Paul Rodriguez's career has spanned more than two decades and includes starring roles and featured appearances in over 30 films and countless television series and specials. His first big break came while doing comedy warm-ups for Norman Lear's show Gloria. Lear ultimately wrote and developed a weekly series for Rodriguez, a.k.a. Pablo.
Rodriguez holds the honor and is enshrined at the Smithsonian as the first television show about a Mexican American family on mainstream American television. He went on to do two other series, Trial and Error and Grand Slam for CBS. For four years, from 1990-1994, Rodriguez hosted El show de Paul Rodriguez, an entertainment talk show for the Spanish language Univision Network. The show reached an international audience throughout the United States and 17 other countries in Central and South America. Rodriguez's directorial debut came in 1994 with the film A Million to Juan, a family comedy in which he also wrote and starred in.
In addition, Rodriguez also found time to guest star in several episodes of Showtime's original series Resurrection Blvd. and starred in six comedy specials for HBO, including Loco Slam, Live in San Quentin, Paul Rodriguez, and the most recent being Idiots and Armadillos, which he also wrote and executive produced. He also served as host for the ALMA Awards on ABC and the Latino Laugh Festival for Showtime, as well as his own television creations, and four specials for Fox, including Paul Rodriguez: Back to School and Paul Rodriguez: Behind Bars.
Rodriguez segued nicely from television to motion pictures, making his feature film debut in the Universal Pictures comedy D.C. Cab. Rodriguez also had co-starring roles in Orion Pictures' Miracles, Paramount Pictures' The Whoopee Boys, Columbia Pictures' Quicksilver, and Universal Pictures' Born in East L.A., as well as Made in America.
He landed the coveted role of outspoken fight physician Dr. Ferdie Pacheco in Columbia Pictures' big budget biopic Ali for director Michael Mann and producer John Peters. Other movie roles that followed are New Line Cinema's Price of Glory starring Jimmy Smits, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Tortilla Soup with Hector Elizondo, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles with Paul Hogan, The Shipment with Matthew Modine, Jerry Zucker's Rat Race, and Chasing Papi directed by Linda Mendoza.
He had the opportunity to work with the legendary Clint Eastwood in the Warner Bros. film Blood Work. Rodriguez was the executive producer and star of the comedy concert film, The Original Latin Kings of Comedy, distributed by Paramount Pictures. His latest film projects include A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff, Baadasssss! directed by Mario Van Peebles, Cloud 9 starring Burt Reynolds, and still in theaters, The World’s Fastest Indian starring Anthony Hopkins and directed by Roger Donaldson.
Rodriguez currently is in preproduction on two series which were picked up by VH1 and UPN/Revolution Studios, and just finished starring in a comedy showcase series entitled, Laugh Factory…Very Funny, set to air on TBS.
Rodriguez is an in demand performer with a busy schedule of concerts and personal appearances. As a well-rounded stand up comedian, having honed his craft over the past 25 years, it is estimated that Rodriguez has performed live to well over one million concert goers from coast to coast building a solid fan base. Within Hispanic communities, Rodriguez is considered to be the Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin when it comes to original comedy. Hands down, he has become the "Original Latin King of Comedy."
Rodriguez remains strongly rooted in the Latino community working with civic and educational groups, and his main contributions go to the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund, also known as NHSF. Rodriguez also contributes to such charitable efforts as Comic Relief, appearing on the HBO's program every year since its inception, and hosts the annual Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic tournament.