Al Madrigal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Al Madrigal
Madrigal in 2014
Birth nameAlessandro Liborio Madrigal
Born (1971-07-04) July 4, 1971 (age 52)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film
GenresObservational comedy, satire
Subject(s)American culture, human behavior, family, fatherhood, cultural assimilation

Alessandro Liborio Madrigal (born July 4, 1971)[1] is an American comedian, writer, actor and producer. He is a co-founder of the All Things Comedy podcast network, alongside Bill Burr. He rose to fame on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a regular correspondent for five seasons. Outside of the standup world, he is known for his co-starring roles in the film Night School, Showtime's dark comedy I'm Dying Up Here, NBC's About A Boy, as well as CBS sitcoms Gary Unmarried and Welcome to The Captain.[1] He has also performed on Conan and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[2]

He appeared in the sports drama The Way Back, starring Ben Affleck and directed by Gavin O'Connor. He appears in the Sony's Spider-Man Universe film Morbius as Alberto "Al" Rodriguez.

Early life[edit]

Madrigal was born in San Francisco, California. He grew up in San Francisco's Inner Sunset District, where his neighbors included future comedians Mike Pritchard and Margaret Cho. His father is Mexican (from Tijuana) and his mother is Sicilian.[3][4][5] He attended Ecole Notre Dame Des Victoires,[6] a private Catholic school in San Francisco that emphasizes instruction of French language and culture.[7] He attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School for the class of 1989. He then attended the University of San Francisco.

Madrigal worked for 10 years in a human resources staffing agency run by his family, where one of his main responsibilities was firing people. He often worked humor into the job. He credits his experiences at the staffing company with preparing him for stand-up comedy: "I was in so many scary situations ... by the time I got on stage, I had no stage fright. Speaking in front of a group was nothing."[8] In 1998, he decided to pursue a full-time career in comedy.[9]


Stand-up comedy[edit]

Madrigal's stand-up comedy is story-based, centering on his personal life, family, and the confusion caused by his multiethnic background.[10] Early in his comedy career, he was often pigeonholed as a "Latino comic." Madrigal says he has been criticized as not being Latino enough, such as for not speaking Spanish.[11][12]

Madrigal began his career in San Francisco's comedy clubs, both as a solo performer and as a member of the sketch group Fresh Robots, which he co-founded. In 2002, he enjoyed his first major exposure in two comedy festivals: SF Sketchfest, as part of Fresh Robots,[13] and the "New Faces" showcase of the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.[14]

In 2004, Madrigal won a jury award for best stand-up comedian at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. After winning the award, he signed a talent holding deal with CBS.[15]

Madrigal's Comedy Central Presents half-hour special premiered in July 2005. In April 2013, Madrigal's first one-hour special, "Why Is The Rabbit Crying?," also premiered on Comedy Central. The special was named one of the top 10 comedy specials of 2013 by both Westword and The Village Voice and was praised for "deconstructing stereotypes rather than enforcing them" and "milking incongruity between expectations and reality to hilarious effect."[16][17]

Madrigal taped his latest stand-up special, "Shrimpin' Ain't Easy" in December 2016 in the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Directed by Neal Brennan, the special premiered on SHOWTIME in 2017.

Madrigal has been a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on July 8, 2009.[18] He later appeared on Conan's TBS Show, Conan, on May 10, 2011.[19]


Madrigal performing at Politicon in 2016.

In 2003, Madrigal successfully auditioned for a starring role on The Ortegas, a comedy series for the Fox Network. The series, which was based on the BBC comedy The Kumars at No. 42, cast Madrigal as the son of a Mexican American family in California who hosts a TV talk show from a studio he operates in the backyard of his parents' home.[20] However, the network dropped the series from its schedule before broadcasting any of its six filmed episodes.[21]

In January 2008, Madrigal was cast as a building attendant named Jesús (pronounced "Hey-Soose") in the CBS comedy Welcome to The Captain.[22] The series was cancelled after five episodes.[23]

He co-starred in the CBS series Gary Unmarried (originally titled Project Gary), which debuted in September 2008.[14]

On March 14, 2013, it was announced that Madrigal would be joining NBC's About A Boy as Andy, the main character's best friend.[24] He received a 2014 Imagen Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the role.

Madrigal was a series regular on the Showtime series I'm Dying Up Here. He played a stand-up comedian named Edgar in the dark comedy about Los Angeles' infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s. The show, which is based on William Knoedelseder's nonfiction book of the same name, is executive produced by Jim Carrey.[25]

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart[edit]

On May 17, 2011, it was announced that Madrigal would be joining The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was often presented as the "Senior Latino Correspondent."

Madrigal auditioned for the show on the recommendation of stand-up comedian Adam Lowitt, one of the show's producers. Madrigal and Lowitt performed a piece at Carolines on Texas Representative Debbie Riddle, who proposed a bill that would create state punishments for those who "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" hired unauthorized immigrants except for domestic workers.[26] Madrigal later did a reading of the piece with Jon Stewart, who hired him on the spot.

