Giggles Guaranteed

The Original Latin Kings of Comedy” is a stand-up comedy film released in 2002, which featured some of the most hilarious Hispanic comics of all time, including the legendary Cheech Marin, George Lopez, Joey Medina, Alex Reymundo and Paul Rodriguez.

Now 20 years later, Rodriguez has put together a comedy tour with another group of fantastic Hispanic talent for the Latin Kings of Comedy Tour. This show, coming to the Tropicana Laughlin Saturday, July 16, will include Rodriguez, Medina, Johnny A. Sanchez, Dennis Gaxiola and Gilbert Esquivel.

Rodriguez is a veteran comic, who got his start in show business somewhat by accident in the early ‘80s.

“When I got out of the Air Force, I didn’t want to be an actor, I wanted to be an attorney,” Rodriguez said. “I had a counselor tell me, ‘If you want to be a litigation attorney, acting would help you out because in reality, all you’re doing is acting in front of 12 people.’ But acting or show business was the furthest thing from my mind. I took the acting lessons to be a better public speaker. What happened was, a casting director for Universal showed up and they were casting for a movie with Joel Schumacher called ‘D.C. Cab’ and I got the part. I still say today, ‘If that movie would have bombed, I’d have been one of those personal injury lawyers with my face all over the buses in Los Angeles.’ But one thing led to another. That movie was a hit and I got another offer and another offer and 30 years later here I am.”

From comedy films, Rodriguez found his way into standup as well.

“I started going to the Comedy Store in Los Angeles,” he said. “It was kind of the heyday of standup because at the time David Lettermen was the emcee and you had people like Robin Williams just at the beginning of their careers. I got in there, auditioned for Mitzi Shore and she gave me the job. Every year, I kept telling my parents, ‘I’m just doing this for this year. I’ll go back to school next semester.’ But that semester never came.”

Rodriguez has made countless film and television appearances, starring in movies, such as “The Whoopee Boys” and “A Million to Juan,” along with lending his voice to characters in “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and 2021’s “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”

He’s also sat in the director’s chair and produced movies. Currently, Rodriguez is working on a film that he wrote and is producing.

“Right now I’m working on a movie that I wrote and I’ve been wanting to do this movie for a long time,” Rodriguez said. “I have all my friends in it — Gary Busey, Luis Guzman, Aries Spears — just a bunch of big stars. It’s a spoof on prosperity preachers. I think it will be out around Christmas. It’s called ‘Born Again.’ Right now we are shooting the next to the last scenes. It’s Aries Spears from ‘MADtv’ as a very flamboyant preacher who is asking the congregation to get him a Learjet and it’s hilarious how he justifies the money being given to him.

“After that, I hope to do a movie called, ‘Diego Rivera: The Unknown Painter.’ I’ve got a script for that, that Luis Valdez wrote. HBO was going to do this movie many years ago and it just lost interest so I bought the script from them and I want to revive it. I’ll be producing that one.”

As age and health issues have recently slowed Rodriguez up a bit, he said he won’t be doing much standup anymore, so now is the time to catch the comedian on tour.

“It’s kind of like my farewell tour really,” he said. “I had quadruple bypass surgery, so my health doesn’t allow me to take on as many challenges. I don’t plan to retire, but certainly slow it down and try to produce and do more behind the scenes type of things. My standup days are pretty much gone, so if they want to see me, come get it.”

As Rodriguez has aged, so has his act, reflecting funny observations relatable to his older audiences.

“Well I’m older now so I think my comedy is more reflections,” he said. “I talk about the things that are going on in my life at the time. Right now I talk about my medical insurance, my heart operation. So I don’t really have a set, I talk about whatever’s going on, kind of like a stream of consciousness. I try to relate to my audience, who is getting a little older now too. I talk about my visit to the doctor, the afterlife and just nonsense like that, that people my age might also have thought about. You don’t have to be afraid of any strong vulgarity. It’s just nonsense and good, clean fun. Come and get it — I guarantee you laughs.”

Joey Medina

Puerto Rican comedian Joey Medina actually started his career as a professional boxer, then found his way to the stage and screen. He has starred in his own SHOWTIME Comedy Special, titled “Joey Medina: Taking Off The Gloves,” as well as his DVD “Latin Palooza” and his comedy CD “Below the Belt.” He has written and directed many films, including his latest award-winning production “Beautiful Violence.”

Gilbert Esquivel

Growing up the son of migrant workers, Gilbert Esquivel moved around the country and fell into gang life once settling in California. He pulled himself out of the inner-city violence and found his Christian faith. His brand of comedy is clean, yet edgy, and he focuses on cultural differences and finds the humor in his past experiences.

Dennis Gaxiola

The preacher’s son and an Air Force veteran, Dennis Gaxiola is one of America’s funniest clean comedians with a diverse background to draw from. He has appeared on Comedy Central with Jamie Foxx’s “Laffapalooza” and Gabriel Iglesias’ “Stand Up Revolution,” Show Time at the Apollo, TBN’s “Praise The Lord Comedy Specials” and many other television appearances.

Johnny A. Sanchez

MADtv cast member Johnny A. Sanchez started his acting and comedy career around 2000. He’s known for his impressions of famous stars such as Desi Arnaz, Al Pacino, Antonio Banderas and many others. He’s also lent his voice to film characters such as Lombardo, one of the “Amigos” in the 2006 animated flick “Happy Feet.”