He's part of a line of distinguished comic actors, from Desi Arnaz through Freddie Prinze, who have made their Latin heritage a central part of their shows and their stage personalities.
George Lopez is one of the most successful of the group, with a long-running sitcom ("George Lopez," more popular than ever now through syndication), a moderately popular late-night talk-show ("Lopez Tonight," which ran for two seasons) and dozens of movie roles ("Real Women Have Curves," "The Smurfs," "Rio").
He's also an acclaimed author. His autobiography, "Why You Crying?: My Long, Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter," was on the New York Times best-seller list in 2005.
Through it all he's always been mainly a stand-up comedian. Local audiences can see him do his stuff when he comes to the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg Friday with his "It's Not Me, It's You Comedy Tour."
His fans already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from a Lopez stand-up concert. His comedy specials ("Why You Crying?" on Showtime in 2004, "America's Mexican" and "Tall, Dark and Chicano" in 2007 and 2009 on HBO) were immensely popular and his comedy albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards.
Details: 8 p.m. July 19, Mahaffey Theater, 401 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets: $46-$81. Information: 727-892-5767, www.themahaffey.com.
-- Marty Clear