Is it a play? Is it stand-up? Does it really matter? Either way John Leguizamo’s most recent Netflix venture is here to teach you a thing or two. Throughout the hour and a half long special entitled Latin History For Morons, John goes through the suppressed history of Latin culture and history.
If you’re one of the people who is wondering “who the fuck is John Leguizamo?” then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Personally I couldn’t have told you his name if you gave me ten guesses and laid it out in a hangman game with 2/3 of the letters already filled in. However, once you see his face you immediately recognize him as the guy who is a secondary character in basically every movie ever. I’ll save you a google search and tell you that you probably remember him from his roles in John Wick, Ride Along, The Lincoln Lawyer, and Ice Age movies.
This broadway play is a similar fashion as Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s Oh, Hello On Broadway (only less funny). It’s more or less a glorified comedy special that involves the use of many different props and creates a more intense connection with the audience. Think Bo Burnham or Demetri Martin, just with less jokes and more lectures. It moves in and out of funny like Barry Sanders dodging tackles in his prime (my one obligatory sports reference as a straight male writer).
When John is writing on the board and talking about Latin history, the show is pretty enjoyable and will definitely cause a few laughs. However when he begins to tell personal stories, impersonate people, or dance and sing (it’s exactly as hard to watch as you imagine it would be) the show quickly devolves into a silly performance that falls short of funny. Luckily the show is split into about a 60/40 mix with the majority being the actually funny stuff.
Even if you watch this special and don’t laugh, you’ll at least learn a thing or two (although some of his stats may be a little factually shakey). I give this special 3.5 out of 5 Morons.