by Lucas Molandes
That headline sure is exciting, isn’t it? The reason behind Lopez’s eviction is fairly basic: the show had the inability to attract significant viewership in an over-populated late night market.The company’s official statement said, “TBS has reached the difficult decision not to order a third season of Lopez Tonight.” TBS also said that Lopez was “an immensely talented comedian and entertainer.”
Based on the last sentence, it’s safe to conclude that even TBS never actually watched an episode of the show.
I wish I could say I was happy, but I’m feeling a little lost. The way Batman had the Joker, I had the jokeless. For the last few months, Tu Vez has given me the opportunity to highlight and criticize the opportunistic ignorance that is inherent in what Lopez does.
Yeah, Lopez was the first Latino late night talk show host. Yeah, some people see his playful jabs at culture – no matter how cliche – as being necessary for not taking ourselves too seriously. But there’s an irresponsibility to what Lopez did on Lopez Tonight: he created a nationally televised precedent for ignorance to perpetuate itself. No matter how harmless his stereotyping was, he still validated the idea that you can judge a book by its skin tone; you can see heritage as caricature and not as humanity. I’m brown, but I’ve never used my skin color to give me a free-pass for a cheap reaction. The way I see it, just because we have the same color skin doesn’t mean you’re exempt from being racist.
But Lopez traded all of his opportunities to be a role-model in for the magic beans of personal success in show business. And guess what?Ultimately, it didn’t work. And what’s his legacy? He’ll be a trivia question on Jeopardy in a few years. Who was the first Hispanic talk show host in America? Lopez could have been a role model, but he was no better than a brown faced Al Jolson. Lopez Tonight was our minstrel show.
That being said. Orale! What a great week to be a human, whatever your skin color. Where TBS evicted their Hispanic, the NBA has set up Alex Meruelo to become the league’s first Hispanic team owner. Maybe that’s what happened. Can’t have too many Latinos in power all at once, I suppose.I got to thinking, George, because of you I now have a job so I can’t be too much of a hater. So if you’re looking for work, I remember you mentioned the Home Depot parking lot several times during your Lopez Tonight tenure. Maybe you could start looking there for work? Hope that helps. It’s the least I could do.
Also, don’t worry. Lopez will be back soon enough. Be sure to check him and Santana on the Divine Rascals Tour this fall.
Lucas Molandes is a stand-up comedian that has made appearances at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” and CNN”s “Not Just Another Cable News Show.”