Google+

Comedy Icon Talks about Entertaining the Troops on Overseas Tour

 

George Lopez

The “I Am Battle Comic” Interview

with Kam Williams

Comedy Icon Talks about Entertaining the Troops on Overseas Tour   

George Lopez’s multi-faceted career has encompassed standup comedy, TV series, feature films, and hosting and guest appearances on television. For two seasons, he starred on TBS’ “Lopez Tonight,” a late-night television talk show.

George Lopez,  The “I Am Battle Comic” Interview, U.S troops, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, comedy tour, military,  heartfelt interviews

Previously, he co-created, wrote, produced and stared on the groundbreaking sitcom “George Lopez,” which enjoyed a six season-run on ABC. The series remains a hit with viewers in syndication on both broadcast stations and cable’s Nick at Nite.

In 2006, George received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, Time magazine has named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America.

Here, he talks about his new movie, I Am Battle Comic, a concert film about a tour he and 13 other comedians took overseas to entertain troops stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain. 

Kam Williams: Hi George, I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with someone so successful at standup, with a sitcom and hosting your own talk show. Just mastering one of those would be very impressive, but accomplishing all three is quite a phenomenal feat.

George Lopez: Well, thanks Kam. Let me say that this is the best start of any interview that I’ve ever had.

KW: I’m not even factoring in your challenging childhood where your migrant farm worker father abandoned your mom when you were a toddler. And then she left you to be raised by her parents. That makes your success utterly implausible.

GL: Thank you. You know, my grandmother’s been gone since 2009. She had dementia since about 2005. It was very painful to watch. My grandfather passed in ’88. So much time has passed that, when I think of him, it’s so far back, it feels almost like a silent movie. He’s gone so long that I can’t remember ten things we did together. Just maybe one or two.    

KW: I’m sorry to hear that.

GL: Still, when I reflect on my life, I wouldn’t change one thing. I feel that like in the movie Slumdog Millionaire, everything has a purpose. I believe that everything that happens to you is currency for you down the line. Now, it all makes sense.   

KW: What interested you in I Am Battle Comic? I don’t remember ever crying so much while watching a standup comedy film. It was really moving. 

GL: That project is amazing. I’ve known [co-star] Don Barnhart forever, and Bob Kubota, Jordan Brady and all those other comedians, a long, long time, too. In the movie, they talk about Bob not being successful after almost 30 years in the business. But you know what? If you’re going to war zones to entertain the troops, you are successful. The culture may put a superficial value on celebrity, and associate success with fame. But success really has much more to do with your character and behavior beyond the limelight. It,s not only successful, but honorable, for those guys to go over there to entertain the troops in such dangerous conditions.    

KW: How do you tweak your standup act when performing for G.I.’s?

GL: It has to be clean, and there a certain subjects you need to avoid, like jokes complaining about how hard your own life is, George Lopez,  The “I Am Battle Comic” Interview, U.S troops, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, comedy tour, military,  heartfelt interviewsbecause their lives are at risk 24/7. But it’s pretty easy to make the adjustment. Normally, the #1 worry of any standup comedian is: how am I going to do? But that doesn’t matter when you’re performing on a military base in a war zone. Your just showing up is greatly appreciated. That’s an unspoken standing ovation. Since I had the TV shows, I’ve been getting a lot of letters from soldiers asking for autograph pictures or this and that. And I’ve always sent stuff to them. So, when I show up in person, they can’t believe I’m there, and they’re ‘re so appreciative of that that there’s no need to worry about how much I make them laugh.   

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: Has there been any soldier you really connected with?

GL: Sure. One from years ago was a corporal serving in Afghanistan named David Wheat. He’d been burned over 90% of his body after being ejected from a tank and landing in a pool of fuel. I went to visit him while he was recuperating in the hospital  He was burned worse than anyone I’ve ever seen. I gave him my email and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.    

