INTERVIEW: Alexis Guerreros, co-host of The Cooligans

NOSHKONG recently sat down with Alexis Guerreros, one half of the podcasting team known as The Cooligans who produce the funniest soccer podcast in the world. Read on as we discuss very important issues, and be sure to check out audio of the interview at the bottom of this page for bonus content!

You can listen to The Cooligans podcast by clicking this link to their page or at iTunes. And be sure to follow them on Instagram: @soccercooligans.

NK: This is a website about food, you’re a comedian, so what’s something you might eat after a great set? How do ya celebrate?

AG: There’s 2–there’s the classic, comedian diner that’s open 24 hours. It’s where Seinfeld was written, in a diner–after spots. It’s where everybody wants to go, so that’s like a fun time for me and I would probably pick Sarge’s, on 36th & 3rd.

That’s more of a deli.

Yeah it’s like a deli and a diner-type of establishment. It’s definitely a step above a diner.

The only difference is the sizes of the roaches.

(laughing) Yeah, exactly.

If you’re in a diner they’re sitting in the booth with ya.

Smokin’ a cigarette.

But in a deli they’re in the kitchen, making the food.

Ratatouille! I like that, I like Sarge’s, but for me personally, there’s not a lot of places that are great that are open at that time, so I also like pizza.

That’s the go-to.

Yeah, y’know what’s funny, when ya think about, like, stand-up, you did stand-up for a long time–

Yeah, kinda–jury’s still out.

Haha yeah, lemme know when I start! But when you get off from a good set, adrenaline is pumping, a new joke worked out or, y’know, you got a new closer or something, I go home and my wife’s asleep, I can’t just (snores)

Ya can’t cook a dinner.

Yeah, and like if she made me a dinner it’s cold, and I’m eating by myself, so you do get those moments of real loneliness after this moment where you were the focus of attention, so I think something that lets you come down from that. I think a pizza slice is good for that. It’s a lot of bread, fills you up, starts to tire you out, reminds you it’s late, y’know, probably not the easiest to get a drink at the diner or the pizza place. You can, but nobody wants to be the guy drinking a beer at 2 in the morning at the diner.

Ehh, some guys do.

Some guys do. I don’t.

We don’t wanna hang out with them. Those are the open mic’ers, right?

Haha, exactly. They haven’t made those mistakes yet.

You’re 24 if you’re doing that.

Exactly! Or, you’re like 66 and you’re never gonna change. So for me, I think a slice is a great way to come down, especially in a city like New York. Maybe a taco if I was in Texas.

Follow-up question: What do you eat when ya bomb?

Everything.

That’s it, right? There’s no limit now.

You gotta drown that sorrow.

In gravy.

Haha, a lotta barbecue sauce, too. Barbecue sauce is a great one. It’s tangy, a lotta spicy–you gotta give yourself some pain, right?

Yes.

I’m a big spice-aholic, but I would say when I have a bad set  I dip into some of that Trinidadian red sauce.

How do you fall asleep at night? I’d be up with heartburn all night. I’m Jewish, though.

I don’t get heartburn, but the next morning, I pay for it somehow.

Ah ya see, the next morning. That’s it.

It comes out just as hot as it went in.

So I did mention that this is a food website. And I want you to describe food to me.

(long pause) That’s it?

It’s a very philosophical question. It’s very open-ended.

Describe food to you, wow–to me food is, at least the way I look at it–so some people say the way I talk about food is the way a virgin talks about a woman taking her clothes off.

Is there a lot of flop sweat?

Haha, right, a lot of apologizing–uh, but I think there is something remotely sensual, in the romantic sense, of food. There is something that’s really passionate about it, but to me food is, at least the way I like to look at it, is a bridge to another culture. I grew up eating Cuban food–I’m Cuban and Uruguayan–but I didn’t grow up with the Uruguayan side. How I wanted to learn about Uruguay was through the food. Like, oh why do they eat so much meat? They were just like Argentina, y’know a leather farm for England, so they had all these dead cows that they started eating. You learn so much about a country through its food.

It’s a gateway to curiosity.

Or just a gateway to understanding. So for me, like, learning more about Italy, learning more about my wife’s family. Food is the simple way to do it. I saw the way she cooks and I was like, “Oh, you’re family’s not just from Naples, there’s a lot of Apulia here”, she’s like “Yeah how did you know that” and I’m like “It’s the style of Italian–”

And you impress a lot of people–

Oh they hate it–

Hahahaha!

Italians never wanna be told something haha! But I can look at it and know more about your family. To me it’s a part of the DNA that’s visual. Y’know like my grandmother makes fried rice. Never thought about it when I was a kid. I was like, how does my grandmother know how to make Chinese food? Is it just like a Cuban thing that she knows how to make it? And my mother was like, “No, her grandfather was Chinese.” Well no one told me that. I had to wait until she made fried rice to learn that.

A lot of doors were unlocked.

