Al Madrigal wants you to know that he is the result of assimilation. He is a third Generation Mexican American who can barely speak a word of Spanish, but actually listening to him you’d think he is from Arizona.
His nasally voice and straight face delivery makes him naturally funny as a fake news correspondent on The Daily Show. Since he was recently added to the Comedy Central show’s line up he has brought a humorous take on American culture and been able to show how an assimilated American can act just like a “real” American.
You can barely tell them apart. And really that’s his point; American culture is a collection of diverse cultures that have become a life filled with homogeneous monotony that needs to be mocked.
Before this gig, Al Madrigal had been getting acclaim for his stand up work. Recently, he was knighted Best Stand up Comedian at the HBO/US College in Aspen.
One thing Al Madrigal does well is to show the folly of systems. I suppose that is because he has never really fit into the system, being classified un-American but being unable to identify with any marginalized ethnicity He is a social order comic exposing many of the problems inherent in that order
Although I was waiting for him do this famous routine the Maid is on Las Drugas, a story of his college days, I still laughed at his new material, especially his story about the day he found out he was a Mexican comic when he was put on a lineup featuring only Mexican comics.
Another highlight was when he did some family-focused humour, telling us about when he wasn’t allowed into his daughter’s ballet dress rehearsal while the creepy lighting guy was.
While packing a punch with many jokes, including some controversial ones, there were a few silent moments. Still, most of his jokes hit hard and home and many dealt with his identity crisis which we learned is because Al Madrigal’s apparently Mexican Ameircan?
Al Madrigal performs as part of OFF-JFL until July 26th. For tickets, please visit hahaha.com
* Photos by Chris Zacchia