Nery Saenz Drops Comedy Album, Talks Dave Chappelle, Nerds vs. Geeks
If you've been to a South Florida comedy club in recent history, you've likely seen Nery Saenz. He's made you laugh, established a connection, and explained how to pronounce his name (near-ee sigh-enz). He hosts the weekly pop round-up What's Up Bro?! Podcast, and recently toured with comic legend Dave Chappelle.
Saenz spoke with New Times about the upcoming release of his first stand-up album, Man-Child.
New Times: Welcome Nery! Firstly, pressing nerd news. Are you excited for the new Star Wars movie?
Nery Saenz: What's up bro?! (Like that podcast promotion?) First question and I'm already torn with how to answer. I'd like to have the "geeks" and not "nerds" buy my new album, but I am just not a big Star Wars fan. I know I know -- how can you call yourself a geek? But I'm more of the comic book/movie geek. I'm much more excited to hear that Snyder has been given the official green light to direct the Justice League movie after the next Man of Steel, than I am about anything Star Wars.
You prefer "geek" over "nerd"?
Yeah, I think it's more accurate. Geeks are people into comic books or video games or movies. Basically anything that is of no use to mankind or society. Nerds are the doctors and scientists and historians. You know, smart people with degrees not handed out at Halo competitions.
So your new album is titled Man-Child. Is there something we should know about you?
Aside from the superhero tattoos that cover my body and my obsession for anything with an "S" shield or Playstation logo? No, not much. My niece named the album. She came up to me while I was at my computer and said 'Tio, you're such a Man-Child'. Now I'm not saying she was wrong, I was just confused as to why she would say this to me. Then I looked over my desk and saw many Superman figurines next to one of my Superman lunch boxes. My niece was 8 years old at the time. Smart girl.
What makes a man-child? Why are there more than ever?
A man-child is someone who refuses to let the things they loved as children go simply because society has dictated that they must, based on how many years they've been alive. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying, "Never leave your parents' house and become a shut-in playing Magic the Gathering." That wouldn't be a man-child, that'd just be a child. A man-child is a man that pays his bills, takes care of his family, and just happens to enjoy dressing up like superheroes while they plan their family vacation around the San Diego Comic Con schedule.
Is a woman-child a thing?
I don't know that woman-child is a thing. Women don't abide by the same rules in society that men do. A grown woman can plan a sleep over with her girlfriends, complete with makeovers and gossip, and it's called "girls' night out." A man who plans that same evening is called a virgin. A girl who's into the same geeky stuff that I'm into is just called a cool chick. Don't blame me, it's society.
You recently toured with comedy icon Dave Chappelle. What was that like?
It was aight... what do you THINK it was like? It was Dave FUCKING Chappelle! It was a crazy experience. At one point I had just finished a joke, here at the Fillmore in Miami, and I couldn't help but soak it in. I soaked in the laughter, the energy, I just soaked every drop of the moment. I couldn't help but acknowledge to the entire 2,000 people audience that they were witnessing my dreams come true. I'm just a local kid from Sweetwater who wasn't even the funniest person in my family, and there I was opening for arguably the biggest name in comedy of my generation... in my hometown. To say it was crazy is an understatement.
How did you decide it was time to make your first comedy album?
I have been wanting to put out a CD for years now. I used to love going to Best Buy or Circuit City (remember them?) and just buy comedy CDs. Some were bad, some were good and some were just amazing. So I started comedy September 13th 2003 with dreams of having my own CD on the shelves. Maybe some kid would randomly pick it up and think it was one of the amazing ones.
As the years passed by I always kept the idea of putting an album together in the back of my mind. But I never wanted to be one of those dudes that recorded something on their iPod and made copies on their own computer. Nothing against comics who do that because the struggle is real, but I knew I could never hope to sell my CD at Best Buy [if I did that]. That kid could never buy it at the store if I did that. Don't get me wrong, I am not with a label so Best Buy won't be selling my album (as of yet), but there is a chance, no matter how improbable, that maybe one day they will.