Villaraigosa Is Ready for His Close-Up in Sitcom

Times Staff Writer

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor who turned to politics. Antonio Villaraigosa has taken a step, a small step, in the other direction.

The Los Angeles mayor plays himself in an episode of the ABC-TV’s “The George Lopez Show,” which will air at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 5.

According to a news release that describes the episode, the mayor “pays a personal visit to the Lopez family when he hears that George has been imitating him in order to bully a menacing biker.”

Lopez, the star of the eponymous show, is one of the nation’s best-known Latino comedians and no stranger to L.A. politics. In the first round of mayoral voting in March he backed state Sen. Richard Alarcon. But Joe Ramallo, a Villaraigosa spokesman, said that was water under the bridge.


“The mayor and George have enjoyed a warm relationship for years,” he said.

Villaraigosa taped the show Sept. 1, and apparently got his showbiz career off to a good start: One person who saw the performance but declined to be identified said the mayor nailed his bit in one take.

Last year, Gray Davis played himself on the CBS sitcom “Yes, Dear” in a scene with comedian Tim Conway. In the episode, Conway’s character meets the ex-governor at a Laker game.

They bicker about Davis’ stewardship of the state, and Conway tosses a drink at him. Davis chases the actor to the basketball court, a scene filmed during halftime at a real game.