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Fiesta de Locos!


January 10, 2002|By RICHARD MONTENEGRO, Staff Writer

It's been said laughter is the best medicine. But can it cure social ills like youth crime, drug use and gang activity?

You betcha.

Through the success of El Centro Police Athletic League fund raisers such as the semi-annual Laughs for PAL comedy concerts that featured comedian Paul Rodriguez, and other events, PAL Executive Director Eric Scoville said boxing, martial arts and scuba diving programs, among others, receive the necessary funding to reach kids at risk of succumbing to the streets.

"I am a police officer," Scoville said, "and I really feel that I have stopped more crime in PAL than I ever did in a patrol car.

On Saturday, PAL's medicine chest of laughs should be stocked as a quartet of comedians perform during the Fiesta de Locos fund raiser, a prelude to April's Laughs for PAL 3. Performing will be headliners Gabriel Iglesias and Rudy Moreno and opening acts Patrick DeGuire and Wally Wang.


And Scoville expects Saturday's comedy showcase to a successful one as more than 500 tickets have been sold. As of Wednesday, only about a dozen general admission tickets remained at $20 a piece for the 8 p.m. performance at Ryerson Youth Center, 1094 S. 4th St. in El Centro.

The comedians booked for the show have been televised nationally on all sorts of channels and programs. Most notably and likely recognizable to local viewers is Galavision's "¡Qué Locos!" seen on channel 50 locally.

In addition to "¡Qué Locos!" Iglesias has been on NBC's "It's Showtime at the Apollo," Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" and "Make Me Laugh" and BET's "Comic View."

The baby-faced Long Beach native has performed at more than 1,000 comedy clubs and on numerous college campuses. Two years ago, Iglesias beat out more than 10,000 actors to land a role on Nicklodeon's "All That," an award-winning sketch comedy series.

Moreno, a former DJ and musician, also has performed on "¡Qué Locos!" as well as HBO's "Loco Slam" and Showtime's "Latino Laugh Festival." As an actor, Moreno has had cameo roles on "ER" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

When not performing on stage, Moreno, named Latino Comic of the Year by the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, oversees the Komics for Kids Toy Drive.

DeGuire, who has been on "¡Qué Locos!" and NBC's "Friday Night" comedy and music show, has performed alongside Paul Rodriguez and Roseanne Barr. In 1998, DeGuire won the Improve comedy club's national talent search contest.

Wang, has performed on "A&E's Evening at the Improve" and is a regular at the Comedy Store in San Diego.

Scoville said Rodriguez will return to the Valley for Saturday's concert but not as a performer.

"He's going to relax and admire the show. He might get up and say a few words, but he's not going to put on an act," he said.

Scoville added Fiesta de Locos and the return of Laughs for PAL could not have been possible without the work of PAL board member Tony Perez.

"This is a dynamic guy," Scoville said.

Tickets for Fiesta de Locos can be purchased at El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Dawg House Music in Brawley, Vallarta Barber Shop in Brawley and Ryerson Youth Center.

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