Al Madrigal is the dad whose kid will “mess your kid up in a bouncy house. It's like ultimate fighting for him: Two babies enter — one baby leaves.” Madrigal's from San Francisco but calls L.A. home; he and his wife bought a “$700,000 house in a soon-to-be-gentrified neighborhood … meaning I bought a $700,000 house in a crappy neighborhood.” –L.M.
L.A. WEEKLY: Did you always want to be a comedian? What would you be doing if you weren't a comic?
â€¨I wanted to be a comic in high school and college … ended up trying it at 27. I'd always worked at the family business firing people. If you saw Up In the Air, I actually did that job. So if I wasn't a stand-up, I'd be mindlessly giving people final checks and carrying large plants out to their cars as they told me what an asshole I am.
You're from San Francisco — how much do you hate L.A.?
I guess people who hate L.A. never lived here. I'm in Eagle Rock, so it has this great small-town feel with a lower population of the actory L.A. douche bags. Now that I think of it, people probably consider me one of the actor-y Eagle Rock douche bags. Shit.
Who do people say you look like?
I get a bunch … it's always Hispanic and then the actor's name. Hispanic Zach Braff quite a bit. I don't see it. Someone in an audition said a mix between Mark Ruffalo and David Cross. I said “thank you,” feeling pretty good about that comparison and my chances, and then they went with a black guy.
â€¨If you had a sitcom about your life — what would be the premise and what would it be called?
It's About Time — it's the tale of a white-0bred Latino comedian who does nothing but stories about his interracial family and neighborhood in his act until the right network executive comes along, who realizes every TV show doesn't need to have a failed movie actor at the center of it. It'll be single-camera, though. Â Â â€¨Â â€¨
If you could call a moratorium on one overused stand-up premise, what would it be?
I have two –Â when “alternative” comics go up and do bad stand-up ironically as a excuse to do bad stand-up and calculated crowd work (watching the same guy “improv” the same thing night after night drives me nuts). Â Â Â
What area of L.A. do you avoid?
I try not to go west of Western if at all possible. I'm all Eastside. It's tough, though. I can only sell my wife on Old Town Pasadena so much. But they do have everything. Â â€¨â€¨
You've described a toddler as looking like “a gay train conductor” — do you ever get feedback from angry parents?
I'm actually on the offensive in this area, there's a lot of shitty kids out there with even shittier parents and I'm, like, their punisher. “Jackson's not ready to share, Jackson's just being a boy.” Jackson just ripped a sand toy away from my darling daughter and spit. I'll fight your lazy nanny.
â€¨ Last book read?
Black Hole by Charles Burns, that counts, right?
Thu., June 24, 8 p.m., 2010