Fluffy, Not Fat

“Fluffy!”
People are more likely to shout out, or chant “Fluffy” when Gabriel Iglesias walks in a room or out on stage. That nickname has opened doors, opened worlds and opened minds to the power that creating laughter can have over cultural differences and leading the charge is Iglesias.
Iglesias is one of those guys who seemed to have come out of nowhere to emerge as one of the most popular comedians in the world. His comedy specials are some of the most watched on Comedy Central and Netflix, and he is one of the most watched comedians on the Internet with over 300 million views on YouTube.
His climb took him 20 years of steady work, performing anywhere he could find an audience, from biker bars and hole-in-the-wall joints to comedy clubs around the country. Now he sells out places like Madison Square Garden and the Microsoft Theater and his tours include places like Saudi Arabia and India.
Iglesias always looked to humor to help him cope with living in the tough neighborhoods of Riverside, Corona, Santa Ana, Baldwin Park and Compton. Even he couldn’t have imagined that comedy not only got him out of the ‘hood, it put him all over the map doing so much more than stand-up. He has become an actor, he’s voiced characters for several animated films; he’s produced a TV comedy series, and more.
Often referencing his weight in his comedy, saying “I’m not fat, I’m fluffy,” earned him the “Fluffy” nickname. Iglesias also punctuates his gift for storytelling with character voices and sound effects that bring his personal experiences to life. His unique and animated comedy style has made him popular among fans of all ages.
His most recognizable trademark is his Hawaiian shirts, which he wears simply “because they fit.” Then there is his “nice-guy” persona that fits him like a glove because he is one of those rare individuals who keeps it real. What you see is what you get.
Iglesias pointed out on one of his specials he’s a comedian who happens to be Latino, vs. being labeled a “Latin comedian.” So what’s the difference between the two? Well, Iglesias’ says it’s because “my comedy specials air on Comedy Central, not Telemundo.”
His stories resonate with everyone because they touch on the human factor of finding humor no matter what life throws at you. He’s one of the few comedians whose material can make you laugh no matter how many times you’ve watched any one of his six comedy specials.
Celebrating 20 years in standup comedy, Iglesias is currently on the new world tour, FluffyMania World Tour: 20 Years of Comedy. One of those tour stops will be at Harrah’s Laughlin Rio Vista Outdoor Amphitheater on Saturday, October 14.
In addition to constant touring, other projects include “Fluffy’s Food Adventures,” a non-scripted comedic docu-follow series co-starring Iglesias’ eccentric tour mates and fellow comedians Martin Moreno, Rick Gutierrez, G Reilly, and Alfred Robles, which launched its third season (formerly “Fluffy Breaks Even”) on FUSE TV in July. The show follows Iglesias and his crew on a coast-to-coast culinary trip in search of the country’s most mouthwatering dishes as they discover local gems, unique activities and a few celebrities and surprises along the way.
Iglesias can next be heard reprising his role of “Jimmy” in the animated film The Nut Job 2 along with Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph and Katherine Heigl, which was out August 18. Later this year, he will also be in the animated films, Coco (Pixar) in theaters November 22, and Ferdinand (20th Century Fox) voicing the character “Cuatro” in theaters December 15.
At the end of 2016, Iglesias released his sixth one-hour comedy special, “I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry” on Netflix worldwide. He filmed the special at the Allstate Arena in Chicago to two sold-out shows with a total of 20,000 fans in attendance.
In 2015, he co-starred with Channing Tatum in Warner Bros. Magic Mike XXL, reprising his role as Tobias. Iglesias also lit up the small screen on the ABC sitcom “Cristela.”
Other feature film credits include co-starring roles in A Haunted House 2, and his voice can be heard in numerous animated films Smurfs: The Lost Village, Norm of the North, The Book of Life, The Nut Job and Disney’s Planes. Iglesias also starred in the theatrical stand-up concert comedy film, The Fluffy Movie. For the past three years Comedy Central has aired Iglesias’ hit series “Stand-Up Revolution.” The cable network also premiered “Gabriel Iglesias: Aloha Fluffy” in an unprecedented two-night comedy special to over 15 million viewers. The special was a follow-up to his previous DVD specials, “Hot & Fluffy” and “I’m Not Fat…I’m Fluffy,” which have sold a combined total of over 2 million copies.
The first time Iglesias came to Laughlin in 2015, we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his career and his comedy. (This year due to scheduling, he wasn’t available). Here is his take…

How did you develop your style?
Iglesias: Storytelling just came naturally to me…I would do impressions when I was young to get out of tense situations and to make my classmates and family laugh.

What turned your “I wanna be a comic” light on?
Iglesias: The first thing that got me into comedy was watching Eddie Murphy’s “Raw.” It was the first time I remember thinking, “That is what I want to do for a living.”

Who were some of your influences? Mentors?
Iglesias: Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and George Carlin. Paul Rodriguez was a mentor for me.

Describe your comedy for the six people who may not be aware.
Iglesias: WWE meets the Food Network.

Was there a defining moment when you went from performing in comedy clubs to headlining places like Madison Square Garden?
Iglesias: It was a slow climb. No such thing as overnight success. I had a promoter that would start putting me in places like Fargo, North Dakota; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Bakersfield, California — building up fans in theaters, and, of course, using social media like Facebook and YouTube have been very instrumental in building my audience.

Where’s the strangest place you never thought you’d perform?
Iglesias: Singapore and India…overseas in general. I never realized that my material would translate to audiences around the world. I call it unity through laughter.
Who makes you laugh?
Iglesias: My merch guy, Ivan.
What’s your favorite thing about being a comedian?
Iglesias: I love being on the road. I get to eat great food around the country and perform.

What’s your least favorite thing about being a comedian?
Iglesias: People asking me to tell them a joke in person.
Talk about “Fluffy’s Food Adventures.” It takes a lot of courage to let the public into your life “behind the scenes” as it were. Why go this route?
Iglesias: I have had this idea for a few years. It was very organic. I often tweet my fans in a given city and ask them where to eat. I always have to (try) to work off those calories and with this series, you get a glimpse of what it’s like. I think my fans and anyone that watches food shows will enjoy “Fluffy’s Food Adventures.”


GABRIEL IGLESIAS

RIO VISTA AMPHITHEATER at HARRAH’S

Sat, October 14 (8 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m.)

See Showtimes for tickets