Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.
This week, Angie puts a spotlight on George Lopez. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest comedy special from George Lopez, George Lopez: It’s Not Me, It’s You (which debuted on July 14, 2012 on HBO and was filmed at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles) seems to betray its own title by offering comedy fans more of what they’ve come to expect from the comedian: jokes about Latinos living in America.
That’s not to say that Lopez doesn’t deliver a solid amount of laughs in his latest effort – he’s a high-energy, charismatic comedian who certainly knows how to entertain. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the obvious, however: nothing that Lopez touches upon in his new special is anything groundbreaking, as he relies solely on the tried and true material that’s gotten him to where he is today.
Ranting about topics such as raising Latino children, relationships, and other things that white people do that Latinos do not, Lopez seems all too eager to fall back on the kinds of jokes that he knows will resonate with his predominantly Latino audience.
“Our kids are not spoiled,” Lopez quips. “We raise our kids to be tough – and not spoiled. Other people raise their kids, their job is to entertain them. ‘What do you want to do today, Cooper? Want to go to Gymboree? Want to scour the internet for things to do? Have you got a Groupon on your iPhone?’ We don’t give a fuck. We’re not there to entertain our kids. They come up to you, ‘I don’t have anything to do.’ ‘Oh yeah? Find your teeth [punch].’”
While it is wonderful that there’s an increasing amount of comedy geared towards the Latino audience (who is generally under-represented in the comedy world), one can’t help but feel that Lopez’ humor serves little more purpose than to point out how superior the Latino population is to, well, everyone else.
“This is an election year,” Lopez points out. “Latinos have the most powerful vote in this country. The Latino vote is very powerful. We have to realize that the Latino vote could change the course of this political campaign. We can elect the President. We – I’ll run for President. Fuck it, I’ve got the Latino vote. ‘Who’s gonna be your Vice President?’ Carlos Santana.”
While Lopez seemingly aims to strengthen the Latino image with his material, often times he misses the mark, simply furthering racial stereotypes involving raising families, drinking, and unfulfilled childhood hopes.
“We teach our kids with words that don’t give them any doubt. We have to have doubt – not everything can go their way. Other kids say, ‘I’m going to Disneyworld for two weeks.’ We raise our kids with words like ‘suppose’ and ‘almost’. So they’re not always sure. ‘Did you guys go to Disneyworld?’ ‘We were supposed to. We almost went, but we didn’t.’”
What puts me off of Lopez’ humor, ultimately, is the underlying feeling that Lopez simply does not wish to appeal to any audience other than the Latino audience. If one isn’t put off by the almost incessant attacks on ‘white culture’, it’s the constant use of Spanish within his set that will succeed in alienating you: “Google that, motherfucker,” he quips, after delivering a Spanish punch-line that has his audience in stitches.
George Lopez: It’s Not Me, It’s You overall is an enjoyable hour of comedy from the veteran comedian, though it’s certainly not offering anything new or noteworthy in terms of material. As a non-Latino listener, I’m left feeling that Lopez didn’t really care if I enjoyed it or not, because, as he puts it – it’s not him, it’s me. Find out which side your on by downloading the special today at iTunes on CD or DVD.