For almost two decades now, Martin Moreno has been a nonstop source of gut-busting laughter and hilarity. First, he became known locally around Southern California’s various comedy clubs and then later as a staple of his longtime friend and comedian Gabriel Iglesias’ massive international tours and Comedy Central TV shows. In recent years, Moreno has continued to perform prolifically across the state of California and tour extensively while also developing and co-hosting the popular Yo Yo Yo Podcast w/ Martin & Hooter.
Recently, CULTURE got a chance to chat with Moreno and hear about his podcast, the challenges of touring in today’s political climate, and, of course, his feelings on legalizing cannabis.
You host the Yo Yo Yo Podcast w/ Martin & Hooter. Can you tell us a bit about it and how it got started?
Well, I bought podcast equipment a little over five years ago. At the time, people were kind of shitting on podcasts and saying things like, “Dude, they’ve had their day. It’s a dead horse.” So I kind of adopted that mentality until I was at the Irvine Improv and the dude who works the door asked me, “Why don’t you have a podcast? Every time we talk it’s always an interesting conversation.” I told him I thought they were done, and he told me I was completely wrong. He goes, “Podcasts haven’t even begun. I’m a communications major in school, and I think podcasts are in their infancy, and they’re revolutionizing communication as we know it.” So I listened to him, went home, grabbed an ironing board, set up the equipment on it, and put it out there.
Now we’re coming up on our 100th episode; I co-host it with my son, Hooter Moreno, who’s also a comic, and on it we talk about family, religion, current events, politics and just about everything else. Not to sound conceited, but it’s pretty entertaining, and a lot of our listeners listen to episodes multiple times.
“ . . . I broke both of my hands almost back-to-back a few years ago, and I started using CBD ointment on them, and it helped me tremendously.”
Is it challenging collaborating with your son? Are there ever times you feel like you’ve got to hold back on saying something because your son is in the room?
Never. I started doing comedy when Hooter was about nine or 10 years old, and I would take him to the shows with me; and I had a bit about using my Mom’s veladoras with Jesus glowing on them as sex candles back then. I’ve never sheltered him, and I’ve always had the type of relationship with him where I’m an open book.
On your podcast you’ve interviewed folks and touched on the benefits of things like cannabidiol (CBD) for personal health. How long have you been interested in cannabis as medicine?
Marijuana as medicine didn’t really happen until later on in life for me. I’ve smoked my entire life and enjoyed it, but I didn’t start looking into the medicinal properties until my mom developed Alzheimer’s disease, and I started wondering whether there was anything weed could do for her. Then, I broke both of my hands almost back-to-back a few years ago, and I started using CBD ointment on them, and it helped me tremendously.
You also just announced some tour dates for Texas coming up soon. You’ve toured all over the world, is it ever challenging or intimidating to leave home base and take your material out to new and different audiences?
It is. I was fortunate enough to travel with Gabriel Iglesias all over the world, and his audience is a very family-friendly one; and it’s what’s gotten him the success he has. My comedy is a lot more raw and kind of in your face. I’m not preachy, but I am pointing out a lot of absurdities and challenging the norms of religion. So, when you hit places like the “Bible Belt,” you start wondering, “Am I going to piss these people off? Are they going to feel offended over this?” But, at the end of the day, if you’re feeling offended by something a comedian is saying in this point in time where in our country we have a commander-in-chief who’s quoted as saying, “Grab them by the pussy.” If you’re going to hold me to a higher standard than that, then eat a dick, dude.