Guillermo Alvarez Guedes: Comedian and Cuban Exile Icon R.I.P.
“I always try to make all Spanish-speaking people laugh. Some laugh more than others, but what’s most important to me is that people get enough ‘stuff’ to improve their health.” – Guillermo Alvarez Guedes, 2010 interview with El Nuevo Herald
Heard the news earlier today, career that spanned eight decades of bringing laughter and joy has come to an end. Met Guillermo Alvarez Guedes on three occasions. He was gracious, honorable, and extremely funny each time we crossed paths and the world is a lesser place without him in it. The first and last time where in marches protesting the Cuban dictatorship in Little Havana on Calle Ocho, but it is the second occasion that will be shared here.
When I was a college student at Florida International University, in the early 1990s, a friend of mind from high school who was studying at Tulane University was taking a psychology of humor class at FIU during the summer and invited me to sit in on one his classes because Guillermo Alvarez Guedes would be presenting a lecture on humor.
The audience of students where nearly all non-hispanic and Alvarez Guedes made a presentation on the psychology of humor and used a bit about the basic Spanish vocabulary, Americans would have to adopt to survive in Miami. He also said in his introduction that he would speak Spanish with an American accent to assist them in this process.
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