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It’s a cold autumn night and the streets of Chelsea in New York City are bustling. Tonight, Aida Rodriguez is headlining a comedy show.

“I’m exhausted, but I’m excited,” she tells Latino USA backstage. “I have new material, but I’m very excited because there are not many Latinas in standup period, specifically the ones that get the opportunities to headline, so I don’t take this stuff lightly.”

Read the episode transcript here.

When Aida gets onto the stage, she’s fearless.

“Wow, mi gente,” she tells the packed audience. “How beautiful you are, I’m so happy to see you.”

Aida Rodriguez performing on stage. (Photo by Reynaldo Leaños Jr.)

Aida holds no punches. She addresses her upbringing, politics, race, Latinos, and her own family. In a 2021 comedy special called “Fighting Words,” Aida talked about how she met her father for the first time in the Dominican Republic.

“It’s funny because we sat at a restaurant and every time a woman walked in he’d be like that’s your sister!” she said, joking. “It happened a few times. He was so generous he gave us each our own mothers. He was like Oprah, you get a mother, you get a mother!”

In this episode of Latino USA, we hear Aida Rodriguez talk about and read from her recent book, “Legitimate Kid: A Memoir” and we get a front row seat to one of her recent comedy shows in New York City.

Featured image by Nathalie Gordon.

 

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