Paul Rodriguez has been out of the limelight lately — but not by choice.
“At my age and my financial status I’ll do anything and everything,” said Rodriguez from his home in Los Angeles. “The economy’s so bad my bank’s asking me for a loan.”
The standup comedian — who first hit screens in 1983’s D.C. Cab — is, of course, joking. “If you’re not visible all the time people forget you,” he cracks. “People see me and ask, ‘Is that Paul Rodriguez or has Ricky Martin gone straight?’ ”
Helping flesh out the account balance is a new gig: Hosting Mis Videos Locos Con Paul Rodriguez on Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más 7 p.m. Thursdays. The concept is Paul entering viral videos from all over the world with a green screen. America’s Funniest Home Videos? Not really. ‘‘I do anything to goof,” the native Mexican explains.
“Yesterday I taped a guy who had a mirror peeking up women’s skirts in stores. I was able to crawl in there using a green screen and fog up his lens with hairspray.”
As for what kind of TV he watches: “I’m basically a surfer, like most guys. I get ahold of that remote control . . . it’s like an extension of our male organs. I’ll watch anything. From soccer to a memorial to Michael Jackson. Trying to stay hip is a hard job.”
Despite what he says, work is flooding in. His upcoming movie Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (out July 30) features talking animals involved in a spy caper. This is his kind of movie — the Beverly Hills Chihuahua costar loves canines. Well, chihuahuas. He’s got two, Chico and Chica. It’s a love-hate relationship.
‘‘If they’re not biting each other, they’re on top of each other,” says Rodriguez, with the two yapping in the background. “I had them chopped so they’re not sexual, just metrosexual.”
Also in the works: a comedy with Christian Slater and Eva Longoria Parker, Without Men, in which Rodriguez plays a guerrilla leader. Though he’s known Parker a while, working with Slater was a novel experience.
‘‘I heard all the rumors, but Christian turned out to be a peach. He makes so much money he could afford to bring everyone donuts,” Rodriguez deadpans. “I brought everyone Chiclets.”
At least someone in Rodriguez’s family is on an upward spiral: Paul Jr., 24. “My son’s giving me competition,” says the skateboarder/actor’s dad. “He’s the bomb. He’s good looking, talented and doesn’t ask me for money.”