George Lopez - Biography

Comedian George Lopez
Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images


April 23, 1961

George Lopez Overview:

As the premiere Latino comedian in America, George Lopez has become the comic voice of the Hispanic community. Combining tough criticism and honest observations about being Mexican in America, Lopez's comedy is highly reminiscent of Richard Pryor in its frankness. As the former star of his own family sitcom and TBS talk show, Lopez brings a refreshing honesty to TV that other comedians in his position have not before; maybe that's why Lopez has been so openly critical of a number of comics, including Jay Leno and Carlos Mencia (whom Lopez accused of ripping off his act).

Quick George Lopez Facts:

  • George Lopez was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1961.
  • He began performing comedy in 1983.
  • Lopez released his first stand-up album, Alien Nation, in 1996. He has subsequently released three more albums.
  • His first stand-up special, George Lopez: Why You Crying?, premiered on Showtime in 2005.
  • In 2002, Lopez starred on and produced his own ABC sitcom, called George Lopez. The series ran for six seasons.
  • Lopez began hosting his own late-night talk show, Lopez Tonight, on TBS in November of 2009.

George Lopez Discography:

  • Alien Nation (1996) (CD)
  • Right Now, Right Now (2001) (CD)
  • Team Leader (2003) (CD)
  • George Lopez: Why You Crying? (2005) (Stand-up Special)
  • El Mas Chingon (2006) (CD)
  • America's Mexican (2007) (Stand-up Special)
  • Tall, Dark and Chicano (2009) (Stand-up Special)
  • It's Not Me, It's You (2012) (Stand-up Special)

George Lopez Early Life:

Born in Mission Hills in Los Angeles, California, in 1961, comedian George Lopez was deserted by both his parents by the age of 10. Raised by his maternal grandmother, Lopez toughened up early in life. Both his family situation and growing up Hispanic in America would later inform his comedy in a huge way. He began performing stand-up in Los Angeles comedy clubs in the 1980s and continued to perform through the rest of the decade and throughout the 1990s when he would also branch off into some acting work (with roles in films like Ski Patrol and Fatal Instinct).

George Lopez on Television:

Having found success as a stand-up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Lopez developed his own family sitcom for ABC. Premiering in 2002, George Lopez (produced by actress Sandra Bullock) made the comedian one of the only Latino stars on TV and became one of the few sitcoms to focus on a Latino family. ABC canceled the show after six seasons (after much public criticism from Lopez), but the series remained a hit in syndication and in reruns on Nick at Nite.

In 2009, Lopez was announced as the host of his own late-night talk show, Lopez Tonight, on TBS. Though it debuted strong, the show had to be pushed back to accommodate Conan O'Brien's talk show Conan when it premiered on TBS. After two seasons on the air, Lopez Tonight was canceled in 2011.

In 2014, Lopez became the star of his own FX series Saint George. The show lasted only one season.

Additional George Lopez Facts:

  • In addition to his comedy and TV work, Lopez is a devoted humanitarian. He and his wife Ann started their own charity and have helped raise funds for the Latino community and for earthquake victims in El Salvador and Guatemala. Lopez has been given several awards for his charity efforts, including being named an honorary mayor of Los Angeles, the 2004 Artist and Humanitarian of the Year from Harvard University and was named one of the "25 Most Influential Hispanics in America" by Time magazine in 2005.
  • He hosted a radio show in the late '90s and was the first Latino to host a top-rated English-language show in Los Angeles, the country's biggest market.
  • Lopez has twice hosted the Latin Grammy Awards and was a co-host of the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2003.
  • He worked as a contributor and commentator for HBO's  Inside the NFL from 2003 to 2004.
  • He has performed with the Latin Kings of Comedy and starred in the 2002 concert film The Original Latin Kings of Comedy.
  • Lopez suffers from a degenerative kidney disease. In 2005, Lopez received a kidney transplant from his wife -- but not until shooting had wrapped on the fourth season of his sitcom so that his staff wouldn't be put out of work.
  • He had a recurring role as the mayor of Reno on the Comedy Central series.
  • In 2007, Lopez was the subject of a documentary, called Brown is the New Green: George Lopez and the American Dream.
  • Lopez has provided voices for a number of animated films including  Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Smurfs, Escape from Planet Earth and Rio.