w/Marcella Arguello

Lisa Sanchez

California comic Marcella Arguello is getting ready for a crash course in Cleveland comedy. The 10-year veteran comic is co-headlining the Accidental Comedy Festival August 26-28 and she's ready to deliver her on point, filter free brand of comedy to Cleveland audiences.

I had a chance to speak with her while she had a layover in Boston on her way to Cleveland. Although Arguello has performed all over the country, this will be her first time in Cleveland.

Arguello mentioned she had just done shows in Chicago and was flying from New York. When I asked about her upcoming Accidental Comedy Fest appearance the comedian lit up at the prospect of playing a new venue. " I’m happy to come to Cleveland because this is the first real deal, multiple day festival that I’ve been requested at. This one is like, I'm performing all three days, I’m making a lot of friends, they’re [ACF] taking care of me, and they’re respecting me as a woman performer."

When I spoke with ACF organizer Cody Cooper, he explained the importance of showing comedians the appreciation they deserve and that sentiment hasn't gone unnoticed. Arguello is well worth that treatment considering she has performed on Last Call With Carson Daily and opened for David Alan Grier, Hannibal Buress, and many more.

The comedian explained comedy came naturally to her and when someone suggested she perform for a living, "I was like, 'Yeah. That makes sense.' I didn't like working with people, I don't like depending on other people, so performance made the most sense to me as an individual."

Because Arguello was travelling and about to perform at a three-day long festival, I hit her with what I thought was an easy question: What shapes your comedy style? Arguello replied, "You gave me a heavy one. My brain?" Oops.

She continued, "No, my life experiences and my ability to not filter myself. I know it sounds weird, but I really found my groove after my dad passed away. I thought I had no filter, but I really lost my filter once he passed away. After that, I was like laser focused because my priorities were in mind and who I am came to the forefront. Everything mattered differently."

Despite a jarring catalyst for her comedy rise, Arguello explained further, "I always thought I was smart enough, strong enough and then that happened and your world falls put it back together. You put it back together as you choose and it makes more sense." 

Introducing your brand of comedy to a new audience can be challenging at times, so I asked Arguello how she breaks in a new crowd. "I'm 6'2" and I like to wear heels on stage so I always address the elephant, or the giraffe, in the room. Sometimes I don't want to talk about it, but now I address it and it's like 'Let's move past it.' But I always have to address that. Everything else is fine, but I'm so tall it's almost a distraction for people.

As a proud 5'2" short person, I can sympathize a bit with Arguello's height related approach. However, as she put it, "Everyone has different shit to deal with. Unless you're a white male."
Arguello curates all of your favorite social media sites; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,  and she runs her own YouTube channel complete with clips of her stand-up comedy and Kendall Jenner parody makeup tutorials. In light of this specific reference, I had to ask, What is the funniest thing happening in pop culture right now?

​"I don’t know about the funniest thing. Everything is hilarious all the time. I have my own sick obsession with the Kardashian/Jenner girls because I don’t understand that whole world, how they became popular, and why women look up to them. It’s so foreign to me. I am fascinated at how it becomes more and more popular every year. It’s spilled over into so many’s spreading like herpes," said Arguello 

She continued, "Donald Trump is an actual nominee, that is a reflection of the culture that we have allowed and the Kardashians are an extension of that." You know you were thinking it too.

Although she has been doing stand-up comedy for 10 years, Arguello has only enjoyed a whirlwind of acclaim since 2015. She explained, "It feels like release because it's been a slow 10 years for me. I was just telling my mom, not giving up is the key. It sounds so corny, but it's true. There were so may times when I was like, 'What am I doing?' but it feels right. It feels like release, validation."

With all of her recent success, multiple national shows, and headlining a multi-day festival, Arguello's career has been full of achievements. But, what she considers the most important is something everyone can benefit from, as stand-up comedians or not.

​"Respecting myself. I see a lot of people, specifically women, you can see them compromising themselves a lot. Respecting myself has been my biggest personal achievement. Because in respecting myself others respect me as well. Nobody can argue my success," Arguello offered.

​Because Arguello brought up the downside of being a woman in comedy, I asked her to elaborate. She explained, "It sucks all the time, it's not made for us. Every weekend I have to deal with something...People assume when they see me I’m just the girl friend or the side piece and no one ever thinks I’m a comic."
However, the friction hasn't slowed Arguello down. "It never stops. You gotta do what you gotta do, like my mom said. I pick my battles. When people make a stink about little things like saying 'comedienne' or using words like 'bitch' or 'cunt' those are such stupid, insignificant things. The things we have to deal with are so much bigger. Those are so much bigger. I don’t care about the labels or word usage or anything."
The comedian prides herself on having no filter and she delivers her answers exactly like her comedy, unadulterated and without fear. Arguello said her ability to say what she's thinking "...keeps me sane, it keeps my integrity in tact."

Coming back around to Accidental Comedy Fest, Arguello is ready to bring her style of comedy to Mahall's. No matter what happens, as long as there are people to perform in front of, Arguello knows she will have a good time.

Finally, considering she's been plugging away at comedy for 10 years, I asked Arguello what her big time comedy goal is.

She replied, "To be the best because not a lot of women are considered the best. If you ask someone to name the best comics in the world, they never list women. Ever. It’s irritating because it’s not impossible...A lot of women slow down after a certain point and I don’t want that. I want to be the best and I think I am capable."
Marcella Arguello will be performing all three nights at the Accidental Comedy Fest hosted at Mahall's, 13200 Madison Ave. Lakewood, OH. Tickets and schedules are available on the Accidental Comedy Fest website. Be sure to check out Marcella Arguello because everyone loves a giraffe in heals saying cunt onstage. I know I do.