New York native, and no stranger to the spotlight, Jai Rodriguez, is an entertainment icon who consistently checks all the boxes. Best known for his role as the original Fab Five ‘Culture Vulture’ in the Emmy Award-winning show “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy,” Jai has been shaping American culture for nearly two decades. Not only are Jai’s successes countless throughout his career in television, but his background in Broadway is nothing short of astounding.
Jai’s illustrious career began at age 18, when he was cast as ‘Angel’ in the critically acclaimed musical “RENT” – making him the youngest actor to be cast in a leading role. Following his Broadway breakout role, he appeared on stage in productions of “The Producers” and “Spinning Into Butter.” He additionally created and performed the title role of ‘Zanna’ in the off-Broadway sensation “Zanna, Don’t!”. With his dynamic vocals, Jai has had the honor of sharing the stage with musical legends Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, Brian McKnight, Taylor Dayne and Michelle Williams. Jai has since performed numerous one-man shows across the nation and finished his Las Vegas residency last year headlining another Off-Broadway hit “Sex Tips For Straight Women From A Gay Man” alongside Kendra Wilkinson.
In 2003, Jai made history as the ‘Culture Vulture’ in the original ‘Queer Eye Fab Five,’ alongside his castmates Ted Allen, Carson Kressley, Kyan Douglas and Thom Filicia. The show, which ultimately shaped American television and cultural representation of the LGBTQ community, lasted from 2003 through 2007 and along the way, picked up both a Primetime Emmy Award and a GLAAD Media Award for ‘Outstanding Reality Program,’ as well nominations from the PGA Awards, People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards.
Continuing with a prominent career in television, Jai has hosted and played roles in dozens of popular television series throughout the course of the past few years. Following his role on “Queer Eye,” Jai starred opposite of Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin in ABC’s hit comedy “Malibu Country.” He also appeared in numerous TV shows such as ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Are You There Chelsea?,” “Bones,” and as a trans woman in NBC’s “Harry’s Law.” Jai even had a quick stint as the newscaster in the “Lady Gaga Feat. Beyoncé: Telephone” music video. Touching base internationally, Jai starred in a couple seasons of the Australian series “The Horizon” – the most watched LGBTQ web series in the world. While in the realm of reality TV, he has hosted countless series including Animal Planet’s “Groomer Has It” – and partnered with major networks such as LOGO, FX, Teen Nick and Lifetime.
Jai has also been seen starring in HBO’s “Equal” portraying the legendary Jose Sarria, an LGBTQ history maker who was the first openly gay candidate to run for public office in the United States in 1961. He also helped form the country’s first gay business association and performed as a drag queen known as The Widow Norton. Prior to, he was seen as the host for Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” reunion show, in a recurring role on Hulu’s comedy “Doll Face” (alongside Kat Dennings and Shay Mitchell), in ABC’s fan-favorite series “The Rookie”, and in a returning role within Netflix’s second season of “Eastsiders” (the series was nominated for a 2020 Emmy). Forever shining in any capacity, he was asked to host the 2020 Daytime Emmy Awards
livestream with Loni Love and was heard across the nation as the co-host of ‘The Morning Beat’ with Mikalah Gordon on Entercom’s nationwide syndicated LGBTQ talk radio station ‘Channel Q’ for the first year of its existence, helping to launch the station into notoriety within the pop-culture and LGBTQ+ space. This summer Jai was thrilled to join the spin off of BOSCH Bosch Legacy.
You can currently catch Jai on Darren Stars new Netflix series “UNCOUPLED” opposite Neil Patrick Harris as well as a a frequent host of E’s Daily Pop. Jai stars in a major motion picture for Universal Pictures called BROS produced by Judd Apatow and staring Billy Eichner. TV fans just saw Jai in a major guest star role this January on FOXs break out series Fantasy Island.
Coming soon Jai guest stars on Nora from Queens opposite Bowen Yang. With a long-standing career behind him and many more perspective-shifting projects ahead of him, Jai is continually making a grand impact on television, the LGBTQ community, and the world at large.
Jai currently resides in Los Angeles with his rescue dog, Rico his cat Cookie, and several reptiles.
Jai will act as MC for the Spirit of Stonewall Rally on Friday, July 14, 2023. Learn more about the rally here.