Paul Rodriguez
Live in San Quentin
Platinum Comedy Series
Urban Works Entertainment
Fox Home Entertainment

Paul Rodriguez definitely has elephant-sized, brass, and platinum plated family jewels. Live in San Quentin has got to be one of the best live performance stand-up comedy DVD out there today. Although he can be very uneven, as Cheese And Macaroni, his comedy┬áCD and a few other performances show, this comedy show originally broadcast live, yes, live, from San Quentin jail on HBO in 2001, is not only this stand-up comic’s best performance ever, it is one of the best performances by any standup to ever be shown on HBO.

What amazes on this stand-up comedy DVD is first and foremost the performance by Paul Rodriguez. Granted, you have to think that the inmates that were allowed in the hall to watch this live show were definitely screened and searched and so on, but as Rodriguez points out in an interview, nothing would have stopped one of them from jumping on the stage and doing some permanent and even fatal damage to him. Yet, he goes out there and not only does he perform what is obviously his usual club fare but he also has quite a few comic routines and jokes tailored especially for this tough audience. When he says things like “I’m sure you miss people out there but they don’t miss you!” this is as in your face as you can get. There is also something a little eerie about a comedian doing funny skits about drive-bys, O.J., weirdly still contemporary Michael Jackson jokes, and how it can be safer behind bars to a crowd that knows the reality of what he is talking about.

Of course, not all of the humor on this comedy DVD is prison related material. Rodriguez covers growing up, sexual harassment, and does a great bit on growing old and turning forty and having to have to take that test where the sun don’t shine.

All comics interact with the audience, Paul Rodriguez interacts with hardened criminals and makes them laugh. That he can still be in your face and, no pun intended, take no prisoners, just says a lot about the man’s talent (when he puts his mind to it). There is also a very weird bit where he actually goes into the audience to make a few jokes and chat a bit.

The Platinum Comedy Series version of Live in San Quentin proves that major labels do sometimes take comedy seriously. This stand-up comedy DVD is packed with extras including a 40-minute segment titled San Quentin Remembered -not mentioned on the dust jacket–which is basically a conversation about his experiences doing 3 shows at the jail and how he has come to appreciate what it does for him as well as what it can do for others The other segment, which is mentioned as a bonus feature, is Paul Rodriguez Behind Bars, a 20-some minute segment where Paul walks the yards and talks to the inmates after a twenty something minutes part of earlier shows done at the jail. There are also a couple of public service don’t let this happen to you moments here.

Everything on this DVD is high quality. This is a high-caliber brilliant performance on a must-have DVD.


Live In San Quentin:

Taking the Stage
Growing Up
Safer Behind Bars
Sexual Harassment
Women and Cars
Getting Old
Into the Audience
Saying Goodnight

Paul Rodriguez Behind Bars

Behind Bars
New People
Television Images
Going Back to Prison
Walking the Yard
Prison Rap
Message From Behind Bars

San Quentin Remembered

A Visit With Paul Rodriguez
The First Special
The Second Special
Dangers of a Live Performance
Touring the Prison and Meeting the Inmates
The Prison Gangs
Family and Friends Incarcerated
Inmate Rules and Abilities
Laughter Is Penicillin
See You on the Outside
Final Message for the Youth


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