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John Leguizamo tells Stephen Colbert that Trump could use his Latin History For Morons

John Leguizamo, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show

Actor, playwright, comedian, and guy who’s seemingly always been here John Leguizamo told Stephen Colbert that Donald Trump “makes me so angry, he makes me horny.” Colbert, talking off his glasses in mock-shocked pantomime, asked the award-winning performer for clarification, as one does, with Leguizamo explaining that “Love trumps hate.” Meaning that the daily fury over Trump’s [fill in the outrage] pumps up his testosterone, which he then productively transforms into the desire with which he plans to create “a little army of Latin people that’ll be, like, the worst thing that he could ever have to deal with.” He also noted that it’s extra inspiring that such a procreative program would especially get under the almost-human-seeming skin of White House advisor and white supremacist hate-alien Stephen Miller. (Leguizamo did also spare a thought in passing for his “poor wife.”)

For Leguizamo, who, like Colbert, is somehow 55 years old at this point, art is keeping his focus squarely on Trump these days. His newest, Tony-nominated one-man show, Latin History For Morons, essentially functions as a nightly riposte to the administration’s ongoing campaign of slander, harassment, and concentrated detention against people of Latin descent, as Leguizamo’s typically frenetic and funny rundown of the facts, as he put it, teaches morons like Trump and Miller that, “we helped build your country and we desrve the same respect as every other American.” Leguizamo also told Colbert that it’s a lesson that he hopes to pass on as he takes his show out of New York an into places like Wisconsin and Michigan, where his audience skews significantly whiter (and more polite). As Leguizamo put it, “I want every Latinx person to walk out feeling that they belong, and this is their country, and no one can take that away from them.”

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On another creative front, Leguizamo’s ire against Donald Trump an his minions has been similarly turned up by his Emmy-nominated role in Ava DuVernay’s miniseries When They See Us, where he plays Raymond Santana Sr., the real-life father of one of the wrongly imprisoned teenagers who the unfortunately real-life Trump villainously spent money to hound onto death row. Referring to Trump’s infamous full-page newspaper ads calling for summary execution of the (then-just-accused, now proven-innocent) “Central Park Five,” Leguizamo asked, “Who does that? Who spends their money wanting to execute children?” Noting that Trump spent $85 thousand in 1989 cash to stoke murderous outrage against five innocent young men of color, Leguizamo sneered about Trump’s present-day doubling down on his act (“Well, they must have done something.”), despite the DNA exoneration of all five now-grown and free men with an obvious disdain that, one assumes, forms part of that army of little Leguizamos he’s supposedly got in production. (Oh, just a terrifying note: Yesterday, Trump directed the Department of Justice to reinstate the federal death penalty, giving his murderously racist whim the potential force to actually kill people.)

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.