Last night George Lopez popped up on Larry King Live to hype Conan O’Brien’s TBS move, and said something that surely sent chills down the spine of Team Coco: “Conan and I talked about him and I doing pieces together back and forth.” (Even worse was his big joke: “This combination will change the landscape [of late night] Larry, I’m a Latino, I know something about landscaping.”) Okay, it’s weird enough that Lopez — generally perceived by comedy-nerd Conan fans as exactly the kind of mainstream hack their hero stands boldly in contrast to — will follow Conan. But for the two to collaborate? This is the strange new world we live in.
But we ask you now, Conan Nation: Is Lopez really as awful as you think he is? Or has your opinion of his show, Lopez Tonight, been prematurely soured by its inane tagline (“Bringing the party back to late night!”) and questionable marketing material? We dug through Lopez Tonight’s run since its November premiere, and found five legitimately funny clips. Seriously! Check them out, then let us know if the Conan-Lopez tag team now makes any more sense.
1. Garry Marshall
We pointed your attention to the clip when it ran, and here it is again: Garry Marshall — director of such sweet, wholesome fare as Pretty Woman, The Other Sister, and Valentine’s Day — directing a porno. “You can make guttural sounds. We like pretty guttural sounds.” It’s funny!
2. Snoop versus Barkley
Running DNA tests on his guests is one of Lopez’s running gags. Certainly an iffy proposition, but it worked out pretty well here, with Snoop Dogg and Charles Barkley facing off to see who’s more genealogically black (percentages are involved). When Snoop loses by a hair, Lopez hands him a gift bag of stuff white people like. Yeah, it’s a warmed-over Chappelle Show joke, but putting “a medium T-shirt” in the bag was inspired. (Bonus: Larry David getting tested, mostly funny because of how genuinely annoyed David seems).
3. Doughnut Prince
Lopez tapped Internet dudes Rhett and Link, the guys who make weird local commercials, to whip up a spot for his favorite doughnut shop. The result is surreal (“don’t get a divorce, get a doughnut”) and satisfying. Technically not the product of Lopez or his writing staff, but for our purposes here, we’re ignoring that.
4. Chris Rock
As seen in this segment, Lopez is a capable celebrity interviewer. (Also, check him out here, telling Jennifer Love Hewitt, “You got a big booty and you date a lot of dudes!”) Of course, it doesn’t take much to wring an enjoyable late-night appearance out of Chris Rock.
5. Ron Artest Live
We have to believe Lopez was fully aware of the unintentional comedy goldmine that is having insane Los Angeles Lakers small forward Ron Artest perform a rap song that features the lyrics “we can get married till the morning” and “you can be my one night wifey.”