Comic Depth | Paul Rodriguez, more than a few laughs
“My jokes are a reflection of who I am and the things that have happened to me, so that’s why, I feel, a lot of people can relate to my jokes,” Rodriguez said.
Paul Rodriguez has been on a wild ride since his arrival from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico and it has been nothing but positive things that have come his way. As a young boy, his family moved to East Los Angeles where he and his family worked as migrant farmers until he enlisted into the military, which would end up leading him right into the arms of comedy.
Rodriguez, being a natural jokester, had never thought of it as being an actual career path, but he would soon find out that it could be. As soon as he was eligible to attend college, he did and this is where he started to notice other options. While driving one of his friends to an audition in Hollywood, Rodriguez built up the courage to try out for a part in a movie and the rest is history. He received the role as a taxi driver in D.C. Cab and Rodriguez hasn’t left the world of entertainment since.
His first role might not have been the role that was the deciding factor in him changing his career path, but the small taste of fame is what had convinced him that it could be the right path.
Rodriguez explained that he also has a passion and love for farming, but being a comedian is what has helped him pay the bills, so he wisely chose show business. Early on, he did modest paying stand up gigs, but he managed to get some big paychecks for all the roles he has played in movies throughout his career and he has had a lot of television opportunities. From sitcoms to talk shows, he has been there and done that.
With friends like Edward James Olmos and influences like Cheech Marin, it was destined that Rodriguez would have a long lasting career as a Hispanic comedian and that’s exactly what happened.
Now, that the comedy world has been evolving, so has Rodriguez.
“Things have changed, because of the Internet,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone has seen your material online, so you have to stay fresh.”
After being in the comedy world for almost thirty years, Rodriguez has had to create new material for every year that he has toured and that makes him a comedy veteran. He has managed to come up with new routines and his secret has always been to just stay current. And from time-to-time he will incorporate politics and cultural trends in his sets, to include topics the crowd will relate with.
One of his loves might be comedy, but one of his other passions has had him in a battle over water conservation.
“I’m just a farmer really, I’ll always be a farmer,” Rodriguez explained. “And when I’m done harvesting laughs, I‘ll go back to harvesting crops.”
The recent California water issues will affect his ability to return to farming when he’s done with comedy, so Rodriguez has taken it upon himself to campaign for water conservation. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, because the City of Fresno California, honored him with the Humanitarian of the Year award and Rodriguez has been asked to speak at a lot of events concerning his stance on the water issues in California.
“I’m really passionate about water, but I take my job real serious, so don’t expect me to stand up on stage and preach,” Rodriguez explained. “I will never use my set to push an agenda. I’m there to make you laugh and that‘s something that I really love to do.”
The comedian is a very passionate artist in the way he crafts his jokes, especially by going out of his way to avoid stealing jokes or even hinting at an idea that someone else had based their joke off of.
“I really like the younger comedians, but I don’t really go to other comedian‘s shows,” he said. “I don’t want to subconsciously take someone else’s joke.”
Rodriguez pointed out that it’s a comedian’s job “to be funny,” but “it’s very important to stay original, to be successful.”
He has been adamant about being original and has made the effort to pass down the advice to his son.
Just like Rodriguez, his son Paul Rodriguez Jr., who is a professional skateboarder, has worked hard while remaining original in his art form. It was something that he passed down to his son and it has proven to be an important ingredient to being successful.
“You have to work hard for the things you want,” Rodriguez said. “But my son is a tornado, I actually had to tell him to slow down, because he has so much going on in his life.”
When Rodriguez finally finds some free time, it seems that his son is busy, so he doesn’t get to spend much time with his son. So, outside of comedy, you’ll find Rodriguez working with the California Latino Water Coalition, which is a group that campaigns to raise awareness of the water issues in California, but Rodriguez blocks all that out when he hit’s the stage.
Rodriguez truly gets lost in his comedy and that’s what makes him special. Now, after his long career, his sets are full of jokes that have been crafted over many years of entertaining crowds and that’s what makes his show, in Pueblo, a must see.
On March 9, at 6:00 p.m., Paul Rodriguez will step out on the stage, at Memorial Hall, with a set that should entertain everybody. He’s coming from an area, in California, that is similar to Pueblo, so the jokes are quite easy for him to come up with. He went on to explain that he really enjoys Colorado, so he’s really excited for his visit to Pueblo.
“I really do like Pueblo, because all of the times that I have been there, the people have been really nice to me,” Rodriguez said. “I’m gracious for that.”
A lot of Rodriguez’s visits to Colorado, have been to Pueblo, so there’s something about the Pueblo crowd that really makes his shows fun and it doesn’t hurt that a majority of Pueblo’s population is made up of Hispanics.
“My visits to Colorado feel like a vacation, so it’s always a fun trip for me,” Rodriguez said. “I guarantee that I’ll have something good ready for Pueblo, so no one has to worry about that.”
For more information about the show, visit the Pueblo Memorial Hall website or Facebook page.
By Felix Cordova (@FazeisFamous)