‘George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half’ Review: While funny and profane, the politics feels off and lacks depth
Barring his problematic bits, Lopez makes for a good show. His imitations of Mexican-Americanisms are hilarious, observations within his family and his community are astute and his energy is infectious
Spoilers for ‘George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half’
There are stand-up comedy specials that leave you thinking. Where, after the show is over, you ponder on the lessons you learned. You think about the ideas that had never occurred to you before. And you wonder how a comedy special could have had such an impact on you. ‘George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half’ is not one of them.
Make no mistake, Lopez is often hilarious. His profane, bi-lingual act has its moments and will make you laugh till you cry. Even some of the antiquated humor in the show will instinctively extract an unexpected snort out of you. But for all that it is, what ‘We’ll Do It For Half’ is not is profound.
Filmed at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, California, the one-hour special is full of jokes about the Mexican-American experience, how Latinx families behave, farts (lots of it), and comparing “Chicanos” with “white people”. And bookending this act is some political commentary. Not a lot.
While the commentary itself is not wishy-washy -- Lopez takes direct digs at President Donald Trump, and talks about immigration policies, school shootings, racial profiling, and police violence -- it feels a little forced at times, almost as if Lopez believes he’s expected to make statements on race and politics. His political material was good, and often funny, just somewhat out of place.
Coming back to the set itself, it was a little replete with anecdotes and tales that reinforced certain old-world notions regarding respect and behavior. It’s not that Lopez’s ideas are outdated -- those in the age bracket of the 59-year-old comic would certainly appreciate them -- but it sounds an awful lot like an old man whining about the new generation.
Add to that, some of his jokes are downright insensitive, especially when he talks about teachers having sex with students in school, basically child sexual abuse. And there are some sexist undertones to some of his material about wives.
But it would be foolish not to expect this from a comic who is about to complete six decades on the Earth. It is, if not foolish, at least somewhat naive to imagine an older comic adhering to certain woke ideas. This is not to say that Lopez’s politics is not progressive. On the race and identity front, Lopez is golden.
Barring his problematic bits, Lopez makes for a good show. His imitation of Mexican-Americanisms is hilarious. His observations within his family and his community are astute. And his energy is infectious. There is not one boring moment in the set.
So what if a stand-up comedy special is not profound. Not everyone is Dave Chapelle, or Hannah Gadsby, or even Bo Burnham. Some people are just George Lopez. And George Lopez is a riot.
‘George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half’ is available for viewing on Netflix.