It’s not Paul McCartney. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber both came up short. Even Taylor Swift couldn’t do it.
When it comes to the box-office record at Save Mart Center, the honor goes to comedian George Lopez. Back in 2008, his fourth trip to the Fresno area, more than 15,800 fans squeezed into the facility to watch his show.
That’s why Sean McElhinney, Save Mart assistant general manager, says that comedy does well at the arena.
“That’s a little surprising because comedy is tough. With a musical artists, people always want to hear their songs. Jokes only laugh so long,” McElhinney says.
Lopez is making his sixth trip to Fresno, his first at Save Mart Center since 2011, and he’s bringing some friends. “The Comedy Get Down” tour lineup features Lopez, Cedric “The Entertainer,” Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and Charlie Murphy. These comedians – all headliners on their own – have pooled their comic talents for an all-star lineup that will be at Save Mart Center on Saturday, May 14.
Combined, the five comedians have starred in multiple films and TV shows, hosted a cable talk show and three radio programs, written books, starred in numerous comedy specials and played to full houses across the country.
Here’s a look at the commanding collection of comic talent that will be on the Save Mart stage.
No stand-up comedian of Mexican descent has found more success in the United States than George Lopez. His long list of accomplishments includes starring in films like “Real Women Have Curves” and “The Smurfs,” which go along with his starring roles in the TV shows “George Lopez,” “Saint George” and his latest work, “Lopez.” He hosted a late-night cable talk show and wrote the autobiography, “Why You Crying.”
Lopez has built a large following because his comedy covers broad areas, particularly when it comes to family.
“There has never been a comedian who has been a Latino who has been at this level, so it would be detrimental to me to exclude anybody,” Lopez says.
Before becoming a sensation, Lopez saw the comedy world as being very “black and white.” He knew there was a place for those who didn’t fall into either one of those categories, and he’s filled it.
Cedric “The Entertainer”
Cedric Kyles, best known as “The Entertainer,” has found success in movies (including the current “Barbershop: The Next Cut”), touring shows (The Original Kings of Comedy) and animation (the “Madagascar” series).
No matter the format, the Missouri native describes his life as a comedian as being like a comic relief version of being a preacher.
“Standup is one of those things that you walk out and you kind of vent life to where people release. If they laugh, they release. They let go of all the stress. They let go of all the angst that they’ve been holding, and they just have a good time,” Cedric says. “Comedy is very subjective. It’s one of those things that something makes you laugh. But the great thing about comedy, if I can make you laugh and it’s something that makes you laugh for real, it will trickle over three or four people and everybody will be laughing just because you’re laughing, and all of a sudden the comedy becomes a bit of a community thing.
“People just kind of starting to tune in, like, ‘Oh, oh, I get it now. I didn’t get it, but this lady was laughing so hard, it made it funny.’ And so, I think, comedians aspire to that.”
Not only has Cedric found success in the comedy world, he’s done it in style. Look for him to take the stage in a tailored suit and one of the dapper hats that have become a trademark look for him.
The Los Angeles native is juggling a very hectic career. Along with being part of the comedy tour, Hughley hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, “The D.L. Hughley Show,” and is also part of the cast of the NBC medical drama “Heartbeat.”
His biggest TV success came between 1998 and 2002 with the comedy “The Hughleys.” His other TV appearances include “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Glory Daze” and as a contestant on Season 16 of “Dancing With the Stars,” while his film credits include “Soul Plane” and “Scary Movie 3.”
Hughley is a published author with “I Want You to Shut the (expletive deleted) Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America,” which was released in 2012.
Comedy Central made Griffin the No. 62 choice on its list of the “Top 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians” of all time. The Kansas City native came in ahead of the likes of fellow tour companion Cedric “the Entertainer,” as well as Kevin Pollak, Wanda Sykes, Eddie Izzard and Howie Mandel, just to name a few.
This is based on his appearances on “Def Comedy Jam,” “Malcolm & Eddie,” “Undercover Brother,” “My Baby’s Daddy” and “Norbit.”
Just like his younger brother, Eddie Murphy, the New York native has found success in television and films. His biggest exposure came as a cast member of “Chappelle’s Show.”
He has appeared in “Our Family Wedding,” “The Perfect Holiday,” “Lottery Ticket,” “Night at the Museum” and “Norbit.” He plays Vic in the Adult Swim series, “Black Jesus.”
The Comedy Get Down tour
- 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14
- Save Mart Center, 2650 E. Shaw Ave.
- Tickets are $49.75, $65.75, $89.75; available at Save Mart Supermarkets, the Save Mart Center Box office or online at Ticketmaster.com