'When I Started It Seemed Virtually Impossible': George Lopez Reflects On Lifetime Of Work In Standup And Sitcoms Ahead Of NBC Return

 George Lopez and Mayan Lopez on NBC's Lopez vs. Lopez Season 2.
George Lopez and Mayan Lopez on NBC's Lopez vs. Lopez Season 2.

George Lopez is a legend in comedy after a career spanning stand-up, television, and film. The actor currently stars in his third sitcom that returns to NBC soon in the 2024 TV schedule, this time opposite real-life daughter Mayan. Recently, ahead of Lopez vs. Lopez Season 2, he looked back on his career and opened up to CinemaBlend about how the entertainment industry has changed since his earlier years.

I spoke with George Lopez at SCAD TVfest in Atlanta, where he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lopez vs. Lopez creator/writer/showrunner Debby Wolfe and Mayan Lopez were on hand at the event and on the red carpet. When I asked the legendary comic what it means to him to look back at his lifetime of work while working opposite his daughter, he shared:

There's much more people involved in the business that look like us than there was 22 years ago, when I first started. Even in the casting, younger kids, social media, great people who are talented at a younger age. I came from a time where people thought you had to be older to be good. You know, old doctors and old lawyers. We've evolved so much that everybody's younger, and they're more talented early. So I'm benefiting from that, but it's also good to see that the legacy and the things that people want to achieve are now possible where before when I started, it seemed virtually impossible.

Social media in fact played a part in the creation of Lopez vs. Lopez, which premiered back in 2022 when creator Debby Wolfe was inspired by Mayan Lopez's TikTok account. The Lifetime Achievement Award honoree joined the show as his third sitcom, following The George Lopez Show for six seasons on ABC and Lopez for two seasons on TV Land. He's also known for his stand-up comedy, and Debby Wolfe praised his ability to perform in front of a live studio audience, with another co-star sharing how he learns from Lopez's "hands on" approach to comedy.

When speaking to the Lopez vs. Lopez trio on the SCAD TVfest red carpet, Wolfe praised George for how "he opened up the doors for us." He responded:

I try to go back in those doors. [laugh] If you get in, stay in. It's hard to get back in, I would tell anybody. Get in, do what you have to do to stay in because it's almost virtually impossible to go twice.

It may be "virtually impossible" to get in the door twice in the entertainment industry, but George Lopez pulled it off multiple times. Almost ten years passed between the end of The George Lopez Show in 2007 and premiere of Lopez in 2016, and then another five years between the end of Lopez in 2017 and premiere of Lopez vs. Lopez in 2022. And those are only his starring scripted TV gigs, to say nothing of his stand-up and film roles!

Mayan Lopez went on to share that she also has a love of performing in front of an audience, saying "I was more comfortable with working in front of a live studio audience than I was with learning multicam" because she also came from a stand-up and sketch comedy background. Debby Wolfe added that the show's style "comes alive in front of the audience" and it's "an energy exchange between the audiences" and the Lopezes. George weighed in, saying:

I've done a lot of shows in front of the audiences in sitcom but I remember what it was like in the beginning, and as you go, you do feel things breaking off you that make you more fluid and make you better and make you take more chances as the episodes progress.

Luckily for fans of Lopez vs. Lopez, new episodes are on the way soon to pick up after the Season 1 finale's Snoop Dogg cameo, with Season 2 premiering on Tuesday, April 2 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC to fill the slot previously held by Night Court. The first season is currently available streaming via Netflix subscription, along with two of George Lopez's stand-up specials. For a blast to the past, you can find all six seasons of George Lopez streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.