George Lopez said good-bye to late-night TV Thursday with sentiment and gratitude.
In the final edition of “Lopez Tonight,” he reminisced about his two seasons in late-night, showed some highlights, and welcomed back some of his favorite guests and guest musicians. Joining him on-stage in the show’s final farewell segment were guests Arsenio Hall, Eva Longoria, and NBA stars Derek Fisher and Ron Artest. Joining his house band – Michael Bearden & the Ese Vatos – for the evening were guitarist Slash from Guns ’N’ Roses and Sheila E.
Lopez, who just a night earlier had joked bitterly that his Mexican-American ethnicity was a big reason why TBS decided to discontinue his show, was more gracious on his final evening, thanking his staff, band, fans, Warner Brothers (producer of the show) and even Sandra Bullock, who backed his former sitcom, “George Lopez” (still running incessantly on Nick at Nite) – the show that made him a mainstream TV star.
His final words were: “You have just seen the baddest show in late-night!” Then he added, somewhat incongruously: “Next year in Jerusalem!” The band closed the show by playing the Kiss song “Rock and Roll All Nite.”
TBS announced Wednesday that it wouldn’t be picking up “Lopez Tonight” for a third season. While the cancellation seemed abrupt, especially because it gave Lopez, 50, only two more shows to do, the writing was on the wall: Ratings were declining for the show and it had reportedly begun to lose money for the cable channel.
Now the question is: Can TBS’s historic (and quite bold) foray into late-night television be successful with only “Conan”? Or, will the company decide it’s had enough of late-night TV, and jettison Conan O’Brien as well?
Meanwhile, you can watch every segment of George Lopez’s final show here on the TBS Website.