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‘George Lopez: The Wall Live! From Washington, D.C.’ Tells HBO Viewers To F— Trump

Where to Stream

George Lopez: The Wall-Live from Washington D.C.

Live TV still means something special in the Streaming Age.

When it comes to stand-up comedy, broadcasting a comedian’s live performance comes closest to capturing the energy and magic of watching stand-up in person in a comedy club. Plus: Filming a stand-up comedy special live as it happens ensures all of the jokes you hear are as fresh as possible, none of them made obsolete by headlines made in the weeks and months after a taping wraps.

Which, for George Lopez, filming his fourth HBO solo comedy special live this past Saturday night, meant he could reference the phone call transcript that the Washington Post had just published two days earlier between Donald Trump and the president of Mexico, mocking Trump even more explicitly about how he pleaded with Mexico to stop saying they won’t pay for a new border wall.

All of which neatly tied into the title of Lopez’s latest stand-up special, George Lopez: The Wall Live! From Washington D.C.

In the five years since his previous live HBO comedy special (2012’s It’s Not Me, It’s You, also directed by Troy Miller), Lopez, now 56, saw one sitcom come and go (Saint George, 2014-2014, FX), endured an embarrassing episode in a Canadian casino, took down a heckler in a video that went viral, launched a semi-autobiographical sitcom that’s made it at least two seasons so far (Lopez, 2016-present, TVLand), and teamed up with two “Original Kings of Comedy” for a national tour and an upcoming TV series based on their antics, The Comedy Get Down on BET.

And then there’s Trump. As a Mexican-American, Lopez has lots to say about the man in the White House. By the end of the hour, he does so. Most explicitly. What about the other 58 minutes, though?

Original comedy king and Comedy Get Down co-star Cedric The Entertainer and record producer/jeweler Ben Baller walk with Lopez backstage as the HBO camera lights come on, hyping him up. Ced then delivers his introduction, and Lopez strides onstage in a black on black on black suit, with a modified paneled version of an upside-down American flag behind him. Lopez says he had performed 10 times before at The Kennedy Center, but “this place has never looked like this.”

“We’ll be speaking some Spanish tonight,” Lopez says. “I’ll sprinkle in some English for the seven Caucasians who are here.”

Everyone can figure out how he feels about the current president. “Donald Trump? F— that puto!” Lopez exclaims. “F— him today, f— him tomorrow, and f— him three and a half years from now! And if you voted for him, f— you today, f— you tomorrow, and f— you three and a half years from now!” Then, noting the broadcast is live and coming from D.C., he adds: “So if you hear I died tomorrow, I didn’t OD!”

Photo: HBO

Much of the hour revolves around Trump, his hatred for immigrants and the hatred he’s inspired, despite the positive impact immigrants make to the American economy, as well as how Mexicans and Latinos are still in fact different from white people and even from Lopez himself as a Mexican born in America.

First, though, Lopez declares that the American dream bestowed upon all of us from the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution should make the word “minority” obsolete. “Minority means I’m less than you,” he says. “There are no minorities because we are all equal!”

So when someone tells an immigrant to “go back to where you came from,” Lopez jokes you should ask the same of them, too, and see how they like it.

The actual arguments for and against immigrants haven’t really changed much in a generation, at least when it comes to Mexicans and Latinos. Lopez retraces the argument, though, in case you’ve forgotten who’s raising your kids, cooking your meals and picking your grapes for wine. Lopez recalled his elders trying to talk him into a summer job picking tomatoes as a teen in Sacramento. He didn’t want to do that, and joked about how as an adult, he only realized how American he was when he traveled to Mexico, comparing himself to a zoo lion released into the jungle.

Then again, he’s not as needy or as sheltered as kids today, and Lopez cracks wise about the things kids of all races and ethnicities get away with now that his parents would never let stand. That chunk of material may be boilerplate, including some more examples Lopez gives of how Latino families and white families are different.

But Lopez also has succinct comebacks for haters: “Don’t worry about it. Be successful.” And for everybody who asks him about the so-called wall with Mexico? Lopez’s reply hits both literally and emotionally: “We’ll get over it.”

Sean L. McCarthy works the comedy beat for his own digital newspaper, The Comic’s Comic; before that, for actual newspapers. Based in NYC but will travel anywhere for the scoop: Ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes with comedians revealing origin stories: The Comic’s Comic Presents Last Things First.

Watch George Lopez: The Wall, Live from Washington D.C. on HBO Go

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