Cristela Alonzo

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Cristela Alonzo
Cristela Alonzo.jpg
Alonzo at the PaleyFest preview for Cristela
BornJanuary 6, 1979 (age 40)
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationStand-up comedian, actress, writer, producer
Years active2006present
Home town San Juan, Texas, U.S.
Television Cristela

Cristela Alonzo (born January 6, 1979) [1] is an American comedian, actress, writer and producer, who created and starred in the ABC sitcom Cristela. [2] She is the first Latina woman to create, produce, write, and star in her own US primetime comedy. [3] [4]

American Broadcasting Company American broadcast television network

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building.

<i>Cristela</i> American sitcom

Cristela is an American multi-camera sitcom television series that aired from October 10, 2014, through April 17, 2015, on ABC. The series was created by stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo, who also starred in and wrote for the series and served as an executive producer with co-creator Kevin Hench, Becky Clements, Marty Adelstein, and Shawn Levy for 20th Century Fox Television. This made her the first Latina to create, produce, write, and star in her own primetime comedy. The series was canceled by ABC on May 7, 2015.


Early life

Alonzo was born in San Juan, Texas, the youngest of four children of mother Natalia Gonzalez, who worked double shifts at a Mexican restaurant for about 20 years, [5] and father Adalberto Alonzo, who is Mexican. [1] When Alonzo's mother was pregnant with Alonzo, Alonzo's mother left her abusive husband and raised the children alone. [2] Alonzo has said that she never met her father, who died in 2009. [6] Alonzo grew up in San Juan, Texas. [7]

San Juan, Texas City in Texas

San Juan is a city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 33,856, up from 26,229 in 2000. It is part of the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission and Reynosa–McAllen metropolitan areas.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

She has three siblings, older sister Julisa Maria Alonzo [8] and older brothers Eloy Eduardo Alonzo [9] and Ruben G Alonzo. [2] Alonzo's mother came from the small village of El Zancarron in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. [10] Throughout her childhood, on her mother's weekly day off, Alonzo spent time with her paternal grandmother in Reynosa, Mexico, just across the border. [4]

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

For the first eight years of Alonzo’s life, the family squatted in an abandoned diner, and were homeless and destitute, even with her mother working double shifts as a waitress. [2] She often went hungry, and had problems with skin pigment due to a lack of nutrition. [2] Alonzo said her mother often used humor to offset the abject poverty. [11] Alonzo learned English from watching TV as her family spoke only Spanish at home; her mother never learned to speak English. [2] Television was a way for the family to stay inside, avoiding the violence from drug trafficking in their neighborhood. Alonzo would translate American shows into Spanish and act them out for her mother. [2] Alonzo and her mother were inseparable. Alonzo and her mother shared a bed until Alonzo turned 18. [2]

Alonzo was raised in a very strict Catholic household. [2] Because her older sister married young, she spent much of her childhood hanging out with her older brothers and became interested in comic books, trading playing cards, a lot of Star Trek: TNG , Dungeons and Dragons and metal music. [12] She graduated from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School. [7]

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Early College High School is a public school in San Juan, Texas. It is part of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District and is one of the district's six high schools. It educates over 2,500 students.

At age 18, Alonzo left home to attend Webster University to study theater in St. Louis. However, Alonzo dropped out because she could no longer afford school. [13] She went back to Dallas and moved in with her sister, where she took care of her mother who was sick and of her sister's children. [13] Alonzo's mother died in 2002. [2]

Webster University university

Webster University is an American non-profit private university with its main campus in Webster Groves, Missouri.


In 2003, a year after her mother died, [14] Alonzo got a job as an office manager at the Addison Improv, [10] and started doing stand-up. Alonzo said that she started doing stand-up as a way to process her grief and talk about her mom and her family. [11] She was part of a small Dallas scene. [15] Alonzo eventually moved to Los Angeles to become a stand-up comedian. [2]

Alonzo spent two years traveling on a bus with the Honduran-born American comedian Carlos Mencia and several other comics. [2] Alonzo ended up leaving the tour. Alonzo then spent a lot of time on the road doing college comedy shows, where she found a lot of success. [2]

Alonzo did a 30-minute segment of Comedy Central's The Half Hour on June 7, 2013. [15] She has appeared on Conan , Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson , Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand Up Revolution , Showtime , Last Comic Standing , The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Live at Gotham.

In January 2014, Alonzo was named as one of "10 L.A. Comedy Acts to Watch in 2014" by L.A. Weekly . [16] She was also named one of "13 Funny Women to Watch in 2014" by Cosmopolitan . [17]

Alonzo voiced Cruz Ramirez in the Disney-Pixar film Cars 3 (2017). [18]


In 2013, with TV producer Becky Clements, Alonzo created her own semi-autobiographical comedy pilot Cristela for ABC. [19] She wrote the pilot with her writing partner, Kevin Hench. It was not greenlit as a part of the 2013–2014 television season. In an unusual move, they decided to plan to shoot a pilot presentation with the penalty money (a 30% fee they got when the network initially passed). [20] On February 26, 2014, they shot a pilot presentation, [21] filmed on the stage of Last Man Standing with much of that show's crew to save money; it got a strong testing response from the audience. [22]

On May 10, 2014, ABC picked up the pilot to series for the 2014–15 television season. [23] [24] [25] After an initial order of 13 episodes, nine additional episodes were ordered, bringing the total count of episodes for season 1 to 22. [26] [27] [28] Cristela is a multi-camera show, shot in front of a live audience. [2] The series concluded on May 7, 2015, and has since been cancelled. [29]

Comedic style

Alonzo has a trademark, raucous laugh: “If I’m laughing, you know I’m either very happy or very sad,” she said. “I cope with things with jokes." [2] She is an observational comic who reflects on stories in her own life. Inspired by Bill Cosby and Roseanne Barr and her favorite childhood shows ( The Cosby Show and Roseanne ), [30]

Personal life

Alonzo lives in Los Angeles. Her "home club" is the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California. [31]

Alonzo was named after the midwife who delivered her. The midwife turned out to be her Cristela co-star Maria Canals-Barrera's husband's (actor David Barrera) aunt. [32]




Video games


Stand up

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