KW: Patricia was also wondering whether your visits change the mood of the soldiers you entertain?

GL: Of course, by taking them away from themselves for a couple of hours or so. During that time, they’re not thinking about how dangerous their their situation is, people they miss back home, or lost comrades. The show is an escape, much like going to the movies. 

KW: And she asks: What did you take away from going on these tours? 

GL: That’s a great question, Patricia, because the country is so divided today, not only racially, but between the right and the left. I get a ton of messages from right-wing people who don’t like my ethnicity or my political views. But before this current administration, no one ever told me they didn’t think I was funny. What I take away from performing for the troops is that their service gives me the freedom to express myself in whatever way feels right for me.

KW: The country is so divided and internet trolls have become so snarky and hateful, I wonder where the world is headed.

GL: Kam, I’ve been doing standup for 38 years, and I’ve never seen it like this. Freedom is supposed to mean being able to express yourself. But now, inside this freedom ball, you have people pointing fingers, which is actually anti-freedom, and anti-American. I get hostile messages every day on Instagram, like “Go back to Mexico!” How am I going to go back to Mexico. I’m not from Mexico. But I never started hearing stuff like that until a couple of years ago  And I get it every day now.

KW: That’s so sad.

GL: It’s amazing that someone needs to take time out of their life to wish me bad. And they don’t seem to be able to separate humor from reality or to look any deeper than the immediacy of whatever that message is.

KW: Patricia’s last question is: Did you have a role model who when you were young who made you believe that the sky was the limit?

GL: Yeah, my high school baseball coach, Steve Marden. When I quit the team my senior year, we went nose-to-nose. He called me a quitter and told me I’d never achieve anything in life, because I was a quitter. Then, when I was an aspiring standup comic, it dawned on me that he was right. And years later, I went back to the school to apologize to him for wasting his time. I said, “You were right, and I had to come and tell you I’m sorry, because I did eventually understand what you were trying to teach me.” He appreciated it, and would call me whenever he saw me on TV, and ask, “How’s my 3rd baseman!”

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

GL: I always carry an amulet from the Chinese Year of the Ox, that a fan gave me after a show in 2002. She said that it would bring me good luck, if I always kept with me. 

KW: Thanks again for the time, George, and best of luck with the film.

GL: It’s been a pleasure, Kam.

To order a copy of I Am Battle Comic on DVD, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071HV6MZ5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 Source:  Baret News

 

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

Mother-Daughter Vacation Nightmare Comedy Comes to Home Video

  Snatched Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Mother-Daughter Vacation Nightmare Comedy Comes to Home Video Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) is just having one of those days. First, she's fired from her sales job in a boutique for irresponsibly ignoring customers in order to try on outfits for herself. Second, her boyfriend (Randall Park) callously dumps her on the eve of their planned romantic getaway to Ecuador, stating, "You don't have any … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on various issues, but it is the King of the Jungle who will be taking center stage. For those who are … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Fall Fishing at it’s Best in South Louisiana

  Fall Fishing at it’s Best in South Louisiana By Craig Lamb Think fall and what comes to mind is tailgating before going into the stadium to cheer on the home team. Spending a lazy afternoon watching a marathon of pro games on the big screen. Fall is also a great time to trade in that remote control for a fishing rod. In fact, it can be the best time to go fishing for many inshore species. Like you, those fish enjoy the cooler weather. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On the same day, fans of Oregon State and Colorado State will see an active match-up, and Portland … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Get Your Groove On! Visit Music City U.S.A.

  Get Your Groove On! Visit Music City U.S.A. by Amy Lignor   For some, it seems like choosing a vacation destination is extremely difficult. However, if you’re looking for a perfect “menu” that includes: sites to see, history to be learned, the best restaurants imaginable, and enjoying the heck out of each and every day while listening to the ‘best of the best’ music imaginable, then there is only one … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Business

Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

  Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need by Amy Lignor   The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]