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Lopez Today

George Lopez has tackled the late night realm on television, and is bringing a quick wit and humor that ranges far beyond his Latino roots.
Marshall Fine
From the Print Edition:
George Lopez, January/February 2010

(continued from page 2)

“Never mind that, let’s just do this,” Lopez snaps. “C’mon, we don’t need that complicated shot. Let’s just have fun.”

A couple of days later, Lopez reclines in a makeup chair in the dressing room of a Culver City production studio, where he’s just finished a photo shoot. Asked about the brief conflict over the camera shot, he says, “Hey, I’ve got a great performer on the stage waiting to play and they’re holding things up to set up a shot that will last two seconds? I said, let’s not worry about the camera swooping in. Let’s worry about getting it on.”

Then he relaxes and starts talking about how smoking a cigar keeps him in touch with his early life as a comedian—the struggles and discoveries, which were shared over cigars and drinks after an evening playing in a comedy club.

“I always thought of cigars as a rich man’s thing,” says Lopez, 48. “But for me, my best times were sitting around in the Cloud Nine Lounge at Maxim’s Hotel, smoking a Macanudo between shows at the hotel. It was a big thing then just to be part of the show. Cigars keep me connected to the stand-up days. How did I know which ones were good? Well, I knew that anything illegal had to be the best, so I knew Cubans were the best.

“Since then, as my career got better, when anyone would say, ‘What do you get George for a gift?’ someone would always say, ‘He loves cigars.’ So I’d end up with these boxes of Cubans.”

Which reminds him of a recent trip to play golf in Scotland. While shopping in London, a salesman convinced him to buy a box of Cuban Bolivars.

“He couldn’t really tell me to buy them because it’s illegal to bring them back,” Lopez says. “But he was saying things like, ‘Well, we could take the bands off. Some people don’t care about the bands.’ But I like the bands.

“I ended up buying them. I put them in my carry-on and figured, well, if I get caught, I get caught. But when I got to Customs in New York, the security guy takes one look and says, ‘Hey, George Lopez, come right this way’ and lets me through Customs just like that. I should have bought five more boxes.”

He often bases his choice of cigar on what he’s doing at that moment: “I look at it timing-wise,” he says. “A Churchill is great for vacation, when you can take your time smoking it and you’re not in a hurry. When I’m in town, a robusto is the play. I like the robustos and double coronas.”

When he and buddy Andy Garcia get together to play golf, cigars are a serious part of the equation.

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Comments   1 comment(s)

Eric Walker — Charlston , WV, USA,  —  August 30, 2011 8:49am ET

He's a good funny comedain it would be a blast to have a cigar and play some golf with him

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