He keeps the laughs coming
Comedian Paul Rodriguez performs at Cove Haven
The only problem Paul Rodriguez experiences while performing his stand-up routine isn’t running out of material, it’s running out of time. The comedic legend will try to keep the show at a comfortable length when he delivers a night of comedy Friday, May 4 at Cove Haven Resort in Lakeville.
Voted one of the most influential Hispanics in America and awarded the Ruben Salazar Award by The National Council of La Raza, Rodriguez has remained a constant force in his community and the world of comedy with his extensive acting, writing and producing credits.
We recently caught up with Rodriguez for a phone interview, and he talked about his career.
When first breaking into comedy, did you primarily focus on acting or performing stand-up?
Stand-up was, and continues to be, my goal. It’s like skydiving and not having packed your own parachute. The tension is always there for something to happen. You have no control over what could happen with the audience; everything from someone having a heart attack to a big fight or a shootout. Everything that could possibly happen has happened. It’s exciting!
Did you ever think you would have such a long lasting career?
I went up on stage on a dare, and every day that I get to work again is great. The internet has really changed stand-up. Now you perform at one club and it’s on the internet the same day. Jokes aren’t like songs — the more you hear them, the less you laugh. They lose their value because they depend on spontaneity.
How has that forced you to evolve with technology?
There are more than enough topics for me. The biggest problem is keeping the light on me on stage. They’re like “get off the stage, you’ve been on there too long!” Some nights when things are going really smooth, you feel like you’ve been up there for 15 minutes and it’s been two hours. It’s unbelievable.
Even with your busy schedule, you keep going back to your stand-up roots?
Every day. If you go without doing stand-up for a while, not only will you get rusty, you’ll depend on your old stuff and the audience will know right away. You have to bring it and be topical. You have to talk about the prostitutes in Columbia and how cheap the agents were and that the whole thing was over $40.
— tom graham