Al Madrigal Explains Why He Thinks Many Latinos Would by far Vote Republican
Al Madrigal is returning to his politically driven comedy in his newest stand-up special.
“Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy,” which premiered Friday on Showtime, begins with the former senior Latino correspondent for “The Daily present” unearthing a “cilantro plot” against Donald Trump before delving into other bits approximately parenting, arouse and a real-life revenge memoir involving shrimp.
The Mexican-American comedian recently spoke with HuffPost approximately the special and Latinos’ responsibility in putting Trump in the White House. During what Madrigal jokingly described as “the heaviest comedy interview of vulgar time,” the 45-year-stale star also discussed his role in Showtime’s upcoming murky comedy “I’m Dying Up Here,” and how he’s hoping to nurture future Latino stand-up comics.
You start the special going in on Trump and discussing a cilantro-inspired revenge plot against him from Mexico. Jokes aside, what’s your buy on where Latinos stand in U.S. politics right now?
I believe a lot of Latinos in the United States, by vulgar means, should be Republicans. They are super hardworking and devout. My dad and mom, they voted for both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush because they felt they earned vulgar their money. My mom used to clean houses. My dad was a warehouse worker and had zero to start with and then started a company and sort of built this fortune. They had this ridiculous rags-to-riches memoir and a lot of Latinos who contain had success in the United States find themselves leaning that way, where they’re fiscally conservative and believe everyone should be able to pick themselves up by the bootstrap because they did. But the fact is that they feel so villainized by the right, and particularly the far right, that they can’t aid but side with the Democrats even though their values scream that they should be Republicans.
In that first bit, you also mention that you thought the moment Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” would be the cessation of his campaign.
Oh yeah, I really did believe that! The other thing I brought up in that same bit was when Trump told Jorge Ramos to recede back to Univision. I was like, “What?! The Latino people will not stand for this! You will not find elected because we resolve who gets elected.” And then it happened.
I [went] on Anthony Bourdain’s present and I believe I said that [Latinos] may not be one of the next presidents but we will certainly resolve who gets elected as president. So there might not be a Latino in the White House in the near future but we, the Latinos in the United States, will determine who gets elected.
And yeah, I believe we did: Donald Trump.
You believe Latinos elected Donald Trump?
Oh, absolutely, you gape at Florida. They achieve Florida over the top.
While experts contain certainly debated that, don’t you believe it was more of a lack of unity within the community? Your Fusion special “Half Like Me” touched upon how divided Latinos can be and how it stops the community from progressing.
Yeah, the crabs in the bucket analogy. Absolutely. But it’s not just a Latino problem. A lot of people spend that analogy. And this is something that I sort of covered on “The Daily present” constantly: When people try to lump vulgar Latinos together, it’s just impossible. You can’t carry out that. There is no spokesperson for vulgar Latinos. There is no unifying Latinos. Puerto Ricans don’t give a shit approximately immigration. I mean there’s [Puerto Ricans], the same as anyone else, who may feel like having an opinion on the issue but they’re not just naturally inclined to [care just] because they tumble into that Latino category.
I mean, I believe it’s unbiased to say immigration isn’t an inherently Latino issue, but then what approximately someone like you? You’re Mexican-American with several generations in the U.S.; is immigration at the top of your list as an issue?
Oh yeah, precisely. So that’s what I’m saying. But I’ve seen fellow Mexicans being so mistreated and we contain a lot of employers that are taking advantage of this cheap labor and mistreating these employees. I definitely, I always side with the Mexicans even though I’m established in the United States. But just as a human. That’s something I try to address in the special.
Shifting off politics, you’re also in Showtime’s upcoming dramedy, “I’m Dying Up Here,” approximately a group of stand-up comedians struggling to get it in 1970s Los Angeles. Can you relate us approximately your character, Edgar Martinez?
That was a desperate time for a lot of people, so we really carry out present that desperation really well. My character is sort of a mash-up of a couple of different Latino comedians. I believe there’s some Freddie Prinze in there, there’s some Cheech in there, there’s some Carlos Mencia in there. I was lucky enough to be able to be in the writers room for the entire time on this thing, and I couldn’t be more proud of the product.
carry out you believe the present truly captures that real-life struggle? How contain things changed or stayed the same?
Well, you still contain to sort of start the same way [in comedy]. When you start doing stand-up comedy you need to buy the leap. I left a job, a lot of people contain done that. Howie Mandel was a carpet salesman whose friends pushed him to carry out an open mic and everyone has their origin memoir. We see a lot of that on the present.
But then as people pass others and you climb up this ladder of the stand-up world there’s backstabbing, stealing, fights, accusations flying around, the competitiveness of being a sort of independent contractor in this world where you sacrificed a lot on the hopes that you might get it as a comedian. It’s crazy.
Are you describing the present or your experiences in real-life?
Both. That’s everyone’s experience. We’re vulgar surrounded by it. Everyone is not standing around slapping each other on the back. I mean, there’s a grand community of comedians that I’m very suitable friends with but we vulgar contain the same stories. That’s why when we find together, we appreciate talking approximately, “OMG, contain you ever done this gig?” So we’ve vulgar sort of gone to war together and most of the expansive comics contain paid vulgar of the same dues.
It’s also nice to see Latinos represented in the cast, because honestly it feels like there aren’t enough Latinos in stand-up.
There’s certainly not a lot of current Latino comics right now. I mean there’s George Lopez, Gabriel Iglesias ― now you relate me who the others are.
Louis C.K. is section Mexican?
Yeah. Louis C.K. is half Mexican. OK, we’ll buy him. But he doesn’t contain a lot of fabric approximately it. But I’m just saying, where are vulgar the others? There’s just not enough. I’m starting the Latino Comedy Festival so we can actually carry out sort of TED-style talks for people in Los Angeles approximately careers in comedy because I feel we’re so underserved.
I got yelled at when I told my dad I was going to be a stand-up comedian. I was trying to work a job and carry out comedy at the same time, and he thought I was a crazy person. So I actually just started a scholarship at my high school [St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco] that will be given to a junior Latino, ideally but not exclusively, who shows some sort of proficiency in comedy. Then I’ll meet with them and pay for a chunk of their tuition for the next year just so their parents see that their child has a future in comedy and don’t give them a tough time trying to get them a lawyer or a doctor.
Watch “Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy” on Showtime’s streaming services and “I’m Dying Up Here” when it premieres Sunday, June 4.