American History

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

John Leguizamo on his special "A Latin History for Morons"

John Leguizamo is a super-famous actor who's been in well over 100 movies and TV shows. You probably know him from his work in films such as Carlito's Way, The Pest, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar and the Ice Age franchise of movies.

His resume is impressive enough but John's also a writer whose created and starred in a handful of powerful, hilarious one-man shows over his career.

There was his debut production titled, Mambo Mouth, in which he played a total of seven different characters on the stage — compiled and composited from people in his past. They're all deeply personal. Touching and hilarious, too: Leguizamo finds a way to talk about himself and the people in his life - sometimes channel those people - with a remarkably sensitive touch.

John's latest show is called Latin History for Morons. The title kind of explains the show's conceit: with a chalkboard and a professor-y looking suit, Leguizamo gives the audience a history of the Americas that you don't always see in textbooks: stories of oppression, exploitation, disease and war.
But, since it's John Leguizamo… there are dozens of funny voices, recreations of historical figures long-since dead. And it all begins with a story about Leguizamo's life: a few years back, his son was bullied over his latinx heritage at school. Leguizamo wanted to do something about it. Give him something to be proud of.

John talks to Bullseye about that incident in the show - how it happened, how it affected his son, and how it affected him.

Latin History for Morons is streaming now on Netflix.

You can get tickets for the live show here.

Catch John in the flick Playing with Fire in theaters
November 8.

Click here to listen to John Leguizamo's interview on YouTube!

Ep. 42: Go Fact Yourself with Jim Beaver & Erica Rhodes

Dr. Betsy Bogart, J. Keith van Straaten, Erica Rhodes, Helen Hong, Jim Beaver
Jim Beaver & Erica Rhodes
Dr. Stephen Brumwell & Dr. Betsy Bogart

C’est l’heure pour un nouvel épisode de Go Fact Yourself*! (In case your French is a little rusty: It’s time for a new episode of Go Fact Yourself!)

Jim Beaver is an actor who’s known for his roles in TV shows like, "Breaking Bad," and, "Justified," where he’s earned a reputation as a "tough guy"-type who’s usually associated with guns. He’s also done a lot of research on major Hollywood figures from other eras. He’ll explain why he didn’t let the technological limitations from his youth get in the way of his research of actor John Garfield. Jim Beaver can be seen in the final season of "Supernatural".

Jim will face off against Erica Rhodes, who’s currently tearing it up on NBC’s "Bring The Funny" and who had a memorable turn on "Modern Family". She’s been involved in show-business since she was 10 as a voice on the radio-drama "Prairie Home Companion". Erica’s newest comedy album is "Sad Lemon" and she’ll explain how she settled on the title after a little crowdsourcing.

The guests will discuss classic musicals set in France, American traitors and the finer aspects of going Dutch.

What’s the Difference: Going Dutch

What’s the difference between Holland and The Netherlands?

What’s the difference between a levee and a dike?

Areas of Expertise

Jim Beaver: Benedict Arnold, movies based on Raymond Chandler novels and "Adventures of Superman"

Erica Rhodes: The film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche, and the poet William Wordsworth.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong

Jim Beaver and Erica Rhodes

Jim Beaver
Erica Rhodes

With guest experts:

Dr. Stephen Brumwell, award-winning author of several books on American history.

Dr. Betsy Bogart and Erica Rhodes

Dr. Betsy Bogart, singer and Film Studies teacher at UCLA.

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun. The show was recorded at The Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles.

Theme Song by Jonathan Green.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher.
The show is edited by Julian Burrell.

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