'Let’s all drop balloons and ride off into the summer,' says the comedian

By Dan Snierson
Updated April 15, 2016 at 06:34 PM EDT
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Wallowing in awards season withdrawal? George Lopez has got you covered, hosting Sunday’s TV Land Icon Awards (in partnership with EW) to celebrate excellence on the tube. “When everyone is confused about what award means what, TV Land has created an award that has 12 dimensions to it and they couldn’t decide on a color,” quips the comedian, who stars in the TV Land comedy Lopez. “It’s almost like the detox of the awards. It feels like you do: ‘Enough already!’ Let’s all drop balloons and ride off into the summer.”

Before that happens, though, hardware will be handed out. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele will be celebrated for their contributions to sketch comedy with Key & Peele. Fame alum Debbie Allen — who is also an accomplished director, producer and choreographer — will be presented with the Trailblazer Icon award. Full House and Grandfathered star and never-aging specimen John Stamos will be handed the Timeless Icon award. (“The Greek Dick Clark,” sums up Lopez. “I think it’s a lot of yogurt. He’s just a guy that you don’t want around you, because you look more inadequate, even though we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance, it’s just hard not to.”) FX’s miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson will be honored with the Instant Icon Award. And Norman Lear — the 93-year-old legendary creator-producer of such shows as All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons — will receive the Impact Icon Award. “Anything I do in TV will always be to not disappoint Norman Lear,” notes Lopez, “Icon Awards included.”

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Who can you expect to see among the night’s presenters and special guests? Ellen Pompeo, Seth MacFarlane, Bob Odenkirk, Jane Lynch, Lori Laughlin, and Dave Coulier are all on the list. As for performers, the Beach Boys and Amber Riley will bring the house down. Bracing for all the excitement, Lopez says his hosting strategy is inspired by Donald Trump.

“There’s a possibility there could be a wall built between me and the audience, and I will come out of a tunnel underneath the stage,” deadpans Lopez. “I will speak only of myself in the third person, and whoever wins awards will be amazing. Even the people that lose will be amazing. They’re great people; they’re friends of mine. And I will be the only person who can say he has the Latino vote and really mean it.”

The TV Land Icon Awards, which were filmed last week, air Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on TV Land.