“What can brown do for you?” George Lopez inquired to his audience during his weekend stint at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The question was met with a hefty reply of a thousand different kinds of laughter. Despite the heavy and rather general emphasis that particular query pondered, Lopez proved he could do a lot for our sense of humor, leaving no natural disaster, celebrity, or food chain unscathed. Saturday night at the Santa Barbara Bowl, no one was safe from Lopez’s comedic onslaught.
I’m no stranger to Lopez’s sense of, at times, ethnically centered humor, and having seen his previous stand-up acts, Why You Crying? and America’s Mexican, I went in expecting similarly slanted material. Although some parts were recycled, Lopez used current events and popular celebrities as inspiration. Zac Efron and all that is High School Musical were dished out a healthy serving of verbal brutality, as was the conversion of traditional Mexican food into Taco Bell. “A burrito is never a wrap and tortillas are never referred to as flat bread,” asserted Lopez to the crowd’s delight.
Of course, political matters were up for grabs as well. Lopez, to the audience’s surprise, “outed” various celebrities as Latin, even our very own president, Barack Obama. His reasoning: “He lives in a house that he does not own and spends money he does not have.” As politically incorrect a statement that may have read, Lopez’s jokes kept the audience rip-roaring with laughter, rarely allowing for even a moment of silence. The night’s background music, aside Lopez’s signature “Low Rider” entrance jam, was made up of endless giggling, and he received occasional standing ovations for a number of his punch lines.
“Different people” was a reoccurring theme throughout Lopez’s set, as he compared and contrasted a Frappuccino-lovers’ lifestyle with that of a hardworking Mexican. Perhaps most interesting, though, was that Lopez, who concluded the act with a juxtapositions of Latinos and pretty much everybody else, left the stage to the tune of War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” Yes George, why can’t we all just be friends?