Aida Rodriguez: Fighting Words On HBO Max, The Comedian Goes Home Again To Meet Her Estranged Father, Then Roast Him

For her first hour stand-up particular on HBO Max, Aida Rodriguez lastly can go dwelling once more, assembly her father for the primary time as an grownup, and never solely reside to inform about it, but in addition joke about it in entrance of him within the Dominican Republic, in addition to to blended firm of strangers within the Bronx. She’s at all times up for a combat, verbally or bodily, however she wasn’t at all times so prepared.

The Gist: Two years after Tiffany Haddish proclaimed she was one of her They Ready friends for Netflix, Aida Rodriguez lastly will get her personal solo showcase on HBO Max.

Rodriguez does have historical past with the HBO household, nevertheless. The HBO Latino model first featured her in its Entre Nos sequence again in 2018, and Haddish was behind Rodriguez’s improvement take care of HBO Max final 12 months to construct a sitcom round her life as an Afro-Latina mom of two youngsters. That deal hasn’t fairly come to fruition but, however Entre Nos did put Rodriguez entrance and heart for his or her tour, and Pause with Sam Jay invited Rodriguez to her events. After first making waves on NBC’s Final Comedian Standing, Rodriguez additionally has racked up credit on one in all Shaquille O’Neal’s Showtime comedy showcases, Comedy Central’s The Nightly Present with Larry Wilmore, truTV’s Comedy Knockout and Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks, TBS’s Match of Laughs, and YouTube’s The Younger Turks.

All of which serves to help Rodriguez’s status as a lady who’s not afraid to share her opinions, which she takes because the titular mantra for her solo debut. Whereas she gained’t draw back from politics, Rodriguez principally makes use of this hour-plus, which encompasses a 15-minute documentary characteristic on the finish, to speak about her multi-ethnic heritage and concepts, each hers and ours, about identification and household.

Photograph: HBO Max

What Comedy Specials Will It Remind You Of?: Kristian Mercado, who directed the stand-up parts, has been behind the digital camera on a number of latest comedy specials, together with a brand new hour out this previous month from Phoebe Robinson, plus stand-up from Sam Jay, London Hughes, Hannibal Buress, and Ilana Glazer. The combination of documentary footage, although, with Rodriguez’s household brings to thoughts one other HBO particular, final 12 months’s Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It!

Memorable Jokes: With a title like Preventing Phrases, you’d anticipate to listen to about some battles, verbal or in any other case, proper?

Rodriguez doesn’t disappoint on both rely. Most actually, she jokes about studying the principles of no guidelines whereas rapping in The Dozens. Most particularly, when she pokes enjoyable at folks calling themselves woke, she first calls wokeness “corny as shit,” then injects a dose of actuality by saying: “Phrases harm? So do uppercuts. Discover ways to block!” She then segues right into a story a few Chinese language lady who fought again in opposition to her would-be attacker, and the way Rodriguez admires that girls and folks like her. Maybe as a result of Rodriguez didn’t combat again as a toddler, and now needs to make up for it as a grown-up.

Rodriguez has made a degree prior to now about getting political (no marvel she’s been on The Younger Turks repeatedly), however she doesn’t wish to commit an excessive amount of time right here to that. Why not? “I retired from that shit since you individuals are exhausting.” In addition to, as a lot as she may speak about white ladies and whether or not they’re along with her or in opposition to her, she’d a lot moderately get into the struggles of Latinos as a group, and her struggles as a person coming to grips along with her household and her identification.

Which launches her into materials about how Latinos embrace so many alternative races, heritages, languages and identities — together with completely different phrases to explain themselves aside from Latinos — that may coexist even inside her circle of relatives of siblings. And the way her sense of identification solely bought twisted extra after studying about and ultimately assembly her Dominican father, and his prolonged household.

All of it comes again to Rodriguez and the way she, in flip, pertains to her personal youngsters.

Our Take: With flags of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic hanging on both aspect of her onstage, Rodriguez leans in to the extra private features of her upbringing and her comedic viewpoint.

At one level, she explains: “That’s how we take care of this shit. Comedians. We discuss in regards to the shit that hurts generally.” At one other, she acknowledges that “comedians are usually not exempt” from having to place up with jerks as colleagues, however how that’s not going to cease her from defending her proper to say what she needs when she has the microphone in her hand. If you happen to’re offended by something she stated? Her retort: “I wish to invite you to chomp on a dick.” As a result of she needs to emphasise that her materials isn’t about making an attempt to belittle you. It’s not even about you generally. As she explains within the 15-minute featurette which closes out the particular: “How am I going to inform these jokes about my father and the Dominican Republic, in a means that doesn’t look like I’m perpetuating stereotypes about Dominicans? That’s how a lot shit I’ve to consider once I write a joke.”

She then provides: “My story issues, and I ought to be capable to inform it.”

A lot as Haddish lifted Rodriguez up, it’s a pleasant contact for Rodriguez and documentary footage director Nadia Hallgren to offer shout-outs to Rodriguez’s opening acts at her reveals on Puerto Rico and the DR:  Laura Nanita, Rojo Perez, Maxwell Johnson, Erick Bonilla, Ariel Santana, Cristina Sanchez, Elias Serulle.

Our Name: STREAM IT. Rodriguez gives a refreshing change of tempo within the angle comedians have been bringing to the dialog about simply what comedians can or ought to say nowadays. As a result of she reminds us this particular is about her. Do you wish to get to know her? Most likely, sure!

Sean L. McCarthy works the comedy beat for his personal digital newspaper, The Comic’s Comic; earlier than that, for precise newspapers. Based mostly in NYC however will journey wherever for the news: Ice cream or information. He additionally tweets @thecomicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes with comedians revealing origin tales: The Comic’s Comic Presents Last Things First.

Watch Aida Rodriguez: Fighting Words on HBO Max

https://decider.com/2021/11/04/aida-rodriguez-fighting-words-hbo-max-review/ | Stream It or Skip It?


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