John Leguizamo's 'Latin History for Morons' review: A TED talk that spits fire!
There's more than one reason to love this set, but if you're a sucker for theatre, 'Latin History for Morons' will definitely be up your alley.
"So tonight's lesson is...Latin history for fucking morons! And that's you!"
John Leguizamo is going back to his roots for his Netflix's new stand up special. Not the obvious roots, but his impeccable comedy timing with 'Latin History for Morons'. The actor, who is best known for his performance as Ozzy Delvecchio from the Netflix series 'Bloodline', holds a special class for this set - the class that tells us what the Latinos contributed to America, meant for, well, morons. The comedy touches on everything from segregation to conquest in a hard-hitting but hilarious manner.
With the class in progress, Leguizamo's nostalgia reveals one thing - history has truly forgotten to add Latinos to the timeline. The 90 minutes set has a lot of lessons - all in Leguizamo's famous mimicry. Exaggerated with thick accents dripping off all of his characters, the set is remarkably funny. The beauty about this Tony award-winning set is that none of the jokes name names - but you know exactly what he's talking about. This reveals just how much truth there is in everything he's saying and how it has seeped into the social fabric like it's no big deal.
"1,000 B.C. to, well, what is this? The age of Pitbull?" he says drawing a timeline of the Latin history. "How did we become so nonexistent?" he asks, "If you don’t see yourself represented outside of yourself, you feel invisible." And he makes a point. American history has had the tendency of whitewashing its heroes and the only time we probably acknowledge the contributions of Latinos is when they rap a little, like Mr. Worldwide.
There's more than one reason to love this set, but if you're a sucker for theatre, 'Latin History for Morons' will definitely be up your alley. It has a lovely combination of eyebrow raises and hand gestures done just right to prove a point. He hops, skips and jumps but never does Leguizamo's theatrics feel over the top. There's almost a vintage feel to it and not because of the filters. His style of comedy is a classic when compared to other Netflix comedy roster sets. The character he creates come very close to Trevor Noah's - but they somehow feel much more in sync with the comic.
'Latin History for Morons' is so over the top, so political and so much like watching an offensive theatre play - it's hard not to get nostalgic. It aims to anger you but just for a minute. This class in session is like a TED talk, with a lot of abuses! The word choices are nothing but absolutely inappropriate in the politically correct scenario but at the same time so appropriate to the set because after all, it is also a history lesson. If you haven't heard it enough yet, the set is hilarious - but it is also extremely informative. Leguizamo talks about the last 500 or so years and packs a punch with commonly known yet willfully ignored lessons like that of Columbus and Montezuma along with ones like Loreta Velasquez.
Mistaken for a Mexican? He's got it. Expected to screw up, because you know, your kind has anger management issues? He's got it. 'Latin History for Morons' is full of cliches, in fact, most of the set is about stereotypes but it does so without being a bad thing.
While he takes us through his family tree and childhood, full of proud uncles and Mr. Flynns who assumed they knew better, there is one character that really is the most endearing one of them all - that of John himself. A doting father trying to teach his son about his rich heritage, John's attempt to make his boy learn goes from being sweet to sinister - but that's just 'Latin History for Morons' for you. This one man show is a must watch!
The show is available to stream on Netflix from November 5.