From Forest Hills to Astoria, Bellerose to Glendale, Fernandez is giving budding talent a stage, making a name for himself and giving Queens residents some close-to-home entertainment.
“The number one priority as a comedian is to get on stage – that is our one goal. The only problem is, where, how, who?” he said. “It's very difficult in this city because New York is to comedy what L.A is to actors – we are oversaturated with comedy clubs but even more oversaturated with comedians.”
So Fernandez decided to take matters into his own hands. Seeing how tough getting stage time could be, he decided to make a stage in his home borough, starting with a show at Play Lounge on Queens Boulevard, which lasted a few years.
“Why Queens? Because Manhattan is oversaturted and this is my borough. I wanted to do something and I want to have fun and have it be easy; and I love being from Queens,” he said. “We're so diverse too, that's another element to it.”
Fernandez produces approximately five shows per month in different locations. Every third Thursday he hosts a show at Rolling Greens Restaurant and Pub in Bellerose. Every other Monday he's at Layla Hookah Lounge in Fresh Meadows.
At Tequila Joe's in Rego Park, Fernandez hosts a show every last Thursday of the month, and he's at Post Time Bar in Elmhurst every other Monday. He also recently began doing shows at St. James Bar in Forest Hills.
For the husband and father of two, comedy was always a dream. The second aspiration was to be a cop. But both dreams were put on hold when at the age of 20, he became a husband, a father and a soldier in the Army.
“The comedy took a left turn then,” he said. He put it aside, but six years ago he revived the dream and took his first step into comedy.
“It was just something I always wanted and dreamed of. I loved comedy since I was four. Comedy was my outlet,” he said. “By the time I was six and seven I was watching The Jeffersons, All in the Family, Benny Hill and M*A*S*H. At the age of seven, that's pretty weird.”
Like most comedians, the introduction to a comedy album cements the dream – and Fernandez was no exception.
“It was Eddie Murphy for me and then Bill Cosby, and as I got older saw my first Latin comedian, Paul Rodriguez, and I wanted to do it,” he said.
Although Fernandez hosts the comedy nights, he also performs around the borough and will soon be headed out to the midwest on tour. He tries to keep his material as personal as possible.
“I talk about my kids, childhood, Queens, whatever is around me,” he said.