Raquel Maestre, the vibrant Montreal-based comedian hailing from Spain, captivates audiences with her witty humour and unique perspective. As a transwoman, she fearlessly navigates the comedy scene, infusing her performances with a blend of sharp wit and poignant storytelling that resonates with diverse audiences. Her ability to seamlessly blend personal anecdotes with universal themes has solidified her presence as a prominent voice within the vibrant comedy circuit of Montreal, leaving an indelible mark through her authentic and compelling storytelling. We spoke to Raquel to find out more about her comedic prowess.
How would you describe your comedy style?
Deadpan and misdirections. I have an accent from Spain. I’m political. I’m a trans woman, and in this current political climate, I can’t help but comment on the many stupid things said about trans people. Sometimes I even comment on stupid things that trans people say.
Who are some of your influences?
In English, Stewart Lee, Eddie Pepitone, Tig Notaro, Robin Tran, Larry David, Tim Heidecker, Marc Maron
In Spanish, Miguel Noguera, Faemino y Cansado, Diego Capusotto, Venga Monjas, Miguel Maldonado
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
In my teenage years, it must have been Spanish comedian Joaquín Reyes and his show La Hora Chanante.
Who is your favourite comedian now?
There are so many great comedians in Montreal that I have a hard time choosing one, but if I have to name a few of the comics I’m always excited to catch on a show, in no particular order: Yumi Blake, Mike Carrozza, Shawn Stenhouse, Lucy Gervais, Zak Kik, Mbissine, Elie Gill, Molly Brisebois, Sandy, Eve Parker Finley… I’m leaving a lot of brilliant people out, though.
What is your pre-show ritual?
If I am hosting The Poly Mic at NDQ, I like showing up an hour early, get a slice at Pizza Bouquet and write a new joke. For other shows, I don´t have a ritual.
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
I love performing at The Diving Bell, I have great memories from it and I´m sad that it´ll be closing down at the end of the year. Also, I was recently in Barcelona and I had an amazing time doing a couple of sets in El Medi, sharing the stage with some comics I admire and with a great audience of comedy fans.
What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?
Recently I’ve been doing a bit about the trans surgeries on children hoaxes pushed by anti-trans propaganda. It’s not a safe-for-work bit, and I take some risks with the punchline, but it has been working very well in front of all types of audiences, and I’m proud that I can make them laugh at anti-trans bullshit.
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
Instagram reels are a good way to discover new comics. An even better way is to go to some of the great open mics that Montreal has. My favourites are The Poly Mic (which I co-produce and co-host) on Wednesdays, and Stand Up St. Henri on Tuesdays.
Tell us a joke about your city.
I don’t understand why politicians say newcomers to Montreal don’t integrate. I have many immigrant friends who moved to Montreal, and only after three or four months of hard work, they were able to become bisexuals!
Do you have anything to promote right now?
I produce and host a monthly show called A Very Pretentious Comedy Show. It’s a bit different from the rest of comedy shows in the city, I’d say. I book my favourite comics from the different scenes in town. This summer, the great NY queer comic Clara Olshansky did the show. There’s live jazz piano. It’s a great show, and we are doing our last night on December 10, which will be the first anniversary of the show, with many special things planned. It will be a great celebration of the show, the venue, and the community.
You can also catch me at The Poly Mic, a weekly queer open mic I co-produce, at Bar Notre Dame des Quilles. I’m one of the rotating hosts there, I have a lot of fun hosting it.
Also, you should follow me on social media, because lately I’m feeling like pivoting to online content, just saying!
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?
Molly Brisebois! She is a brilliant comic, a very talented writer. I think she deserves more credit!