Twenty-two years ago, after dropping out of college, Manny Maldonado, from Modesto, Calif. began his career as a standup comedian. Determined to transform his passion for laughter into a career, he stepped onto the stage and unleashed his funniest jokes. Since he’s transformed into one of the most recognizable Latino comedians.
Beyond his long listing of comedy clubs and theater performances across the country, Maldonado has appeared on a number of festivals like the Latino Laugh Festival and television series including — Comedy Central’s Comedy Rehab, ABC’S Comics Unleashed, B.E.T. Comic View, Starz Network’s Stand UP and appeared as a guest panelist on the Dr. Phil Show.
In addition to his hefty collection of television appearances, he’s also worked with an array of star-studded comedians including Dave Attell, Dave Chappelle, Tommy Davidson in addition to music artists Shelia E, Julio Iglesias, Eddie Money War and was also featured on The Latin Kings of Comedy Tour with Paul Rodriguez.
Maldonado attributes his success to The Latin Kings of Comedy Tour with Paul Rodriguez in the early 2000s, where he performed alongside some of the greatest Latino comedians. When sharing insight and advice to the new generation of comedians — “My advice for new comedians — it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Maldonado candidly shared with fellow comics. On the topic of personal cannabis use, he’s not picky. Indica, sativa or even a hybrid, he’ll try them all, “as long as it’s good,” he added.
- How did you get into stand-up comedy? Comedy chose me.
- How did you become successful? I became successful as far as doing full-time back in 2007 when I toured with Paul Rodriguez and the Latin Kings of Comedy.
- What stresses and obstacles have you confronted in comedy? As far as obstacles, I’m not a fan of how Hollywood portrays Latinos on television.
- How did you discover your passion for comedy? Growing up my family was always funny and we laughed constantly.
- How long have you been doing comedy? I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for 22-years.
- Where do you hope to go from here and what are your plans for the future? I hope to get better and better onstage.
- Is it true that comedians offstage are generally loners and fairly quiet? It isn’t true, regarding comics being lonely.
- What type of comedy do you do? I’m considered a high-energy comic.
- Do you observe situations and create comedy or can you create comedy just in your head? I can create comedy off the cuff, but I prefer just doing my material.
- What career advice would you share with other comedians transitioning or aspiring to launch into your field? My advice for new comedians — it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Do you crack jokes in real life or are you quiet/serious? I crack jokes in real life.
- How has the pandemic affected your personal life, business, career and family life — Good? Bad? Both? Since the pandemic, I’ve been patiently waiting to unleash my wrath of funny and I can’t wait.
- What inspires you? I’m inspired by doing something positive every day.
- When and at what age did you start using cannabis? I was 23 years old when I first tried cannabis.
- Which do you prefer — indica, sativa, hybrid? I don’t have any preference; as long as it’s good.