George Lopez Reveals His Hollywood ‘Fairy Godmother’
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because mentors come in unlikely places.
By Joshua Eferighe
It was the top of the year — before Kobe died, before the world went haywire — when George Lopez accidentally made himself the epicenter of attention for an entire news cycle or two.
Fresh from lunch with fellow comedian Cedric the Entertainer, Lopez casually responded to an Instagram post which alleged that Iranian authorities had placed an $80 million bounty on President Donald Trump’s head with. Lopez’s comment: “We’ll do it for half.”
“When I got home, I got these calls from my publicist, like ‘What did you say?’” the groundbreaking comedian recounts to OZY’s co-founder and CEO on the latest episode of The Carlos Watson Show. That’s when the Secret Service came to his home to follow up on whether or not he meant the president any harm. When asked whether he was scared, Lopez responds with a laugh: “The only time I got nervous is when they asked me if I had firearms at the house.”
It was the perfect storm of events for the comedian, whose star peaked with his eponymous ABC sitcom (2002–07) — a first for Latino families on TV — and who’s back with a Netflix stand-up special, We’ll Do It for Half. In the special Lopez talks about the Secret Service incident and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, among a number of other issues. While it’s the first time Lopez has been in the spotlight since 2017’s George Lopez: The Wall, Live From Washington, D.C., the content reflects his career’s work of speaking frankly about the Latino experience in the U.S.
Raised by his grandparents in Southern California, Lopez began writing his own jokes at age 11. He was so possessed with the stand-up dream that he stole a mic stand from Radio Shack and a microphone from his school to practice with. By the time he was out of high school, Lopez was prepared and began performing at clubs in Los Angeles, but he wasn’t satisfied with his localized, relatively marginal success. Then, in the late ’90s, he got the call of a lifetime from Sandra Bullock’s producing team: They were looking for someone to develop a family show around.
Originally the idea was to focus on a teenager, but after flying in and hearing Lopez’s set about his “crazy” grandmother and upbringing, Bullock went in a different direction. “She kinda became my fairy godmother,” Lopez says. “She gave me an opportunity, and I was always ready when the opportunity presented itself.”
Much like George Lopez, and his specials for that matter, We’ll Do It for Half is nothing more than Lopez bringing his authentic self to life. Let’s just hope he doesn’t make another resident of the White House upset.
- Joshua Eferighe