I'm going to go outside of what we've been talking about in class because I've had this urge to write about this for a few weeks and I just never got around to it. I'll preface this with something you may not know about me, I'm actually Mexican. My mother immigrated to the United States with my grandparents when she was still a child.
So, a few weeks ago I was watching "Nick at Night" and discovered (to my delight) that Viacom had bought the rights to show "The George Lopez Show". For those that don't know, George Lopez is a Mexican stand up comedian and his sitcom ran on ABC from 2002 to 2007. Seeing the show for the first time in a few years (the last year of the show was pretty bad) made me bust out his stand-up DVDs "George Lopez: Why You Cryin'?" and "George Lopez: America's Mexican". At the end of one of the shows he says something that made me think, he said that there have only been three Latinos to ever have a leading role on a prime time sitcom.
Desi Arnaz was the first to have a leading role opposite of Lucille Ball on "I Love Lucy". Arnaz paved the way for Latinos on TV by not only being one of the stars on screen, but off screen he owned the production company and produced the show.
The Second person he mentioned was Freddie Prinze (father of Freddie Prinze Jr.), who stared opposite of Jack Albertson in "Chico and the Man", which ran from 1974 to 1978 on NBC. Prinze only appeared in the first three seasons because of his suicide in 1977.
Obviously the third Latino is George Lopez.
I'm not trying to start a call to arms about the lack of Latinos on television (though it does make you think), just thought it was an interesting fact.