(CBS Local)– It took comedian Erik Rivera a year to put together his comedy special for HBO.
Inspired by comics like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and John Leguizamo, Rivera is on a mission to prove he is the real deal in his new special called “Super White.”
“John Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth was one that really hit home because it was the first time I saw somebody with my skin color and my culture on television,” said Rivera in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “Everybody’s journey is different. Dave Chappelle hit when he was 18, George Lopez hit when he was 40. You just have to keep building and focus on what your goal is.”
Rivera says it took him about 10 years to find his voice. He experienced a lot of highs and lows throughout his journey and that certainly informed his style of comedy.
“I’m the only one that can talk about my life and my perspective,” said Rivera. “I’m talking about my wife in this special. She is white and I talk about the cultural differences between my family and her family. I talk about my children and how we are raising them. Finding the balance of being Latino and being American and walking that tightrope.”
The New York native enjoys living in Los Angeles, but he had to overcome a few obstacles when he first got to California.
“In New York, it’s a cool comedy scene and funny is funny,” said Rivera. “You move out to LA and they have these little boxes and theme shows. Erik Rivera, you can do our Quesadilla Wednesdays. I can be funny everywhere. It was one of those things where I was constantly fighting to prove myself. I’m funny across the board.”