Yeah, so for me food is always a gateway to understanding a different culture or just your own.

It is the perfect icebreaker.

Always.

I mean, isn’t that the whole point of these shows we watch? Let’s all get together, and look the other way at the fact that each of our religions are shedding blood for reasons we don’t understand. There’s chicken!

We can all get along, even though the world’s burning just outside the doors of this restaurant.

There’s always gonna be mozzarella sticks.

God bless.

But not with the Italians because they don’t wanna be told.

Hahaha!

You’re a big soccer fan. You started a podcast, you’re creating your own media empire with your podcast, your comedy, and your videos. If you were playing soccer, like on the field, running around, what would you eat while you were playing soccer?

While I was playing? Gotta be something handheld. So we were asked to take part in a 24-hour game they did at 30 Rock, it was to break a world record, and they asked us to make an appearance. I said, “Look, I’m not a good soccer player–

That shocks me–

I know, big surprise. I’m a fat guy. No one ever taught me how to play soccer. I played soccer growing up, but it’s not something I did. So–one of us is gonna score, either me or Christian (Polanco, Alexis’ podcast co-host). It’s probably gonna be Christian because he’s a pretty good player. And we’ll both celebrate, ‘cuz that’s The Cooligans. We’re a brand now. We’re married, so when he does something good, it’s both of us. So I was gonna put a sandwich in my back pocket and as soon as he scored, I’d pull it out and take a bite. Now, we’re at Rockefeller Center and there’s nowhere nearby to get a sandwich. There’s a Bouchon across the street, so it was a sandwich on a baguette, so it was like really hard bread.

Where did ya stash that?

Kept it in my back pocket–I played in jeans.

That’s even better. That’s exactly how I pictured it.

Yeah, we were only gonna do like a 2 and a half minute stint, so it’s like, I’m not changing into sweats for this. So all the cameras turn, and they’re tellin’ me “do it again! Do it again!” I’m starting to choke now on this frikkin’ thing. It was the bread! I can’t chew through this while I’m celebrating. I did a little dance, but I nearly choked and died until someone finally threw a bottle of water at me.

That’s the least athletic way of injuring yourself.

“I injured myself.” “How?” “Eating a sandwich.”

So here’s a hypothetical for ya: Let’s say we remove the ball from a soccer game, and we replaced it with a grapefruit. Now they’re kickin’ that around. Who wins the World Cup now? Which team can pull this off?

Hmm…Well, it’s all about soft feet. We’re talkin’ Keepie Uppie, because you can’t kick that thing around. I would say Brazil. They’re the most technical with the foot and they all have pillow feet. Every one of them. It’s definitely Brazil. I feel like they can get the ball up and down the pitch, as you say in soccer, all in the air, and then every time they score they break it, and they get a new grapefruit.

Brazil is always a good answer to “Who do you think would win in soccer”, no matter what the circumstances.

So here’s my surprise for ya. We got Goal bars. These are Ringo Goal bars (takes out a Ringo Goal bar for Alexis). They’re very tasty.

With chocolate cream. You’ve had these before?

Of course, they’re my favorite.

Haha, you’re making this up.

I’m not making it up. It’s a biscuit, it’s chocolate, they’re from Italy, there’s really nothing better. I think they’re from Italy.

It’s named after a Beatle.

Go ahead and take a bite, and while you’re chewing it, go ahead and tell me what soccer player that reminds you of.

I would sayit’s sweet, it’s smooth, but it’s still very stable, so probably the Brazilian Ronaldo, a little bit of a stockier guy, know what I mean? Classy, but he’s smooth as shit with the ball, but you could knock him off the ball if you tried.

The World Cup was most recently played in Russia.

(still eating a Ringo Goal bar) These ARE fuckin’ AMAZING.

You’re gonna take some home with ya.

I am.

The World Cup was most recently in Russia. Tell me, what is the most Russian thing about yourself.

Uh, my name!

Oh it is!

It’s the Anastasia–the one they made a movie out of at Disney–it was her brother who was kidnapped and murdered.

This was a Disney movie??? They’ve really changed their brand!

And probably my cousin Vladimir. That’s pretty Russian.

I’m starting to make connections here about being Cuban having Russian names. Maybe I should read a history book.

Haha, yeah, some things happened in history.

Let’s talk about this, because you are of Cuban descent. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Cuban culture?

The first thing that popped into my mind was coffee, but I think it’s because we’re in a coffee shop. I think the stovetop coffee maker, the cafetero as we call it.

What about the 2nd thing?

Probably getting yelled at…because I grew up in a Cuban household, and they’re really good at it.

What about the 3rd thing?

Third thing? Cigars?

Alright, there we go.

Is that what you were looking for?

Y’know, we’re just interviewing ya. Just being a journalist. What about Mark Cuban?

Mark Cuban haha, uhh, not Cuban. He changed his last name from Kuban, which is a very popular Russian name–there’s a soccer team named Kuban–

Let’s stay on this topic: If you went on Shark Tank, what would you pitch? What’s your invention?

