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Born: April 23, 1961 (Age 46 as of 2008) (Los Angeles, California, United States)
Category: Stand-up Comedy, Television, Film
Years Active: 1983 to Present
Type of Humour: Observational Comedy, Satire
Subjects: Mexican American culture, race relations, childhood, family
Influences: Richard Pryor, Freddie Prinze, Cheech & Chong, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Paul Mooney
Influenced: Carlos Mencia
Spouse: Ann Serrano (1 child)
He (born April 23, 1961) is an American comedian and actor, one of the most prominent Mexican-Americans from within the Latino communities to be recognized in mainstream North American popular culture. He is perhaps best known for starring in his own produced television sitcom show entitled George Lopez.
His difficult childhood served as the basis on which he would build a career by finding the humor in his experiences and in the Mexican-American community in general. These experiences would be transformed into material that he would soon use for his stand up comedy acts.
George Lopez became a stand-up comedian using his Mexican-American heritage as an attraction to Mexicans. Much of his comedy is based on his experiences in childhood, and that of the Mexican-American community in general. He has released four albums of recorded stand-up comedy shows, the first of which was "Alien Nation" in 1996, as well as Right Now Right Now and Team Leader, which was nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. He released El Mas Chingon in September 2006. On television Lopez has appeared on The Latin Kings of Comedy, where he was a guest star along with other top Latino stand-up comedians. His first stand-up comedy special, George Lopez Why You Crying?, premiered on Showtime. His second special, America's Mexican, was broadcast live on HBO on February 24, 2007.
Lopez had made his mark as a comedian, performing at several clubs around the country and even making appearances on television shows and comedy specials by the late 1980s. In the 1990s, he made the transition to films with comedies such as Ski Patrol (1990) and Fatal Instinct (1993). Despite his growing television career, he continued to perform his stand-up comedy and recorded several comedy albums.
George Lopez was recently a cast member and commentator for HBO’s hit sports show Inside the NFL for the 2003-2004 football season. He is a two-time host of the Latin Grammy Awards and a co-host of the Emmy Awards. He recently starred in the ABC Wonderful World of Disney Christmas film Naughty or Nice. He also starred in the Robert Rodríguez-directed film The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl which opened in June 2005.
He will guest star as the Mayor of Reno, Nevada in the new season of Reno 911! in 2008.
In 2005 George Lopez faced some health challenges as he suffered from a genetic disorder, which caused his kidneys to deteriorate. That same year, he received a kidney transplant from his wife Ann. An episode of the show, and The Naked Brothers Band was based on this. It is also mentioned briefly in a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, where Larry David seeks inside information from him about the "kidney consortium". Since then, the couple has become spokespeople for the National Kidney Foundation.
The Television Series
In 2000, after several years of performing stand-up comedy, Lopez was approached by actress Sandra Bullock for him to produce and star in a comedy. Bullock was concerned about the lack of Hispanic-oriented sitcoms on American television and pushed to get a sitcom on television that starred Hispanics without being exclusively about the Hispanic American community. ABC, who had been criticized by Hispanic American groups for lack of Latinos on their television shows, quickly picked up the television series.
In 2002, he became one of the few Latinos to star in a television comedy series, following in the footsteps of Freddie Prinze and Desi Arnaz. The George Lopez show is an American situation comedy that originally aired on ABC from 2002 to 2007.
As of 2007, it is the second-longest running sitcom in television history of those that have starred Hispanic actors, after I Love Lucy. George Lopez is the co-creator, writer, producer, and star of the sitcom. It broke new ground for Hispanics on TV in a way similar to how "The Cosby Show" (to which it has been compared) broke new ground for blacks.
On March 8, 2007, it was announced that he would join the Nick at Nite lineup and it was first aired on September 10, 2007. On May 15, 2007, the series was cancelled by ABC.
Lopez criticized Jay Leno, someone he once considered a "close friend", during an interview on radio station WOMX-FM in Orlando, Florida on January 24, 2007, stating: "He's the biggest two-faced dude in TV." He also called him a back-stabber, and said he is not a proficient interviewer.
He is also known for his conflict with Carlos Mencia. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Lopez accused Mencia of appropriating 13 minutes of his material in Mencia's HBO special. He also claimed he had a physical altercation with Mencia over the alleged appropriation.
