George Lopez pulled no punches in his monologue Wednesday night when he commented on the news announced earlier that day that TBS had cancelled his late-night show.
Naturally, his remarks were styled as monologue jokes, but they implied that Lopez believes the cards were stacked against him because of his ethnicity. As host of “Lopez Tonight,” which will now end its run Thursday night (Aug. 11) at midnight (11:30c) after two seasons, Lopez was the first Mexican-American to host a late-night show on U.S. TV.
“Please, settle down, settle down,” he said when he opened Wednesday’s show to thunderous applause. “I only have ’til tomorrow night!”
He then did several jokes lamenting the status of Latinos in the entertainment business – even mentioning the “Smurfs” movie, in which he supplied the voice of Grouchy.
“In case you didn’t hear the news, TBS has decided not to renew ‘Lopez Tonight’,” he said, “but that’s alright. So, hey, did you guys see the news? Unemployment is at an all-time high and for Latinos, it just got a little higher!”
“I did get some good news this morning,” he continued. “Sony announced they’re doing a sequel to the Smurfs movie. So today I lost some work because I’m brown, but also I got some work because I’m blue!”
He thanked his bandleader, Michael Bearden, who’s African-American. “But you know what? It’s been great every night to work with the [band, the] Ese Vatos and, of course, with Michael Bearden,” Lopez said. “We’re not saying good-bye. We’re saying, Cable doesn’t work!”
Then he added: “The next time you see a Latino and a black guy together [on TV] – Ortiz-Mayweather in Las Vegas!”
As for his future plans, he joked that he’ll adopt Charlie Sheen’s lifestyle. “Everybody asks, What are going to do now? Like every TV star before me, I’m [going to] find some crack! I’m-a get on the pipe!” he said. “ . . . But I’m taking it good, believe me. I’m fine. My goddesses are a wreck! They left me!”
Meanwhile, on TBS’s other late-night show, Conan O’Brien reacted to the “Lopez” cancellation as if George had died. Here’s what Conan had to say:
“I wanna take one second right now and talk about something serious. Today, not long ago, a couple of hours ago, it was announced that TBS is not renewing George Lopez’s show for a third season and I have very strong feelings about this and I wanted to talk about it. Had it not been for George being so incredibly supportive of me a year-and-a-half ago, I would not have come to TBS and we would not be doing this show right now. I owe that man a lot and frankly, it makes me very sad that TBS and George could not work this out. I really like being part of a late-night lineup with George and I wish that this could have continued. So tonight, all of our thoughts are with George and his entire staff and crew. We understand, believe me, how hard this is for all of you and we wish you all the best.”
Of course, there are some who say the arrival of “Conan” weekdays at 11/10c on TBS is what ultimately doomed “Lopez” after O’Brien’s arrival forced Lopez to move to midnight.