Vanessa Gonzalez: Using Comedy to Share Her Borderland Perspective

Comedian Vanessa Gonzalez brings her unique Texas-Mexican perspective to the stage, using comedy to tackle complex topics and challenge stereotypes.

Growing up in Laredo, Texas, Vanessa Gonzalez discovered early on that humor was her ticket to attention and connection. As the only girl in a Mexican family and the middle child, she used comedy as a coping mechanism. Now, as a rising star in the comedy world, Gonzalez draws heavily from her experiences growing up on the border, using her unique perspective to shed light on politically fraught and complex topics like immigration. Through her performances, she aims to challenge stereotypes and bring more awareness to her hometown.

A Comedy Journey Rooted in Family

Gonzalez’s comedy is deeply rooted in her family experiences, particularly her relationship with her mother, Esther. In her routines, she lovingly pokes fun at her mother’s quirks and the cultural clashes that arise between them. From shopping trips at Ross Dress for Less to their shared love for Tejano singer Selena, Gonzalez’s material captures the humor and absurdity of their dynamic.

Using Comedy to Address Border Issues

Initially hesitant to broach the topic of her parents’ work for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Gonzalez has since embraced it as a way to bring attention to the complexities and absurdities of the border. She aims to be honest and mindful, acknowledging the contradictions and nuances of the situation. By using comedy, she hopes to provide a vehicle for accessing the depth and nuance missing from the national dialogue on immigration.

Challenging Stereotypes and Portrayals

As a Texas-Mexican comedian, Gonzalez feels a responsibility to challenge the limited and often stereotypical portrayals of Mexican families in popular culture. She believes that the Texas-Mexican experience is multidimensional and full of contradictions, yet these complexities are often overlooked or simplified. Through her performances, she aims to showcase the rich diversity and unique perspectives of her community.

From Doubt to Success

Gonzalez’s journey as a comedian has had its share of doubts and challenges. Starting out with improv and sketch comedy, she eventually took the leap into stand-up, sharing stories about her family and upbringing. Gradually, she gained recognition, landing appearances on television shows and securing gigs with renowned comedians like Chelsea Handler. Despite setbacks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis, Gonzalez’s determination and support from her loved ones have propelled her forward.

Austin: A Special Place for Gonzalez

Austin holds a special place in Gonzalez’s heart, as it is where she honed her comedic skills and developed a loyal fan base. She values the connection with her Austin audience and feels a sense of responsibility to deliver memorable performances. Even during the pandemic, Gonzalez found ways to engage with fans through virtual comedy shows and collaborations with fellow comedians.


Vanessa Gonzalez’s comedy is a powerful tool for sharing her borderland perspective and challenging stereotypes. Through her unique experiences and sharp wit, she brings attention to complex topics like immigration and uses humor to bridge divides. As her star continues to rise, Gonzalez remains committed to uplifting other comedians, particularly female and queer voices. With her infectious laughter and authentic storytelling, Gonzalez is making a lasting impact on the comedy world and beyond.

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