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'Jesus Trejo: Stay At Home Son' Review: Comic's abrasive voice complements wholesome stories about old parents

As far as stand-up specials go, 'Stay At Home Son' is pretty standard but it has an inexplicable quality about it that makes it hard to stop grinning while watching it
Jesus Trejo (Showtime)
Jesus Trejo (Showtime)

Spoilers for ‘Jesus Trejo: Stay At Home Son’

“Long Beach is beautiful. It’s a beautiful town. One of my fondest memories is getting chased by a crackhead. [laughter]. It was great. If you know anything about crackheads, you know that they have an infinite amount of energy. [more laughter]. They don’t get tired, they’re skinny and aerodynamic,” says Jesus Trejo. 

At the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood, Trejo then narrates the story of how a crackhead stole his shoes when he was returning home from school. Despite his best efforts -- curling his toes to grab hold of them -- he couldn't win. The crackhead tickled him. When he gets home, his father scolds him and asks, “Didn’t you curl your toes?” 

This is just one of the many anecdotes that Trejo shares in his first hour-long comedy special. And almost all of the stories inadvertently end up being about his parents one way or the other. The 33-year-old stand-up comic has quite a few interesting stories. But it’s not just the stories that make his special fun. It’s also his mannerism. The hulking six-foot-three comic has an abrasive voice. And his sentences are often punctuated with either short cackles or a “hell yeah”. But he has an ever-present genial and toothy smile, and a lazy flow to his speech, to counter that. 

And it only adds to the charm, because what he narrates are mostly weirdly wholesome stories. There’s a particularly lovable self-deprecating quality to Trejo’s stories. Him being cowardly, being a “b****”, being bad at karate, being broke, and being held at gunpoint on three different occasions. 

Trejo’s anecdotes about his parents are undoubtedly the star of the show. Whether it’s the one with him translating a mugger’s English to Spanish for his non-English-speaking mom, or it's about his dad mocking him, or the tough love, or his parents’ love for forbidden chicharrónnes, there’s something adorable about a stand-up special especially dedicated to parents. One would think that when a son talks about both his parents getting cancer in a comedy special, things would get somber. But those two stories make you laugh till you have tears in your eyes. 

As far as stand-up specials go, 'Stay At Home Son' is pretty standard. But it has an inexplicable quality about it that makes it hard to stop grinning while watching it. It’s an hour of unexpected wholesomeness, with a few loud laughs, and stories that make you experience a weird warmth.

‘Jesus Trejo: Stay At Home Son’ is available for viewing on Showtime.