Sitting at the bar in Bistro 42, Alex Reymundo doesn’t have the drawn gait of a man in the throws of middle age; in fact, at a glance you’d easily peg him twenty years younger than his actual age. It could be his genuine, never fading smile, the ever present glint in his eye, or just the contagious energy of someone still excited about life. As a comedian Reymundo has spent the better part of three decades on the road, constantly on the move, performing all over the world; and he doesn’t seem even the slightest bit exhausted.
“I walk into radio stations all over the country,” he says. Talking about media blitzes in every town where he performs. “I’ll walk in they’re like: ‘Alright, let’s hear it Alex, why do I want your life today?’ All I can say is that I know I’m blessed, and I appreciate it – so you have to enjoy it.”
Enter: our first round of tequila shots.
Reymundo, besides his day job as a comic, began pursuing a second passion a few years ago, when he started a tequila company called Number Juan (named in tribute to his late father Don Juan Alejandro). It’s a top rated, top shelf, quality tequila – that’s been written up in Vogue, and ranked as one of the best tequila’s on the market, but still managed to be priced well below its competition. It truly is an economical and quality product; what more can anyone ask?
Alex was born in Acapulco, Guerro, and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. His parents were struggling middle class, working in the service industry all of Alex’s life, the ends didn’t always meet at the end of the month. But these were lessons for a young Alex, which led him, as a teenager, to follow in his parent’s footsteps into the service industry, as well.
“I love pleasing people, I get that from the industry I was raised in…I get it from my parents,” he says. “We lived in a nice neighborhood, my mother told me, ‘We could’ve lived somewhere else, and it probably would have been easier for us. But we didn’t want you to ever feel like you didn’t belong somewhere.’” This is a lesson the comedian still carries with him, to this day. As he talks just thinking about the fortitude and strength of character in his parents’ resolve, he seems to get momentarily choked up.
After our second shot of Number Juan, we climb into his Hummer (which is ostentatiously painted up as a promo vehicle for the company), and he points the headlights down the road toward Ramiro’s Cantina. Walking into Ramiro’s is just like walking into Bistro 42, everyone seems to know and love Alex, as we belly up to the bar. A giant bulbous margarita, another shot of tequila, and three huge tacos a piece later, I’m starting to catch a buzz. The conversation then sways and we’re talking about Alex’s favorite thing in the world to talk about, his family; more specifically his wife and two children (one daughter, one son).
“Being a parent gave me depth,” he says, sort of glaring out the window behind me, “and it gave me an anchor in that depth. As much as I recommend to anyone, live your life for yourself, which I do; my real driving force is my wife and my children. Because I genuinely know how hard my mom and dad worked for me to have what I had...which was opportunity.”
His wife, a small blonde blue eyed Kentuckian won Alex’s heart two decades ago, and it was her that brought Alex from Texas (and later California) here to the bluegrass. "I recommend Kentucky women to the entire nation,” he declares with a giant smile you’ll only find on the face of Alex Reymundo. “You don't know how often I hear people talking about how good their spouse is, or how bad their spouse is...I always tell them: find yourself a Kentucky girl. It’s the perfect blend of the north and the south. Kentucky women, they're beautiful and their hearts are amazing. My wife is a delicate little flower, but she will go hillbilly on your ass in a second, if you threaten me or her kids. I love that about her, it’s so Latino-like, and she hates it."
Once the plan became to start a family, Alex left it up to his blushing bride as to whether she wanted to live in Texas near his family or in Louisville, near hers. “I’m on the road all the time, I live out of a suitcase, so I can literally live anywhere. But with my job, with me gone all of the time, my wife takes the brut of that stick, especially in raising children – so I wanted her to be where she was most comfortable and close to her family when I’m not around.” These transplanted Louisville roots have bled over into his tequila, as well – the Number Juan Extra Anejo, is aged a second time in old bourbon barrels; and will put a smile on the face of even the staunchest of bourbon connoisseurs.
As the tequila takes hold of us both, and the stories begin to flow – Alex talks of places he’s been, the people he’s met, and the things he’s done…while still looking ahead at the things he has yet to do. Story after story, gem after gem, a life lived with the most famous supporting cast in history. I can’t help but wonder if he has plans to write a memoir, to tell the definitive Alex Reymundo story to the world. He just smiles, and shakes his head, “Man, when it comes to my life, I’m too busy living it to look back long enough to write about it.”
Alex Reymundo will be performing at The Laughing Derby this weekend, April 24th – 26th. Tickets are $15, and show times vary.