Juan Carlos

The Purple Onion nightclub in San Francisco has hosted many of the top names in comedy — Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, the Smothers Brothers and Phyllis Diller.

Juan Carlos Arenas, a 32-year-old construction worker from Santa Rosa, will admit he’s not a star — at least, not yet — but he’s getting closer. He’ll be the headliner Nov. 12 at the Purple Onion.

“This is not my first time headlining a show, but quite frankly the most special,” said the comedian, whose stage name is simply Juan Carlos.

“This spot has launched the careers of some of the most important names in stand-up comedy,” he said. “Headlining a show at the Purple Onion has been a dream of mine for a LONG TIME.”

His specialty is taking Hispanic stereotypes to absurd extremes.

“I take the sexy Latino thing and really embrace it,” he explained. One example is his story about standing under a young woman’s window and singing to impress her.
“In Mexico, we call it serenading. In court here, they call it stalking.”

The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com.

Juan Carlos is active up here too, putting on his own comedy night Nov. 5 at the Sweet River Grill and Bar in Santa Rosa’s Coddingtown shopping center. Information: (707) 526-0400.

And he has a small speaking role as a cook in the comedy movie “Trattoria” from Fog City Productions in San Francisco.