has a big head. But it's not just because his ABC sitcom, George Lopez
, is a hit for the network. Or that his recent autobiography, Why You Crying?
, is a best-seller. Or even that he's hosting the Latin Grammys tonight for the second straight year. No, it's because, as the 43-year-old comedian would readily admit, his skull is just plain... big. So we thought we'd pick his oversized brain for answers to some nagging questions.
TV Guide Online: The size of your head is the butt of many jokes on your show. What did the kids say about you back in school?
George Lopez: How about: "One size fits all — except George." What was so sad is I wanted to play football in high school, and the day we get our pads, the helmet doesn't fit. So they couldn't find a helmet to fit my head and I had to quit playing football.
TVGO: You started out doing stand-up. What's one of the worst memories from those early days?
Lopez: I was at the Improv in Miami and I was in between shows and the first show didn't go that great, and there's a line of people buying tickets and this couple says to the lady at the booth — and I'm right behind them — "How's the show?" And the girl who works for the Improv says, "The guy's not that good. Why don't you come back next week — the guy's great."
TVGO: Back when you used to do a morning radio show in L.A., what time were you getting up?
Lopez: The gardeners weren't even awake yet. I would get up at like 3:30. The worst part is when you go to a doughnut shop and the doughnuts aren't ready for that day. It was unbelievable. And I had just bought a Mercedes, so I had to drive through Beverly Hills at 3:30 in the morning looking like I was taking it to get detailed. There's that look of "I'm not the owner, I'm just trying to get through city limits." I got stopped a few times just because of the oddity of a dude in a Mercedes driving at 3:30 in the morning on the way to the radio station.
TVGO: But now you're a guy who hangs out with Clint Eastwood.
Lopez: Oh, Clint! That's my boy! At Warner Bros., his office is right across from my dressing room. Not only has he been very kind to me — I play golf with him, he's great — one day he let me park in his spot. That's like the Pope going, "Try this hat on."
TVGO: What is the deal with your website — why do you have a bunch of celebrities, including Clint and Paula Abdul, posing with a pair of denim cutoffs?
Lopez: We went on tour last summer and my manager brought one pair of jeans for the whole month. And he wore them every day. So the last weekend of the tour I stole 'em and cut 'em into Daisy Duke shorts, and I went around taking pictures with celebrities with the shorts.
TVGO: That's pretty funny. However, some of your jokes about Latinos at last year's awards didn't go over well. Did anyone say anything to you about it afterward?
Lopez: No one. We're not face-to-face people. We talk about you until you get there, then we don't [say a word]. That's why, at family reunions, I'm the first one there. Because whoever's not there, that's the one being talked about. They even look around like "Who's not here?"
TVGO: So do you plan on offending people again?
TVGO: You also have a TV-movie coming up called The George Lopez Christmas Movie. Can we work on some more creative titles?
Lopez: We're trying. We've got people around the clock. My wife, Ann, executive produced the movie. The guy, much like a lot of people, is consumed by his work and is neglectful of his family. And in the end he realizes how important the family is and how secondary the work is. And I think that's a message that everybody can understand.
TVGO: You know, one day I'd like to see a Christmas movie where it starts out that he's a family man and then he realizes that work is actually the most important thing.
Lopez: [Laughs] That's right. That's the sequel.
TVGO: And congratulations on your recent weight loss. What was the toughest part about dropping 50 pounds?
Lopez: Knowing that McDonald's closes at 11 pm. One time, I'm laying in bed, it's 10:45, I'm thinking, "I could make it before they close." So I drive to McDonald's and the drive-thru's closed. I'm wearing torn pajama bottoms, a T-shirt and socks, but I figure nobody's in there, so I walk in, disheveled. All of sudden, these teenagers come in. They see me and you could just tell they're [thinking], "I thought the dude was doin' good. He's eatin' at McDonald's. He looks homeless. What happened, man?"
TVGO: Now promise me, George, you're going to change the title of that Christmas movie. If it comes out like that, I'm calling you back, you understand?
Lopez: Absolutely. I promise you. I'm going to call it "Erik Estrada's Not in This Movie."
The 5th Annual Latin Grammy Awards airs tonight at 8 pm/ET on CBS.