So I have this idea, that I don’t think is illegal.

That’s a good start.

Haha yeah, I’m gonna make…I’ve asked a lot of lawyers, and some of them have said it’s not illegal. (laughter from both of us) I’m gonna make fake receipts for salespeople to submit as expenses.

Fake receipts for business people…

Yeah, to submit for expenses. Lemme say, I’m gonna make fake receipts and they could do whatever they want with them. Most likely it’s gonna be for expenses. I just want 10% of the value of the receipt. Are you out doing something you shouldn’t be doing? You were supposed to be staying at this hotel? I will make you a receipt for that hotel. It’s like Ashley Madison, but you’re cheating on your company, which at the end of the day, it’s Corporate America. Fuck ‘em.

Let’s spin back to your podcast. Now if there was a podcast where the host had to take a bite of something, y’know, like every time before they started to talk, and it was called “That’s Quite a Mouthful!”–

Great idea so far–

That’s pretty good, right?

I can’t wait ‘til Pete Holmes does it.

That was the question by the way. Just wanted to bounce that idea off ya.

Hahaha, is that what this is all about? Is NOSHKONG even real?

Let’s skip to some fun, Lighting Round-ish questions:

Alright.

With a gun to your head, would you eat Miracle Whip?

Yes.

Fuckin’ ew! Really?

I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I’d eat it. Because there’s a gun to my head.

I think I’d take the bullet.

The problem with Miracle Whip is that you’re never done eating it. It kinda lingers in your mouth. It cultures your throat.

It’s like a bad friend at the end of a party at 2 a.m. Get out!

I’d rather take a spoonful of Miracle Whip, then like, my wife have a spoonful and try to kiss me because then you get like the residue of it.

Like Miracle Whip backwash.

Yeah yeah, it’s disgusting.

Wanna play Fuck-Marry-Kill?

Let’s do it.

Fuck-Marry-Kill: Beef…Pork…Martha Stewart.

Alright immediately, fuck Martha Stewart. She’s hung out with Diddy. She knows what she’s doing. Plus she was in jail. It could get a little funky.

It can.

I’m Cuban, so you gotta marry pork. You can do more with pork, then you can with beef. I’m Cuban, we eat pork with everything. There’s roasted leg pork…

I like that you’re walking your way through the answer. You’re giving it some real thought.

Ya gotta marry pork.

I coulda sworn you were gonna marry Martha Stewart.

No…I mean, she can cook the pork that I’m dating.

Beef I had an inkling you’d kill.

So I can cook it.

Hahaha–or you murder it and start your own Disney franchise.

Hahaha!

Favorite food to throw against a wall in a blind rage. What would it be?

Spaghetti.

That’s a good one.

With like a meat sauce. Y’know, there’s like little pieces of carrots.

It splatters.

YES! And then some of it stays up, some of it doesn’t.

It’s almost like in a blind rage, you can just fuckin’ launch it on the wall and watch it become something else.

Yeah, and think of how angry you have to be to grab spaghetti with your hand. Know what I mean?

That’s blind rage.

That’s the only blind rage food there is! If I was in a blind rage I’d make pasta to throw it against a wall.

If you were on a deserted island, and the island was made entirely of any food you wanted, so that you could eat the island for the rest of your life…what would the island be made of?

God that’s a good question. Part of me wants to say rice, ‘cuz anything that washes up ashore goes great with rice, but in my heart of hearts, probably pizza.

Pizza–at least you’ll die happy. Once the island’s gone you’re gonna die…

Yeah–if I get a stroke from the cheese, well who gives a fuck? I’m not gettin’ off this thing.

What about like, the beach would be cheese–

Well the water would be red sauce, the beach would be cheese–or there’s like a little volcano on the island of red sauce…

Careful, I don’t want you to get hurt…

I gotta go up and collect it–cutting the bread out of the trees, ‘cuz that’s the crust, and then I go and get a little bit of cheese.

Maybe there’s some fields of toppings.

There’s pepperoni on the other side, a little sausage on the other side of the island. We go there once a month, but mostly I’m a plain guy.

We got 2 more questions here: We got The Waffle House. Ya got the International House of Pancakes. When the fuck is French Toast gonna get its palace?

Never. The International House of Pain Perdu doesn’t really…

What is going on with French Toast? Why are we neglecting this?

It’s too much! Egg batter and the whole 9.

It’s a beautiful thing. It deserves its place amongst the breakfast fast casual chains!

I’ll tell ya when: When you can make French toast into a waffle. That’s when it gets its own place. Press it into waffle, you can put whatever you want on top, it hides in the holes. Americans love holes.

They do. So here’s our final question: I want you to describe the best thing ever, but I want you to leave out any word that has the letter G in it.

Hahahaha, uhh–It has…red hair…and I…married her…twelve…years…prior.

Fantastic! And…she is…your wife.

Yes!

Pizza.

Pizza!

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