The Latin King of Comedy Paul Rodriguez is Back!
I try to steer away from being the crotchety old guy
There is no denying that Paul Rodriguez has had a long and successful comedic career on the stage, through movies, and as a writer, producer and director but seriously, it seems like it has been sooo long since he's brought his talents to Orange County. The wait is finally over because Paul is coming to the Brea Improv March 15th through the 17th and with the weekend fast approaching, we took the opportunity to drill him about what he's been up to and to let him know we're glad to see him back in the OC so he'll hopefully come around here more often!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So it feels like you've been around forever but it seems like forever since we've seen you! What have you been working on?
Paul Rodriguez: Yeah it has been awhile! I've been shooting a picture and doing a couple of other projects, I'm trying to get myself back out there. I've been working on this quirky movie with Sarah Silverman and Gabourey Sidibe that is kind of a real dark comedy. It's basically about these people who take over a restaurant over the course of two days. It's a hold-up at first and then we realize these people are planning to kill us and make us into gravy. There's really good dialogue, it's hard to explain but I think it might work! It's like I was reading in the news that those people were taking those salts and that guy was eating someone's face literally. It's not tied into this movie but it makes the audiences believe that there are weirdos with that kind of appetite out there. It's going to add to the paranoia!
Right? Clearly some sickos enjoy all sorts of varieties of meat.
[Laughs.] They have quite an assortment in this day with every ethnicity. I guess since I'm Mexican I'm more like a molé! The movie won't be the kind you want to take a dinner date to. It's for those Jeffrey Dahmer hungry psycho types.
I know you were tight with Robert Schimmel and I read there were talks about making a documentary about his life. Will you be involved in that?
I knew Robert very well, we started together years ago. I'd definitely find the time to do something with that. He was a guy who kicked around for a long time trying to get a break and when things were going great, he had to lose his life and it's a tragedy. And somehow, Pauly Shore continues to live you know? And Carrot Top is healthier than ever! [Laughs.] I'm only saying that because I'm bitter. I knew Bobby forever and he was the kind of guy who would find comedy in the loss of a testicle and you gotta give the man some credit for that. Everyone I know never had anything negative to say about him as opposed to other guys who had that same kind of genius but weren't exactly beloved.
I hear ya, I was a big fan and I'd love to see a movie about him. Do you still do your camp at the Laugh Factory?
We do! We have some of the biggest names in comedy take their Saturday's off and go in and teach these kids. And it's not for the purpose of the media, it's just rewarding and it gives us a lot of satisfaction. So many things have happened at that camp and it has been going on so long and some of our students have become very successful. For the most part, we've accomplished what we wanted to accomplish. Most of these students are just average working Joe's with families of their own in underprivileged areas. A lot of them are foster kids who have problems socializing and are afraid of the stage and once we get them, they open up and blossom. Only two of them have become professional comedians but very few have got into trouble and that is the real point. Hopefully we've had an impact. I mean in my own life sometimes I sit and think, how lucky could I have been? God only knows what I'd be doing, probably time in jail. [Laughs.] I'm grateful while I sit here in my spacious one-bedroom apartment here in Long Beach. [Laughs.] No, I'm really grateful.
Haha please! It's a great thing that you pay it forward. So with your show in Brea, are you warming up for a new special? What's the deal?
Well it's difficult to come up with another hour so it's basically my couch were I vent. I try to steer away from being a crotchety old guy and try to find something that is different. So I'm going to talk about things that interest me and try to find something funny there. For me comedy has always been a mood so a good mood makes for a good show. No one wants to be preached at because people are there to laugh and it's my job to get them to laugh. I'm excited because the longer it's been, the more butterflies I get. I guess if that feeling ever dissipates then I gotta quit!
Paul Rodriguez performs at the Brea Improv on March 15th-17th, 120 South Brea Blvd. 92821, (714) 482-0700. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info, visit www.PaulRodriguez.com and www.facebook.com/LatinKingofComedy.