Fil-Am comedian Rex Navarrete makes London debut

By Edward Lao, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jun 24 2013 11:52 AM | Updated as of Jun 24 2013 07:52 PM

Filipino American comedian Rex Navarrete

LONDON - Filipino American comedian Rex Navarrete is holding two nights of laughs in London next month.

The 44-year-old will crack Pinoy-inspired jokes at "Bar Rumba" in the heart of the West End, on July 24 and 25.

Although Navarrete has visited the United Kingdom before, this will be the first time for him to perform in the country.

"I'm so excited to finally connect with the British fans and folks who just are curious about me and my act. Honestly, I am a bit anxious about the whole trip," he told ABS-CBN Europe in an e-mail.

"It's been a dream to go to the UK and bring my comedy. My first exposure to comedy came from the UK: Monty Python, Benny Hill, you know."

The stand-up comedian, now in his 24th year as a performer, still tours the United States and Canada, as well as countries in Asia, including the Philippines.

The Portland, Oregon based Fil-Am is famous for certain sketches, which naturally leads to requests from fans, but he says he has evolved as an artist and would like to share new material.

"I often get a lot of requests for 'SBC Packers' and 'Maritess Vs The Superfriends'. Both of these, I no longer do on the road. They're too hard to manage on-stage. I'm glad that fans get to play them back online so I can enjoy my break from these bits.

"I'm getting older and want to nurture the newer material and help those become fan favorites. I feel like I'll be able to dig into my vast database of material for an audience that have never seen me live. This, to me, is like performing in the Philippines that first time in 2002."

Navarrete will be in the UK for over a week and is eager to mingle with members of the British Filipino community.

"I'm looking forward to meeting the many generations of Filipinos who've decided to make their lives in the UK.

"I want to know how they live, who they are. I plan on eating plenty fish and chips with patis with these folks. I'm really looking forward to meeting all of you."

The two-night showpiece was organized by entertainment company Imojin Group.

Event producer Nina Bautista Paddit, who used to work with Fil-Am rapper Apl.de.Ap of multi-award winning group The Black Eyes Peas, believes Navarrete will be a hit in the UK.

"Comedy can be a very effective educational tool," explained Bautista Paddit.

"My focus has always been about utilizing entertainment and media for the purposes of learning and finding common ground in an ever-growing multi-cultural world. Much of Rex's comedy, and really Filipino American comedy in general, is commentary on the duality of our sub-culture, our identity and perceptions, inside the box and out." Paddit said.