John Leguizamo is back on Netflix with his Tony Award nominated show, Latin History for Morons. Here's what you need to know.
What is Latin History for Morons about?
These days most people probably know John Leguizamo as the repairman Aurelio in the John Wick movies or the Bloodline character Ozzy Delvecchio. Before the accomplished actor ever made the jump to Hollywood, however, he got his start as a stand-up comic during the 1980s in New York City. From there, he began writing, producing and performing in a series of successful one-person shows off and on Broadway, many of which were taped for HBO.
These specials, with titles like Freak and Ghetto Klown, have always been as personal as they are comedic, and Leguizamo’s latest is no different. Titled Latin History for Morons, the new show is a 2018 Tony Award nominee for the Best Play category, and it’s not the first distinction of this kind that the performer has ever received. His one-person shows are some of the best out there, and now Netflix subscribers are about to get their hands on one of them.
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“What happened in the 3,000 years between our great indigenous civilizations and us? How did we become so goddamn nonexistent?” he asks the audience in the trailer. “Because if you don’t see yourself represented outside of yourself, you just feel fucking invisible. So I had great reason to panic because as the great 20th-century Spanish philosopher once said… ‘Those who cannot remember their past are doomed to repeat it.’”
As much as this sounds like an actual history lesson in a classroom setting, which is the point of Leguizamo’s entire show, it’s primarily a comedic performance. Trickled in between snippets of information about the many millennia of the Latin peoples’ existence in South, Central and North America prior to the arrival of Western colonizers are plenty of jokes. Lots of them, in fact, because Leguizamo is keenly aware that in order to get his message across, he can’t simply berate the crowd (or the viewers at home) with yet another lecture.
Hence the one-person show format. Yes, many stereotypes about the art form are true, including those pertaining to the performers’ aptitude for delving far into autobiography territory. Latin History for Morons is filled these kinds of cliches, but for good measure, as much of it has significant meaning to Leguizamo and his family. The comic makes this point clear many times throughout the show, but it is by no means an alienating trait. On the contrary, his first foray into the growing world of Netflix specials is one of his most accessible and enjoyable shows yet.
When does Latin History for Morons premiere on Netflix?
Latin History For Morons debuts Monday, Nov. 5, on Netflix.