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Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday Night Live Skits - Grrrrr!

There was a skit that ran this past weekend (19Nov2011) on SNL that had to do with finding a replacement for Regis on ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’. In the skit, they interviewed an actor playing the character of George Lopez, and when he was asked what “he will bring to the show”, he answered with, “I can do a lot to change the landscape of the show; and I should know about landscaping, because I’m Latino”, or something like that. The skit was sort of funny, but I didn’t laugh at that part.

It’s always either ‘gangster’ or ‘gardener’ with Latino stereotypes, and that’s certainly not anything new. I perhaps didn’t really see it when I was younger, and for the most part, I was oblivious to anything outside of my world. As I got older and found myself out in the working world though, the perceptions became more apparent. Certainly, because of the issues with illegal immigration over the past few years, the discussions and rhetoric have been even louder, and the perceptions solidified.

The stereotypes and perception always get to me. They’re a very common in America, and they are also something that I am trying to change in my own way, through my writing and novels. It is why my protagonists will always be Latinos or Latinas. I aim to perpetuate a new image of Latinos that does not exist in today’s media.

I’m not knocking the SNL show itself. For one thing, the actor that played the part of George Lopez (Fred Armisen) is part Latino. I’ve also been watching SNL for years, and they, a lot like my uncle, make fun of everyone, equally. I am not picking on the general media either. I think it is up to us Latinos to change the image and stereotypes that others have of us, and those that we have of ourselves. It is through education and economic success that we can begin out number the “gardeners” and “gangsters” that seem to emanate the strongest. It is only then that we can force the change in the perceptions that exist today.


  1. So blame George Lopez. The skit was knocking him, not Latinos. I used to find him funnier, and still do at times, but on his talk show he started going out of his way to make jokes about how Latinos are illegal immigrants, or coyotes for other illegals, criminals, drunkards, parents of bastards, poor, ghetto, illiterate, dumb, uneducated, unemployed, drive crappy cars, or bounce around with a gang in lowriders (He even used the song Low Rider for his sitcom AND talk show). He started forcing jokes with guests all the time about how this relates to being a Latino, or how 'you an honorary Latino cause you do some sort of thing etc...' When Bill COsby does comedy, his stories have nothing to do with being black or not. It's just life. Even the stories of his childhood aren't about the racism I'm sure he encountered. It was just about loving life and overcoming poverty and hardship.

    Don't hate on SNL. Lopez is the one at fault, and that's who they're rightfully mocking

  2. @Ryan. Thanks for that comment. I wasn't really seeing things from that angle, but you're right about GLopez. I went to a show taping of his a long time ago, and he came off pretty arrogant. He seems like the kind of guy that really let his fame and money get to his head.

    Either way, my puff piece wasn't really about him or SNL. It was about the Latin stereotypes in America. The SNL skit was just a trigger in my mind. The stereotypes do exist, and it's up to the Latinos in America to change that.

  3. Indeed. As a white Irishman, I wish you luck. get a load of this. I forgot to bookmark your page so I had to google the joke quote to find it again. I came across this. Lopez himself actually did make that comment one time. Too bad he can't use it to springboard into broader comedy, or project a more positive image rather than stereotypes

  4. thanks for that link, Ryan. Glopez does it again. What a class act (not!)