THIS PAGE HAS MOVED TO WWW.ALFREDOFLORESPHOTOGRAPHY.COM honored by photography award honored by photography award
Named to Washington Life magazine's Hot List September 2010

Monday, September 29, 2008

written by
Alfredo Flores
On Tap October 2008
Before getting his own ABC sitcom in 2002, many thought George Lopez’s comedy was geared toward Mexican-Americans like himself. But entertainer’s brand of comedy, which deals with the trials and tribulations of being raised by his tough-as-nails Mexican grandparents in Los Angeles, proves that dysfunctional families have universal appeal, regardless of ethnicity. Evidence of that can be found in millions of comedy albums sold, a five-year run on ABC and cable specials that have become classics. “Kids today wouldn’t last one day of our childhoods,” said Lopez on his HBO special “America’s Mexican” from last year. “(Mimicking child’s whining voice) I’m bored! (Lopez smacks back of microphone as if it were the kid, starts wobbling, falls down). There (in mock grandmother’s voice). Spend the whole day recovering.” Lopez said that not until the 1980s and 1990s did society truly understand abuse or neglect, and he often spent a lot of his time alone as a kid with no adult supervision. “When I started to get into my past in my stand up, I think I was a little embarrassed of it,” Lopez said during an interview with On Tap. “I didn’t think there was a deep well of comedy there. But when I started to do that it started to connect [with the audience]. That’s when I started to really get attention, and everybody started to get it, not just Mexicans. I’ve been told by people, Hey, my Russian grandmother is that way, or My Israeli, Middle-Eastern, Armenian so and so. It’s everybody now. I just use Latino because it’s what I am.” His family is a constant source of ridicule in his routines and they no longer talk to Lopez, which is fine with him. He’s got a loving relationship with his wife and kid in the L.A. suburb of Sherman Oaks, and has had several films released this year, including “Swing Vote,” “Henry Poole Is Here,” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” He also hosts several charity events as a spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation after receiving a kidney transplant from his wife in 2006, and he’s closing his year-and-a-half-long “America’s Mexican Tour” with three soon-to-be sold-out shows at the Warner Theater, which he finds fitting for an election year. Lopez’ s material for the D.C. shows will be political, very pointed toward ignorance, edgy and definitely not for kids — “Well, depending on what you let your kids see,” he joked. There’ll be bits about John and Cindy McCain, Barack Obama, immigration issues and E. coli tainted food. There might even be his bit about how kids no longer talk on the phone, instead texting acronyms like LMAO, LOL and BFF—with Lopez wanting to add one more item to text jargon, FTP, or “F*** that puto.” When asked who’s currently on his FTP list, conservative CNN political pundit Lou Dobbs immediately came up. “If you watched only his show, you’d think the only issue in this country is illegal immigration,” Lopez said. “I don’t know what Latinos ever did to him, but he hasn’t gotten over it.” Lopez is also not too fond of Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I’m kind of shocked we would elect someone like that with no political experience whatsoever to be governor of a state like California,” Lopez said. “That’s not politics, that’s like movies, like ‘Bullworth.’ For a person who had his voice dubbed for a movie every single line 25 years ago but doesn’t sound that much different than he did back then, for him to be [asking immigrants to speak] English only and to be so adamant about it is ridiculous when he, clearly, is not understandable.” It’s been a long journey for Lopez, and sometimes he’s in disbelief of how far he’s come in his nearly 30 years of stand up comedy, getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, just like the only two other Latinos before him to star in their own network television comedy series: Desi Arnaz and Freddie Prinze. “When I was growing up I never got encouraged and didn’t think I had any chance at a life that was worth living,” he said. “If someone were to ask me in the mid 1980s what I wanted to do, I never thought I’d be an actor or have a sitcom. I used to say I wouldn’t have a sitcom, because I didn’t think it was available to us. Even in my goals, I would knock myself down, I was thinking that’s not going to happen, and that’s probably not going to happen. It’s crazy the way it all worked out.”

No comments: