George Lopez said he was going to bring the party to late-night TV and revolutionize the game. Can you do that in just one night? Probably not. But Lopez Tonight debuted on TBS on Monday night, anyhow, and you want to know if you missed out, and if so, what did you miss? Was it "very funny"?
Lopez has been using "Low Rider" as his musical theme for all of his promos, and there it was opening his show on Monday night. "The revolution begins right now!" Lopez declared to the audience. In English and en Espanol! "This is what America looks like," he told them. "It's young, and it's old. It is black. It is white. It is Asian. It is Latino." This has been his push, his mantra, his goal, to hit all of the demographics. But why is the audience continuing to stand during his monologue? Do they not have chairs in this studio? Meanwhile, Lopez gets in a topical joke on Sammy Sosa and one not-so topical (unless you're going literal) about Sinbad. There's also an edit or two. You see that sometimes in panel interviews, but in monologues? How long did he talk for last night? Or was it to cut out language — he was joking about saying the word "bitch" right before one jump. Lopez got about 10 minutes on the air, which could be seen as too long, but for an established stand-up, better to lead with what you're known/loved best for, right? Draw the viewers in. Roll the clip!
Ellen DeGeneres made a stunt appearance in her robe and pajamas to deliver his mail, saying she had his old office, and also offered up a couple of nice things about Lopez: "This is a very important show to add to our television. Everybody needs to be represented on television, so I'm very happy for him." Then, to play a game about stereotyping appearances, he brought two audience members up onstage to weigh in on people interviewed on the streets of Hollywood. Will the answers surprise you? What about the lady asking the questions? Let's roll that clip…after the jump…
As far as the interview segments go, I'm not sure you really can gauge this show by the first night — unless things went horribly (see: Chase, Chevy) — because most of a debut is spent talking about how it's a debut and how they're all just so happy to be there. Eva Longoria Parker failed on a stripper pole. Guests can enter through a door that brings them up in between audience sections. I suppose these things add to a "party" atmosphere. That and the jello shots. Kobe Bryant said trash talk in Spanish that got everyone whooping in a way that made it seem like you couldn't say it on TV in English. Audience members screamed, and a couple of them were allowed to ask questions (one of Bryant's questioners was Derek Fisher). And for his first musical guest: Carlos Santana. Predictable? Maybe. But upon first impression, this could become the worthy successor to The Arsenio Hall Show.
Let's just see where this thing goes from here.