Roman Suarez: One Funny Latino

Roman Suarez’s story is the essential American tale. The child of South American immigrants, Roman grew up in a single-parent home in The Bronx. 

“There was no money for a babysitter,” he recalls. “So what raised me was television: ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘M*A*S*H,’ Redd Foxx, all these hilarious comedy shows. After watching a hundred reruns of ‘Benny Hill’ or the ‘Saturday Night Live’ show that I would tape record, I would just do that by myself in the mirror.”

But if he learned the fundamentals of timing and delivery imitating the TV, it took a fall from grace to propel him into it for real. Roman went to John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, and went into the music business, working for a number of major record labels before it all came to a crashing halt. He felt he had lost everything.

When he found himself selling office supplies, Roman decided he would take a chance and do what he wanted to most – to get up in front of a crowd and entertain them.

“The only thing that I was able to do to bring myself back to societal normality was to book myself at open mics,” Roman says. “I chose comedy because I used it as my medicine to battle anxiety and depression.”

That was almost five years ago.

“I’m a regular at the comedy clubs in New York City. I perform throughout the boroughs,” he says. “I’ve left New York three times only in the years that I’ve been a comedian: Twice to Florida and once to Springfield, Mass. I’m looking forward to doing more of that.”

Roman has faced his share of obstacles, like people assuming he’s Puerto Rican because he’s from The Bronx, and local club owners who would rather book someone from outside the area. Still he shows the pride of a born-and-bred native.

“The very first thing anybody from The Bronx will tell, you,” he says, “we’ve got our own beach, we have our championship football team, we have one of the most historic stadiums in the world. We are the only borough with ‘The’ in front of it.”


Manny Frishberg

For more than 30 years Manny has been a professional journalist and writer. 

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