Thursday’s episode of Lopez Tonight was supposed to feature actress Raven and stand-up comedian Auggie Smith. But after TBS announced on Wednesday that it was pulling the plug on George Lopez’s late-night show rather than grant Lopez and his crew a full third-season order, Lopez ripped up the script and invited a bunch of his friends over to celebrate, drink and celebrate some more.
Slash, Sheila E. and Kevin Cronin joined the band, while Russell Peters sat in as an in-studio DJ. The “stand-up comedy” was provided by basketball player Ron Artest — excuse me, Metta World Peace — who joked for only about a minute while Derek Fisher and others looked on. Eva Longoria, who was with Lopez for the start, returned and joked with Lopez about how they were both employed and married two years ago, and now both unemployed and divorced (Longoria’s ABC series, Desperate Housewives, has begun production on its final season this fall).
Arsenio Hall, you ask? Arsenio was in the house, and wrote on Twitter afterward that “TBS cut a lot of ‘very funny’ stuff out” of the finale, including a joke he told about being “brown.” “Come on!” he typed. “Come on! It was just a joke! Well, now there’s another studio that won’t hire me. @TBS not funny.” Hall also sent a message to Lopez over Twitter this morning, suggesting it wasn’t ratings or money that doomed Lopez’s show: “@georgelopez – @TBS created a problem for themselves. U and Conan were demographically incompatible. But u were great! Consistently great!”
As for Lopez, he didn’t joke too much about his cancellation in the monologue, choosing instead to defer the jokes to a recurring bit involving a white girl in the rafters of his Burbank studio at Warner Bros.
And in the final minutes, Lopez chose to turn the cameras onto his still adoring audience, almost all of whom wore Lopez Tonight T-shirts, to show how inclusive and diverse his audience was (compared to the other late-night offerings in America). Lopez once again thanked Sandra Bullock “who 11 years ago, took a chance on me” by getting him onto primetime network TV. And he closed by letting viewers know: “You have just seen the baddest show in late-night.” Roll it one more time.