Since the ABC comedy “George Lopez” ended in 2007, Lopez has been making movies, hosting a talk show, performing stand-up dates and even making news for a quick nap he took on a casino floor. He’s now returning to the sitcom world.
If his 10-episode tryout “Saint George” is a hit on FX, he won’t have much time for all of those other activities.
The new comedy has Lopez playing a divorced, working-class Mexican American-turned-successful entrepreneur who gets caught between two cultures: the parenting demands of his Anglo ex-wife and the cultural expectations of his overbearing Mexican-American mother.
Complicating his life are a freeloading uncle (Danny Trejo) and cousin (David Zayas) and his job as a high-school teacher.
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Playing a teacher gives Lopez an avenue to talk about a lot of different topics. Many of those will come from his own life — a popular place for Lopez to mine his material. On “George Lopez,” a continuing theme was his absentee father and overbearing mother.
It took Lopez a while to land his first sitcom because his early material wasn’t as focused as the routines by comedians such as Tim Allen, Ray Romano and Jerry Seinfeld. Once he began to concentrate on jokes about his family and cultural differences, his act became a valuable source of sitcom comedy.
That his life has been such a wealth of material makes the new show’s title even funnier, especially after he was arrested last week at a Canadian casino where he was performing a multinight gig. The official statement from Lopez is: “Tied one on last night. Not feeling great this morning. I was trying to sleep it off. Unfortunately, it was on the casino floor.”
But, when talking about the name of his new show, Lopez laughingly says: “It’s a pretty interesting title. You don’t become a saint until the end of your life. How you live your life depends on whether you become a saint. The show will explore my imperfections, which would take me past the 90 episodes. Not sure I’ll become a saint any time soon.”