Back in April, George Lopez stunned a lot of people when he personally called up Conan O’Brien and asked him to join TBS’s late night lineup—even though bringing Coco to TBS meant he would have to move his own talk show, Lopez Tonight, to midnight. Lopez Tonight premieres tonight in its new timeslot after Conan.
"I’m in the George Lopez business,” the Mexican comedian told the LA Times when asked why he made room for Conan. “I believe that Conan O’Brien coming to TBS is good for my business. And not only good for my business in November, but good for my business between now and November and when Conan gets there and into the future."
It’s true that Conan has the kind of young, energetic following that could actually help boost ratings for the struggling Lopez Tonight, which has been in 21st place this season among basic-cable shows, averaging 864,000 viewers ages 18–49. But in an industry as fickle as Hollywood, Lopez’s congeniality seems highly unusual—some might even say highly suspect.
But those who know Lopez aren’t surprised by his willingness to move for Conan. “He’s a class act!" gushes Aimee Garcia, 31, who played Lopez’s niece, Veronica Palermo on the sitcom, The George Lopez Show. Garcia recalls one day on the set of The George Lopez Show where George helped lift the spirits of the cast and crew with a little charity.
“We were shooting George Lopez on the Warner Brothers stage and he noticed that everyone was low-energy and tired. He turned to the wardrobe lady and said, 'Get everyone‘s size. I'm buying everyone shoes!' " recalls Garcia. “We were like, 'Free shoes? Heck yeah!' The cast and crew instantly perked up and he made that Monday morning go by so much faster,” she says.
E! News Correspondent, Kristina Guerrero first met Lopez in her early 20’s when she was working as a production assistant in L.A. "When I was a senior in college and broke, broke, broke, George Lopez came to FOX and he asked me if I’d be going to his concert,” Guerrero told us. “I said, 'I’m in college with no money…I could never afford it.' "
A few weeks later, Lopez surprised Guerrero by sending her two front row tickets to see his show in San Diego. “It was an amazing show!” she says.
Guerrero, ran into Lopez a few years later. “I was interviewing him for E! and I finally had the opportunity to thank him in person. Funny thing: he was impressed with himself that he had done that for me!”
Despite his recent divorce from his wife of 17 years, Ann Lopez, Lopez is known as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. He has a boatload of industry friends, including Sandra Bullock, and he was one of the first celebrities to come to her side during the Jesse James cheating scandal. If there is a Mr. Congeniality award in Hollywood, George has definitely earned it.