“Saturday Night Live” veteran Rob Schneider marries into a Latino family on the upcoming CBS comedy inspired by his own life, “Rob,” and the cast said they hope to deal with stereotypes in a respectful, but funny, way.
“I don’t think you want to stay away from the stereotypes, I think you want to confront them and deal with them,” Cheech Marin, who plays Fernando, the father of Rob’s new TV wife, Maggie, said on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association Winter Session in Pasadena.
“As long as you deal with it in a way that’s respectful, and deal with real problems in America — there are still race problems in America,” Rob, who is the co-creator and executive producer of the show, chimed in. “This isn’t a drama, but I think you have to deal with [it]… No one’s here’s going to do anything disrespectful… I think we wanna do things that are funny and I think if we can shed some light on it, and in a way that could be fun and people can relate to, it’s fun, but we’re not going out of our way to do anything disrespectful.”
“Unless there’s a laugh in it,” Cheech said.
Rob said he looks to examples like a legendary television comedy that dealt with racism, among other topics, as an example of how to make controversial topics work right in comedy.
“I think ‘All In the Family’ was a great show on CBS and I think you know, I would like to be able to tackle things and do some fun, interesting stuff for laughs and make people laugh,” he said. “I think the closer you can get to reality, the more fun it can be.”
“Rob” was partially inspired by the actor’s own life – he recently met and married a television producer who is from Mexico City, and he said his wife will help keep the show in check.
“My wife is not going to let me do anything overly offensive,” he said. “I’ve gotta go home to my wife and she’ll let me know… and I think you have to able to laugh at yourself. She said in Mexico, they’re laughing [at] everything… They just laugh at it and they find a way to make humor with it and you make the most of it.”
“Rob” premieres January 12 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.