Image courtesy the standup.


Jose Sarduy

Daily from March 16-18
7:30 p.m.
Daily from March 17-18
9:45 p.m.

“I wanted to be an astronaut,” says comedian Jose Sarduy. That doesn’t sound like an unusual aspiration for a kid, but Sarduy seriously pursued that goal. He came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1980 as part of the Mariel boatlift. He was just three years old when his family settled in Miami. Like many kids his age, he grew up listening to comedy albums and watching standup on TV, but he still had passion for the space program, and joined the Air Force in order to eventually become an astronaut. “I found out it’s really hard,” he says. “It’s incredibly competitive, and I didn’t make it through all the gates you have to cross to be an astronaut.” Sarduy flew bombers and cargo planes, and applied to fly spy planes. However, as he got older, he realized time was running out. “I could either send the packet in to go to school to fly spy planes, or I could try standup. I went with entertainment.” Today, he is a lieutenant colonel in the reserves. On stage, he talks about his life and his heritage. “I tell people I’m a veteran,” he says. “I used to say I was an Air Force pilot, but that confused people. ‘They let Cubans fly our planes?’”