Kinda Funny’s Andy Cortez Is Carving His Own Comedic Space on Twitch

He’s kinda funny

Luck be a lad named Andy Cortez.

The Kinda Funny frontman has carved his niche in the Twitch space playing video games for his supporters and he wants to continue his upward trajectory using the power of biting wit, a raised brow, and the improvised comedic chops that would put Saturday Night Live to shame.  

Andy Cortez

Andy Cortez

"Comedy is a form of escapism for me. It's a way to kind of laugh away the pain and get away from whatever you're dealing with in your life. A lot of people have been that for me. I would never have expected to be in a place where I am that person for people now," he said during a phone interview with Lifewire. 

Quick Facts

  • Name: Andy Cortez
  • Age: 33
  • Located: San Francisco, California
  • Random Delight: An animator by trade, Andy Cortez spent his formative professional years as a game developer, creating games for Portalarium, a development company founded by the legendary creator of the Ultima series, Richard Garriott. 
  • Quote: "If you're talented enough, and you work hard, you'll likely get what you want."

Pharr From Home

Cortez was born and raised in the small border town of Pharr, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. The progeny of a proud Mexican-American family, he notes his parents worked hard to provide for him as he grew up while also nourishing his creative dreams and interests. Something, the streamer says, that was not common in the region. 

"I was always so lucky to have parents who were really supportive, yet still realistic. They didn't want me to be too pie in the sky, but they realized I always had this creative bug in me," he said. "They always noticed that I had this drive to want to do more, and they were extremely supportive when I said I wanted to pursue that and art school and figure it out."

Comedy and art were his main interests at the time. He was delighted by the comedic stylings of legendary funnymen Chris Farley and Jim Carrey while simultaneously honing his art skills through an interest in sketching. What stood tall above all else? Video games. 

"Video games began all of that for me. They're kind of the jumping-off point for my creativity. Legend of Zelda showed me, wow this was cool. From then, I was always making rip-off characters and pieces of lore. I made my own game. It sucked. It was always a facsimile of the original product with my own twist on it," he said. 

A screenshot of Andy Cortez on a livestream.

Andy Cortez

Game Grumps and YouTube were inspirations in his young adolescence that initiated his interest in pursuing animation and content creation. Combined with his childhood obsession with lore building and character design, it all led him to the Art Institute of Austin. 

He worked as a game developer before eventually joining the team at the popular video production company Rooster Teeth. He had his dream job, but it wasn't enough. The would-be streamer wanted to flex some of the personable skills he had developed by moving more into the front-facing side of game development at Rooster Teeth.

Laughing to the Top

A long-time fan of Kinda Funny known for his t-shirt designs, Cortez left Rooster Teeth seeking a more intimate corporate environment and greener pastures. At Kinda Funny, he pivoted from game development to content production, where he could let the former theater kid in him flourish. The company trusted Cortez and his vision, giving him free rein to lead his streaming content with a hands-off approach, and in Feb 2018, he debuted. 

Cortez was off to immediate success with the built-in Kinda Funny loyalists in tow. Serving as his own one-person show, with the occasional co-worker appearance, the Andy Cortez stream is often the closer for the daily Kinda Funny content.

"It makes me super proud to represent in a positive way." 

"When I stream, it's always a performance. I think a lot of that is from media and growing up watching a bunch of comedians and trying to rip on their styles. I never wanted to make content that was just playing a game. I want to make people laugh. That's probably why I suck at playing the games on live," he laughed. 

A self-proclaimed "attention-seeker" (but in a fun way), Cortez exudes a lightheartedness that is as entertaining as it is enchanting: spreading that comedic escapism he once needed. But his proudest moment, he said, is being able to be a beacon of hope for little Latino boys who too often don't see themselves represented.

"Whenever someone pops into my chat and says 'I'm Latino' or 'Hey bro, I'm Mexican. It's really cool to see someone like me doing what you're doing'… that's big. Growing up where I grew up, we didn't go to art school. There's this sort of Mexican machismo that's like you don't try to pursue creative stuff," he said. "That's always something that I thought was going to be a limitation for me. It makes me super proud to represent in a positive way." 

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