Facing the Firing Squad: Roger Rodd (Comedian)
MEET ROGER RODD:
If great comedy requires courage, then Roger Rodd is the bravest of souls.
The versatile Los Angeles-based comedian and actor, perhaps best-known for his anti-politically correct stage act and topical rantings on current events which are posted almost by-the-hour on social media, reveals an unshakable chasm between what we so often think versus what we often can’t say.
On cue, Roger just comes out and speaks his mind anyway. He’s even willing to risk offending some people, convinced that hurt feelings are best tranquilized by the sound of laughter.
Consider one of his trademark professional endeavors, which is guest appearing at various “Black clubs” around the country, which is to say venues that cater primarily to African-American audiences. This is where Roger is at his wicked best. Nothing in the script gets changed. No part of the act is toned down due to sensitivity. Roger walks that razor-thin edge between humor and being offensive like a high-wire trapeze artist.
Of course, sometimes he falls.
Like any risk taker, some might think that Roger crosses an invisible and ever-changing line on what’s tasteful and appropriate. That’s not intended as criticism. Instead, that’s a compliment. To reach the very edge of the steep comedic cliff and get the best view sometimes requires stepping a little too far and then falling into the abyss. Then, one crawls out of the pit, gets back up on his feet, learns a lesson or two, and goes right back to performing — swinging and missing and hitting plenty of home runs. That’s Roger Rodd.
The stage act and the person are connected in many ways. But, they are also different. As with many comedians, there’s typically something far deeper going on within the psyche when writing and performing a comedy act, especially and edgier show. Some might even see this as a dark place. Other know the art of comedy as personal introspection. The act becomes the manifestation of an insatiable curiosity about culture and society that must be explored and deserves to be pressure tested.
I’ve known Roger for more than ten years. We first met in Lake Tahoe. I have been a fan ever since.
Thanks to Roger Rodd for agreeing to my ongoing series, “Facing the Firing Squad.”
Here’s a short highlight reel of Roger doing stand up:
FACING THE FIRING SQUAD:
Q: What are some of the things you stand for?
Rodd: The legalization of all drugs, prostitution, and gambling,
Legalizing all forms of death, meaning abortion, death penalty for all who kill, and euthanasia,
Seize all churches and donate them to the homeless,
Enforce the death penalty for any form of religion, where anybody but the immediate family, gathers ANYWHERE BUT inside of their own domicile. Humanity’s disgraceful track record of god gatherings is well founded.
Q: What are some of the things you stand against?
Rodd: Obstinate ignorance and denial, in the face of hard evidence.
Any religious infusion into what was designed to be our secular government.
The military-industrial complex and their “whores for hire” media.
“Blanket respect” and “blanket judgments.” Both need to be lost or earned on an individual basis ONLY.
Q: What living person do you admire the most, and why?
Rodd: My mother. S he is a Great Depression-toughened member of the generation who are the reason we aren’t speaking German.
Her values and integrity run through my soul.
Q: What historical figure do you admire the most, and why?
Rodd: Never having known their personal lives, and knowing only their public persona, nobody qualifies.
The disparity and magnitude of those two perceptions in terms of deserving my admiration causes me to say — “Nobody.”
I used to think O.J. was a great guy.
My personal historical figure of admiration is my father. He was a decorated WW II survivor of a Kamikaze attack with 52 casualties, who swam over a mile to shore with shrapnel buried all over his body.
When it was my turn to fight a war, there was a problem with my feet.
They were in Canada.
Q: What living person do you despise?
Rodd: None who are in MY personal life. Why allow that negativity to rent a space in your head?
Regarding public figures, that’s WAY too long of a list, with far too many vying for the top slot.
Q: If money were not an object, what profession would you chose?
Rodd: Beach Lifeguard. If it would’ve paid enough, I never would’ve left the tower.
Q: What is it about yourself that you are most proud of?
Rodd: Learning from my father how to never quit.
Q: What is it about yourself that you’d like to change?
Rodd: Nothing. We all have faults but if asked the question, “Would you like to have a person like you for a friend, I’d emphatically say — yes.”
Q: What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
Rodd: Toss up between skydiving and making a “life or death” rescue.
Q: What’s the most unusual time and place you’ve ever visited?
Rodd: A Scientology camp that hired me for the day as an actor.
Q: Name a place you’ve never visited where you still want to go.
Q: Favorite book, favorite movie, and favorite musician.
Rodd: Book — North Dallas Forty
Movie — “Lifeguard”
Musician — None. Music is FAR too overrated.
Q: What upsets you the most?
Rodd: The stupidity of humanity.
Q: What bores you?
Q: What would it take for humanity to reach its true potential?
Rodd: The elimination of ALL religions.
It is THE single and most DIRECT cause of all human misery.
Q: Do you believe in an afterlife and why do you believe it so?
Rodd: When something cannot be proven or disproven, the only sensible answer is — “I don’t know.”