Bouncing back: After some setbacks, George Lopez returns to make Santa Barbara laugh

Comedian, actor and talk show host George Lopez performed his stand-up comedy June 27 at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Ga.
Comedian, actor and talk show host George Lopez performed his stand-up comedy June 27 at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta,

This has been a rollercoaster year for comedian George Lopez. He’s already been humbled and made much late-night fun over his drunken fall at a Canadian Casino. And then his latest sitcom “Saint George” on FX got the axe after only 10 episodes (more on that later). All that has turned him back to the one thing that he can do with absolute confidence, with no interference, and that’s stand-up. This Saturday he returns to the Santa Barbara Bowl for an evening of hilarity and soul-baring. While his stand-up has often been about family and culture and the effects of an abusive upbringing — told with devastating humor and honesty of course — Mr. Lopez says that he’s going to get even more personal for this new tour.

“We’re going to deal with the private George, not the public George,” he says. “Which I think is more compelling . . . The thing with the next special is to get more personal and dig deeper.”

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Laugh factory: Get ready for the six-day LOL Comedy Fest

Ben Gleib
Ben Gleib

Scott Montoya may not be a comedian but he knows his comedy. From helping his dad hand out pamphlets for the United Farmworkers to organizing festivals, Mr. Montoya has been bringing unheard voices to the masses. Starting this coming Tuesday, the Santa Barbara Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival opens its doors for six days of stand-up comedy and more. A majority of the evenings are being filmed for broadcast, showing that Santa Barbara isn’t just being used as a practice run.

“Comedy is what is driving everything online right now,” Mr. Montoya says. “This is the best time to be in the comedy world. Even up to three years ago there was only Showtime and Comedy Central. Now it’s all over the place: there’s Netflix and we have our own channel on Hulu.”

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Lewis Black has been working himself into a humorous lather for over a decade now, either in his wildly popular standup act or as part of the “news” crew at Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” where he lets his anger rip every week in his segment “Back in Black.”

Whether talking politics or lambasting the idiocy of the general public, Black is right on target and very, very funny. He’s been with the show since the beginning, and has watched his profile rise in the comedy world. Now he joins his cablemate Dave Attel, the hard-drinkin’, hard smokin’ host of “Insomniac,” in a double-pronged assault on the Santa Barbara psyche at Thursday night’s show at the Arlington Theatre. Black was interviewed as he was waiting for a flight to Lebanon, N.H., for a gig. This cell phone conversation took place in the midst of crying children and a persistent tannoy speaker.

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