John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons, this special starring John Leguizamo and now screened on Netflix, uses humor to punch the viewer’s face (watch here). With each new joke, a prejudice is revealed. And it’s not just about how Latinos treat Latinos – but also how Latinos see themselves in the eyes of any society. Much of what Leguizamo says in his play is for any country in America where there is a Latin community.
John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons is not a drama. On the contrary: it is a slave comedy starring only one actor, who is also responsible for the text. John Leguizamo reigns on stage, alone, throughout the length of the play, which is actually a filmed theater. We have, therefore, accompanied one of his performances on Broadway, and with it the artistic vigor demonstrated by the actor in his live plays remains.
Leguizamo tells the three thousand year history of the Latin people with the peculiar and characteristic humor that has always marked his career. And yet it is still critical. At all times he points out the prejudices and dramas that he and all the others in this community have passed at some point, being far from their roots. In this case, he presents all of his argument as an effort to help his son, who suffers from bullying. Being a Colombian immigrant (he is born in Bogota), he knows very well about this situation, and how to deal with it.
Leguizamo uses this narrative line to demonstrate the importance of his people to the development of the world civilization, being in the United States governed by Donald Trump, which is discouraging for any community that is not “pure American”. So we have here a mix of stand-up comedy, history class and theater, and in all three functions John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons does gloriously well.
The humorous bias he gives to such serious questions does not take away the perenniality of John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons. It is a must-watch show, both for fun and as an affirmation of the pride of being part of a community so ridiculed by so-called developed nations, but that have an inestimable value to the development of the planet’s history.
There is an underside to every age about which history does not often speak, because history is written from records left by the privileged.
A classic since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the first scholarly work to tell America’s story from the bottom up-from the point of view.
Howard Zinn relays history in the words of America’s women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant labourers. From Columbus to the Revolution to slavery and the Civil War – from World War II to the election of George W. Bush and the “War on Terror” – A People’s History of the United States is an important and necessary contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.
Synopsis 1: Actor. Father. Accidental scholar. He sets out to learn about Latin heroes. What he gets is a crash course on representation in America.
Synopsis 2: In this one-man Broadway show, John Leguizamo finds humor and heartbreak as he traces 3000 years of Latin history in an effort to help his bullied son.