George Lopez would like you to know he and Conan O’Brien get along just fine.
Sure, Lopez’s late night talk show, “Lopez Tonight,” was bumped back an hour in November to make room for O’Brien’s show, “Conan” — and Lopez acknowledges they don’t have all that much in common — but he insists there are no hard feelings, and he hopes to put rumors of a feud to rest.
“When he came to TBS, there were reports like, ‘they don’t get along’ and ‘he took his time spot,’ but nobody owns a time spot,” Lopez said over the phone the recent morning after he and O’Brien appeared on each other’s talk shows. “You rent with no option to buy. Nothing is concrete.
“Nobody knows the relationship between Conan and I is respectful. We’re two completely different people, but the same things drive us.”
Lopez, who will host a comedy show, “Viva La Risa,” at the Park West Friday and perform with Russell Peters at the Rosemont Theatre Saturday, is in his second season of hosting the TBS late-night talk show. There also have been reports that the show is at risk of being cancelled because it has yet to be picked up for another season, but, like the feud rumors, Lopez says those stories are false.
“We’re not going to get cancelled,” Lopez said. “We’ll be cancelled eventually — everybody gets cancelled eventually. … If TBS hasn’t picked up the show in May, it’s because it’s not time to pick up. Just because ‘Modern Family’ might get picked up in May doesn’t mean cable acts the same way.
“I brought a young demographic to TBS, which Conan inherited. Remember, I was there a year before Conan came. I’m not hung up on, ‘Oh my God, I might lose my show.’”
The Viva La Risa show at Park West, which, like the Rosemont Theatre show, is part of the Just For Laughs Festival, will feature four comedians who have appeared on “Lopez Tonight”: Brent Weinbach, Loni Love, Neal Brennan and Felipe Esparza. He says he hand-picked them simply because they made him laugh during their appearances on his show.
“When I see someone I like, I don’t pretend I like them. I really like them,” Lopez said. “There have been a few on ‘Lopez Tonight’ that really made me laugh. They’re farther along in their career, experience-wise, than my generation was. They’re smarter and funnier.”
Lopez, who said he retired from performing at comedy clubs a few years ago, will co-headline the Divine Rascals Tour with legendary guitarist Carlos Santana in the fall (Santana will play a set, and Lopez will perform his stand-up routine). As much as he loves comedy, the 50-year-old comedian hopes there will come a time when he doesn’t need to hit the road.
“I hope I’m not doing standup at 70,” said Lopez, adding, “I hope I’m not doing it at 60.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times