George Lopez returns to TV with "Saint George" Thursday night, the latest FX sitcom to get a 10/90 order — meaning if the first 10 episodes do well in the ratings, it'll automatically get picked up for 90 more episodes, a feat for any show. It's the same deal Charlie Sheen got for "Anger Management"... and that's not all Lopez and Sheen have in common.
"We were supposed to talk last week, weren't we?," Lopez said with a laugh when Yahoo TV caught up with him Wednesday. Shocked that he'd bring up his recent run-in with the law, we pressed to see how he was doing, and the jokes kept coming. "I'm doing better than I was last week! I could've probably done the interview then, but I had a little bit of a hangover."
Sheen was (OK, is) also notorious for getting into very public trouble right around the time FX ordered "Anger Management," but Lopez swears it's not a job requirement, nor was it planned "publicity" to launch the new show. "You know, if it had been calculated, I might've ended up in another pose rather than with my shirt up, laying on the ground."
But Lopez defended those comparisons to Sheen. "I've known Charlie for a long time, and Charlie's an exception to all of it. He's been famous a long time, and I don't particularly want to talk about Charlie in that way, but with respect to that stuff, I understand. It's a powerful business. It's a business of non-truths. You know, people lie about their age, and you go on an audition and people say, 'Oh have you ever ridden a horse?' And you're like, 'Yeah, I can ride a horse!' It's all untruths. I lived the life of non-truth, and to be able to be honest at my age and finally find it … Listen, I'm not a perfect person, but honesty, especially in regard to what happened last week, has been the best policy."
His honesty extended to our POPsessions quiz, where he admitted to crushing on Joan Rivers, crying at "Vision Quest," and belting out "All By Myself." He also revealed that although he's worked with or interviewed almost everyone in the business, there's still one person he's dreaming to have costar on "Saint George." "When we get the back 90 [laughs]… ever since I did the first show ["George Lopez"], I've always wanted Salma Hayek. If this show gets another 90 episodes, Salma Hayek has to come on. I have to complete that circle. I would like to marry Salma Hayek in my 100th episode."
1. What was the first movie you ever saw? The first movie that I ever went to go see was a Burt Reynolds movie called "Skin Game," and it had nudity in it and we were probably 13. My buddy's dad took us – it was "Skin Game" and "Lady in Cement" and they both had nudity in them. We flipped out. It had a woman dancing in a club with a dollar bill kind of superimposed on the wall and her nipples were the eyes of the president and they would move. Not that I remember anything! [Laughs.]
2. What movie do you always have to stop and watch when you see it on cable? "Rudy." When he scores and Charles Dutton starts clapping, but slow… like, I'm gone.
3. What movie always makes me cry? I'm gonna tell you a movie, and you're gonna be like, "What?" You know what movie I always have around me, and I get emotional at… in a million years you would never think of this: "Vision Quest." Matthew Modine and Ronny Cox where he plays the wrestler, and Forest Whitaker is in it and he's wrestling that guy Shute… it's powerful. And it's powerful for the fact that a lot of times people say they're going to show up for you and they don't, but when they do and something good happens, it's always affected me very emotionally.
4. Who was your first TV crush? This is gonna sound crazy – and I told her too, and she didn't believe me – but my first TV crush was Joan Rivers. I swear to God. She did tire commercials and she was always doing stand-up and doing game shows, and I thought she was hot.
5. If you were kidnapped, what movie or TV character would you call to save you? I might call Ray Donovan. You know, he tends to be able to get people out of crazy stuff. I might've needed to call Ray Donovan last week. [Laughs.] Or MacGyver.
6. What are your TV guilty pleasures? I've watched "The Sopranos" probably 10 times, the whole series, all the way through. I love it. But also "Breaking Bad." I was a huge "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fan, and I was on the show once. I like those shows. I even started to watch "Girls" and found it interesting.
As much as I love that you're saying you watch "Girls," none of those are guilty pleasures. Oh guilty? Well, I watched "Honey Boo Boo" the first season, and I did watch "Dance Moms" too, I'm not gonna lie. One time I was going up Highland [in Los Angeles] and Abby Lee Miller was coming out of Mel's Diner and I pulled the car over and got out of the car and went up to her.
7. What was your first concert? I saw KISS at the Forum. And then I became friends with KISS, with Gene and Paul, and I bought my Escalade from Paul Stanley. Is that the craziest thing? If somebody had leaned into me then and said, "Hey, in 35 years you're gonna buy an Escalade from Paul Stanley," I'd have said "Get the hell out!"
8. What is your go-to karaoke song? I always do "All By Myself."
Wow. You're going deep, George. It is deep. When I want to lighten it up I'll do "Play That Funky Music White Boy."
9. Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles.
10. What song do you think they should play at your funeral? "Rock and Roll All Nite (and Party Everyday)."
11. What book changed your life? When I was married, my wife gave me the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, The Places You'll Go." And I really didn't understand it, and it was early on, probably 20-something years ago, and she was like, "No, it's for the future and the places that you'll go." It's a very powerful thing. I didn't get it – I didn't see the meaning of it then – but she was right.
12. Have you ever dressed as a celebrity for Halloween? Kids have dressed as me – I've seen the pictures. It's amazing… suit on, hair spiked up. I dressed as the guys in KISS. I was the drummer, I had the little cat makeup on, and we just had on black t-shirts, foil on our shoes. We were so ghetto KISS. So bad.
13. Did you have any posters of celebrities on your walls growing up? I had Van Halen. I had a Ted Nugent poster [laughs]… before I knew Ted Nugent didn't want us in the country. [Laughs.] I had the Farrah Fawcett poster, KISS posters, a poster of "Rocky," Sylvester Stallone... I've met everyone that was on my wall.
14. Has anyone ever made you genuinely starstruck when you met them? I love Peter Frampton. I have a signed "Frampton Comes Alive" album on my wall. It's interesting … As kids, you're a little bit lost and you don't know where you're gonna go and you're awkward, and music means so much to kids. If you're lonely, it's a friend that you have around, and it brings your friends together, singing in the car and stuff like that. So when I was doing "Lopez Tonight," I asked Frampton to come on, and as I introduced him and he was walking over, I started to get emotional. Even now… think of a guy that you've admired, and he's coming to see you. It was very emotional to see Peter Frampton.
"Saint George" premieres Thurs., March 6, at 9 p.m. on FX.
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