If you missed George Lopez’s fourth HBO special, The Wall, broadcast live on August 5 from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., get your eyes on your preferred TV catch-up screen now. When he wasn’t straight-up cursing out the President, he was digging into new absurdities generated by this crazy political climate: “It’s amazing to me how documented the undocumented are … you want to see my birth certificate? From what year? How old do you want me to be?”
We spoke with the comedy veteran this week, right after The Wall and right before he returns to the Vegas stage this weekend.
So you really came out firing Saturday. I seem to have upset every mom who has a kid with a peanut allergy. After all of that, that was the thing that got everyone offended?
How has Trump affected your performance and your writing? If I’m going to pull the trigger, I’m not going to squint. I pick my targets. I play places that the tickets don’t sell as well if [the material] is not political, and that’s everyone’s choice; if you know what I’m going to talk about and don’t want to hear it, don’t come. But there are more occasions when they do come. And the twinge of “Go back to Mexico,” of racism and bigotry—that has never been higher at any point in my career, and Donald Trump is directly responsible for all of that. Clearly this motherf*cker has no respect for us, so why would I be apologetic?
Is Las Vegas one of those places that prefers comedy when it’s less political? It’s like a tone knob. Arsenio [Hall] just asked me today what I’m going to do in Vegas. It’s a more general tone. I’ve got so much stuff, so it will be more about those absurdities without as much political stuff.
You’re always working on movies and TV in addition to steady stand-up. What’s on the front burner? In 2019 I will have been doing this for 40 years, so maybe by then I’ll realize if I want to dwindle [from stand-up]. Hopefully, I’ll be producing so much I won’t have to do as much, but I’m one of the few guys who have never been disconnected from it. I really love it. Preparing for this hour [The Wall] was not easy, but it was much more accelerated, way different than the previous three. I’m happy with how it turned out.
George Lopez August 11 & 12, 10 p.m., $60-$87. Mirage, 702-792-7777.