Lopez Vs. Lopez Creator Sets The Record Straight About The Live Studio Audience Reactions To George Lopez And Cast

George Lopez in NBC's Lopez vs. Lopez
(Image credit: NBC)

Comedy legend George Lopez has officially returned to television with Lopez vs. Lopez, which kicks off a brand new Friday night comedy block for NBC. The new sitcom also stars his real-life daughter Mayan, and the show has generated so many laughs that some viewers actually think that it’s canned laughter added in post-production. Lopez vs. Lopez creator Debby Wolfe recently spoke with CinemaBlend, and she cleared the air about the sitcom and its live studio audience. 

Debby Wolfe created Lopez vs. Lopez for NBC after working as an executive producer and writer on a different hit network TV show: The Conners, over on ABC. Although she wasn’t on set for filming when the Roseanne sequel series had to cut its studio audience due to COVID, she shared that Lopez vs. Lopez taught her that sitcoms can be much better with a studio audience laughing along in real time. She shared: 

I think it definitely hurts not having an audience. I think for actors in a multicam [sitcom], they really do come alive when you have that live audience. They feed off of each other, the audience and the actors, and I see that. We've had like two episodes in these first thirteen that we've produced that we had to block and shoot just because of scheduling reasons, and we have some big stunts and those take longer to shoot, and you can't do it in front of the audience. What I noticed is that there was a big difference between having it [and not]. It's a different energy, and I really love having the audience, and George does too. George as a stand-up really does sort of come alive when he's in front of that live studio audience.

Although George Lopez came to the new sitcom with plenty of TV experience thanks to The George Lopez Show that ran for six seasons from 2002 - 2007 on ABC and then Lopez for two seasons from 2016 - 2017 on TV Land, he is also well known for his stand-up comedy, with a special currently available on Netflix. Anybody who has tuned in to Lopez vs. Lopez so far may have already noticed that he thrives when he’s getting laughs, and the creator noted that’s when he comes “alive” on set.

And it turns out that some of those who have tuned into Lopez vs. Lopez so far have assumed that the uproarious laughter has to be canned and added in post-production rather than happening in real time on set during tapings. Debby Wolfe cleared the air in no uncertain terms: 

I have to say, it's so frustrating when people are like, 'They need to get rid of that canned laughter.' It is not canned laughter! [laughs] It is real live laughter. I think that's something we need to put out there in the press because people just don't understand that. We're not putting it in post. It's actual fans that are coming in and laughing and enjoying the show.

Yes, the laughs are coming from people who are watching the episodes being taped live and in-person, rather than Lopez vs. Lopez adding them afterward. Is it really any surprise that the cast has what it takes to pull those reactions from audience members? If anybody knows how to make people laugh, it would have to be stand-up comedian and sitcom veteran George Lopez.

According to Debby Wolfe, she has seen a lot of positive feedback from fans as well as the theories about canned laughter. After agreeing that it's an exciting time for her as Lopez vs. Lopez creator and writer, she shared: 

It's really cool to see people talking about it on Twitter and quoting it and also seeing the specific impact, like people mentioning that they love the shirts that Mayan's wearing. She wears Latino specific shirts, like 'Phenomenally Latina.' People are really talking about that. It always feels really good when you do things on a show that are so underrepresented, and people are recognizing it. It's really special.

Lopez vs. Lopez provides representation as the only Latinx comedy on the fall network schedule, and Debby Wolfe stands as only the second Latina who has ever created and showrun a network sitcom in TV history. Wolfe originally found inspiration for the show via Mayan Lopez’s TikTok account and brought it all the way to NBC to be paired with Dwayne Johnson’s Young Rock Season 3

You can find new episodes of Lopez vs. Lopez on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, ahead of Young Rock at 8:30 p.m. If you’ve missed any of Season 1 so far or just want to revisit the early laughs, you can find the episodes streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription. The fall TV season doesn’t have too much time left, but the George Lopez-led comedy already has a premiere date in the new year on the 2023 TV schedule

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.