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John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons wasn’t what I expected

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John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons presented a unique combination of depressingly true and inappropriately funny. John Leguizamo took the deeply rooted issue of a lack of representation of Latinos in history and approached it with a highly inappropriate and often offensive humor. His one-man show likely had a wide range of effects on his audience but, personally, I struggled to get past his brash humor to enjoy the deeper meaning.

Right out of the gate, Leguizamo heavily peppers his comedy with swearing and sexual innuendos. While I believe harsh language can emphasize a point when used properly, his unrestrained use of such language drew away from his point at times. The use of innuendos is a whole other story. His target audience is obviously able to handle such humor; however, I still found it gave him an almost juvenile and immature air.

If you can find it in yourself to ignore whatever parts offend you (because at least one part will), John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons is a hilarious watch. From dancing to running around to getting on the ground, he effectively uses his body language to portray a story and simultaneously keep his audience highly entertained. Another way in which he captivates the audience’s attention for a whole hour and a half is by approaching it in story form. Although it may seem scattered, he is always referencing back to his son and his Hero Project, which is the whole reason John did all this research in the first place.

I find it highly unfortunate that I didn’t greatly enjoy John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons because the issues his comedy arose from are some that are begging desperately to be addressed. The problems of misrepresentation and a lack of representation of Latino people in both American society and history have plagued us since America was born. Latino people have always been profoundly embedded in this land we call America; it’s an indescribable shame that they have been so effectively cut out. We have removed Latin history and contributions from our textbooks so fully that Leguizamo’s son couldn’t find a Latin hero to do his Hero Project for school on. And not only that, but Leguizamo berates the fact that while we cut out him and his ancestors from the history books, we are praising those who tried to wipe his people from the face of the earth. In short, John Leguizamo covers some hard topics.

One of the historical topics John Leguizamo covers is the Inca Empire and how they are one of the unrepresented Latino ancestral groups. However, sitting in history today, I was shocked to see that our content today covered the Inca Empire and its origin, accomplishments, and contributions to the modern world. This made me reevaluate my perception of John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons as an absolute truth on the topic of Latino representation. It was a necessary reminder that every life story is different, every education is different, and every perception of the world is different.

The honesty and vulnerability that Leguizamo shows is another point in favor of his show. While he may make some PG-13 jokes, it’s obvious that it’s a form of coping with these issues that affect him so intensely. This realization about a third of the way through his show renewed the fervor with which I watched it and made me more forgiving of his more mature content.

In the end, John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons was a surprisingly educational watch. Not only for the lessons within it but also for the lessons on worldviews.

However, as a comedy, I didn’t find it to be my style.

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About the Writer
Ashlyn Korpak, Managing Editor of Assignments

Ashlyn Korpak is a junior and entering her third year on The Central Trend. Ashlyn is thrilled for another year of The Central Trend. She does track, rides...

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John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons wasn’t what I expected