally funny, but he is naturally likable.

“My strongest asset is that when I walk onstage, before I say anything, 80 percent of the room is saying they’re going to give this guy a shot,” he says.

Reymundo hosted the American Immigration Lawyers’ annual awards ceremony this month in Las Vegas. The honorees included Carlos Santana, Cirque du Soleil, Jean Francois Detaille and Reymundo.

“I don’t know if I’m an activist,” he says. “I came here when I was 2. I guess my mother and father were the activists. They told me and my brothers and sisters they brought us to America to give us the opportunity we would never have in Mexico. They told us we could accomplish anything with the right work ethic. ‘Whatever you choose to do, be great. Don’t quit. You can accomplish anything. Keep a positive attitude and you can do it.’ ”

His parents worked two and three jobs, cleaning houses, waiting tables, to buy a modest home in a middle-class neighborhood.

“It looked like everybody else’s house, till you walked in and we didn’t have all the nice furniture.”

Reymundo married a woman from Kentucky. The contrast between Mexican and Kentucky cultures provides fodder for his comedy salvos, and he calls their children “hick-spanics.”

“My wife is a beautiful girl, my wife, my partner,” he says. “She’s my passport to heaven.”

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