“George Lopez: The Aesthetic Elements of his Comedy”
Some shy away from combining hardship with humor given their contrasting nature. But many can identify with the comic spin that Mr. Lopez puts on his culture and upbringing, which even he admits was far from fairytale. My goal is to examine his unique brand of comedy by examining two aesthetic elements of his humor that helps listeners identify with him in the context of common Latino struggles and experiences. In his routines titled “Disneyland” and “Disposable Camera” from his Grammy nominated album Team Leader, Lopez embraces his life experiences and upbringing and uses his talents in comedy to “comically discuss”, if you will, the realities of his childhood and stereotypes that Latinos face even today. In doing so, he engages the audience in something of a dialogue about his experiences and simultaneously establishes commonalities to which they can relate or like many, they simply find him amusing. It is through this dialogue and a certain accompanying comic relief that leads us to discover how George Lopez becomes more than just a comedian, but a comic artist.
First and foremost I believe one of the most important aspects to address is what distinguishes Mr. Lopez’s humor from being simply derogatory. The brand of humor that Mr. Lopez utilizes is one that does not attack his audience, Latinos, or Latino culture. He does not laugh at them. What Mr. Lopez does is use his own experiences to help induce laughter in a manner that more appropriately serves to equalize, which helps create laughter within the community. As a comic artist, he “challenges some of the stereotypes held by the wider society, prompting Anglos to view Hispanics differently and promoting pride among Latino viewers” (Markert). And in doing so, he does not at all attempt to place himself upon a level to “poke fun” at anyone, but rather places himself on the same plateau as his audiences and those who can identify with him.