All Things Comedy[edit]

All Things Comedy was officially launched on October 1, 2012 with a roster of eleven podcasts including the Monday Morning Podcast by Bill Burr, The Long Shot Podcast by Eddie Pepitone, and Skeptic Tank by Ari Shaffir.[27][28] By 2014, the network had six dozen members and over fifty podcasts.[29][12] The network was started out by comedians Al Madrigal and Bill Burr with The Daily Show on the All Things Comedy website.[30] The network was established as an artist owned cooperative, which Madrigal and Burr emphasize as an importance aspect of the collective.[31] All Things Records was started in March 2014 and released three albums in the months following its creation including Believe in Yourself by Sam Tripoli, Live at the Comedy Castle by Brian Scolaro, This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux by Jackie Kashian.[12] Madrigal sees the network as a way of improving representation of Latin American people in media.[32] For instance, the networks provides Spanish-language podcasts such as Leyendas Legendarias and El Dollop.[33][34][35] Comedy Central partnered with All Things Comedy to produce a documentary about Patrice O'Neal as well as three comedy specials.[36][37]

In 2012, Madrigal and comedian Bill Burr founded All Things Comedy, a comedy podcast network and artist cooperative.[38] Madrigal and Burr started the network as a way to help comedians maintain full ownership of their work.[38] The network hosts over 50 podcasts and garners nearly 5 million listeners per month.[39]

At South by Southwest 2015, Madrigal, Burr, and comedian Doug Benson spoke on the "Owning Your Work: The Future of All Things Comedy" panel, where they "discussed the ins and outs of their operation and how they are working to help comics carve out their own paths in show business and avoid traditional gatekeepers."[39]

From 2010 to 2014, he co-hosted a podcast called "Minivan Men" with comedians Maz Jobrani, Aaron Aryanpur, and Chris Spencer, in which they discussed marriage, parenting, and domestic issues.[40]

Madrigal and Burr host the "All Things Comedy Live Podcast," which streams monthly. The podcast has featured comics including Sinbad, Nick Thune, Felipe Esparza, Doug Benson, Pete Holmes, Ian Edwards, and Fred Stoller.[41]

More recently, he signed a deal with CBS Studios.[42]

Half Like Me[edit]

On January 22, 2015, Madrigal's one-hour comedic documentary special, Half Like Me, premiered on Fusion. The program follows Madrigal on his quest to get closer to his Mexican roots in preparation for a family reunion in Tijuana, Mexico.[43] During the course of the program Madrigal explores different aspects of Latino culture in the U.S. The A.V. Club called it "solid and thought-provoking" while the Los Angeles Times listed the special as a "Critic's Pick".[43][44] In an interview with LA Weekly, Madrigal said, "'people are actually reaching out and wanting to teach this in their classrooms.'"[11]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 Why Is The Rabbit Crying? Himself Stand-up special
2015 Still Punching The Clown Officer Delgado
2015 Half Like Me Himself Short film
2016 Punching Henry Officer Delgado
2016 Snatched Embassy Official
2018 Night School Luis
2020 The Way Back Dan
2021 The Map of Tiny Perfect Things Mr. Pepper
2021 Violet Darren Brightly
2021 Happily Arthur
2022 Morbius Agent Alberto Rodriguez
2022 Unplugging Juan
2023 Air Tim


Year Show Role Notes
2003 The Ortegas Luis Ortega TV series
2004 Americana TV movie
2004 Shorties Watchin' Shorties Himself Episode 2.9
2008 Welcome to the Captain Jesus 5 episodes
2008 Happy Hour Ray Episode: "The Family Affair"
2008 Buddy 'n' Andy 'Mucho Gusto' Short film
2009 Los Foley Guys Ray TV series
2008–2009 Gary Unmarried Dennis Lopez 20 episodes
2009 The Very Funny Show TV series
2007–2010 Wizards of Waverly Place Spanish Pocket Elf 2 episodes
2010 Pretend Time Manuel Episode: "Powdered Doughnuts Make Me Go Nuts"
2010 Tax Man Gilooly TV movie
2010 3 Non Juans Himself Stand-up
2011–2016 The Daily Show Himself (correspondent) 66 episodes
2011–2012 Free Agents Gregg 8 episodes
2014 American Dad! Mexican Security Guard Episode: "Big Stan on Campus"
2014–2015 About a Boy Andy 28 episodes
2016 Lucifer Jonathan Medina 1 episode
2016 Fresh Off the Boat Mr. G 1 episode
2016 This Is Not Happening Himself 1 episode
2017–2018 I'm Dying Up Here Edgar 'Manny' Martinez 20 episodes
2018 Single Parents Rick Episode: "Politician, Freemason, Scientist, Humorist and Diplomat, Ben Franklin"
2019 Ball & Tee Range Ball /Elitist Ball / Gimmick Tree miniseries
2020 Broke Derek 3 episodes
2020 Muppets Now Pizza Delivery Person Episode: "Getting Testy"
2021 Physical Jack Logan 4 episodes
2022–present Lopez vs Lopez Oscar Main role
2023 Clone High Frederico Recurring role[45]

Web series[edit]

Year Show Role Notes
2016–present WHIH Newsfront – With Christine Everhart Will Adams 5 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
2004 Stand-up HBO Aspen Comedy Festival Juror Award Best Stand-up Comedian Won
2014 "Blowing the Whistle on Whistleblowers" from The Daily Show Genesis Awards The Sid Caesar Comedy Award Won
2014 About a Boy Imagen Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2015 N/A Mixed Remix Festival Storyteller's Prize Won


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External links[edit]

Media related to Al Madrigal at Wikimedia Commons