In his HBO special America's Mexican, George Lopez made a rant towards Erik Estrada. He claimed that when he was younger, they were filming an episode of CHiPs in George's neighborhood. So Lopez went up to Estrada looking for a handshake; Erik would not shake his hand. So he made it clear that he disrespected him. He used his new text message acronym F.T.P.(Fuck That Puto). He said that he had made it without Estrada's handshake. He also made it clear that he is not afraid of what Estrada could do. Lopez was quoted, "What's he going to do? 'I dont want to buy Swampland.'"
A native of Los Angeles who grew up in San Fernando Valley’s Mission Hills, Lopez devotes much time to the community. His own charity, The George & Ann Lopez-Richie Alarcon CARE Foundation, provides significant community and arts resources for education. He has received the Manny Mota Foundation Community Spirit Award and was named Honorary Mayor of Los Angeles for his extensive fund-raising efforts benefiting earthquake victims in El Salvador and Guatemala. In February 2004, He was presented the 2004 Artist of the Year and Humanitarian Award by Harvard University, presented by its president and dean for his artistic work and charitable endeavors.
Lopez has received several honors for his work and contributions to the Latino community. In September 2004, he was honored with the "Spirit of Liberty Award" presented by People for the American Way. In August 2005, Time magazine recognized George as one of "The 25 Most Influential Hispanics In America".
On free time in the summer, Lopez would be a summer school teacher. He was a teacher at Evergreen Valley High School, Piedmont Hills High School, and Leland High School, all in San Jose, California.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2006.
One of his comedy albums, Team Leader, was released to great public acclaim and was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. He also wrote an autobiography entitled Why You Crying, which was released on the Touchstone/Fireside division of Simon & Schuster and entered in the New York Times Bestsellers top twenty. His previous best-selling CD Right Now Right Now was released in 2001. The book is co-written by Emmy Award winning writer and sportscaster Armen Keteyian.
Maintaining an extremely active schedule as a stand-up comedian, George is a sell-out attraction coast to coast and has headlined concerts at various venues: Las Vegas Hilton, Foxwoods Casino, ARCO Arena in Sacramento, the Town Hall in New York, the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Francisco, Next Stage in Dallas, SBC Center in San Antonio, Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA, Dodge Theater in Phoenix, San Jose State University Events Center in San Jose, CA, and has performed for the President at the historic Ford's Theatre in Washington, D. C.. In December 2004 he set an attendance record at Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles with seven consecutive sold-out performances and over 42,000 in total attendance. Lopez's live comedy concert Why You Crying? debuted on Showtime, Memorial Day weekend in 2004.
George Lopez has earned praise for his performance in the HBO Films drama, "Real Women Have Curves", which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received the 2002 Audience Award. Previously, he was featured in the drama Bread and Roses. The film, directed by British filmmaker Ken Loach, received critical acclaim after its premier at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2001, George Lopez hosted a major morning radio for Clear Channel Communications in Los Angeles. He was the first Latino to have headlined the keystone morning radio slot on an English-language station in LA—the nation’s top radio market. He received the 2003 Imagen Vision Award, 2003 Latino Spirit Award for Excellence in Television, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Award.
He was a featured celebrity golfer in The 2004 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the 2004 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He and his pro partner finished third in the Pebble Beach event. Lopez was the top ranking celebrity at completion of the golf tournament. Since 2006 Lopez has served as the host of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Below is a list of his awards and accomplishments:
2003 — Imagen Vision Award 2003 — Latino Spirit Award for Excellence in Television
National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Award
2004 — Spirit of Liberty Award
2005 — Recognized by Time magazine as one of "The 25 Most Influential Hispanics In America".
1990 Ski Patrol
1993 Fatal Instinct 2000 Bread and Roses
2002 Real Women Have Curves
2005 Yours, Mine & Ours
2005 The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl
2007 Balls of Fury
2007 Tortilla Heaven
2008 South of the Border
2008 Swing Vote
2008 Henry Poole is Here
2002 The George Lopez Show
2007 The Show Ended Discography
1996 Alien Nation
2001 Right Now Right Now 2002 Team Leader
2006 El Mas Chingon
2007 America's Mexican
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