14 questions with comedian Gabriel 'Fluffy' Iglesias

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Comedian Gabriel Iglesias, aka Fluffy, is returning for back-to-back performances at Foxwoods this weekend for his "FluffyMania World Tour." Considering that he double-booked last year's trip to the casino, we can only guess the amount of loyal Fluffy fans residing throughout the region. But watch any of his Netflix specials, and this comedian's wide-ranging popularity becomes ever-more clear. He'll be filming his second Netflix comedy special, "One Show Fits All" (also his 7th hour-long special), in Houston in two weeks time. That's set to air on the streaming site early 2019.

There are a few points that mark Fluffy's comedic style: He is a Latino-American, born and raised in southern California (background points he loves to incorporate into his standup); he delivers jokes without once resorting to swears or raunchy humor, making him a preferred pick for families of many generations; he likes to make fun of cultural stereotypes; he is a master at impressions and sound effects (especially that of cars and white girls); and he tells rambling stories about things such as high school reunions or Dance Dance Revolution. It's his way of combining all these elements into sprawling narratives that have made him one of the most successful comedians alive.

We emailed with Fluffy this week about what to expect for this weekend's shows and a bit about life as a comedian.

1. Is the material we’ll hear Saturday different from what you performed during your last Netflix special or from what you performed last year at the venue? “It will be a spitting mirror image of what you saw last time, if you were there. Which is a truly awesome performance from one of today’s most gifted entertainers. In all honesty, I get asked this question every week and it makes me wonder if artists ever grow and what made people start asking this question in the first place. Two weeks from now, I will be filming my 7th comedy special, and I sure hope it’s different from the last one.”

2. Can you offer our readers any hints as to what might be talked about this show or something to look forward to? “OK, now I’m starting to wonder if you copy and paste questions. I will be wearing a new Hawaiian shirt that’s slightly bigger than the last one I wore there since my diet went to (expletive).”

3. When did you realize that you wanted to get into comedy? Were you always naturally a funny person?

“When I was 10 years old, after watching Eddie Murphy’s comedy special titled 'Raw.' I know that I tried to be funny, whether I actually was, depended on the person I was around. I know that as I got older, my sarcasm grew and my patience shrunk, unlike my shirt. ‘Expletive’ cookies were so good.”

4. What was it about standup comedy attracted to you to start working in that field? It seems like a challenging place to get a foothold in. “Attention on a ridiculous level. When you can make people laugh, the level of acceptance you get from people is addicting and you want more of it. Every night I get off stage and my first thought is, when can I go back up? It’s the greatest drug only a select few get to enjoy. If it was taken away from me and could be found in some seedy alley, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to get it back.”

5. Can you talk a little bit about how your childhood has influenced you as a person? How it has influenced your comedy? You tie a lot of your southern Californian roots into your routines (and I think audiences love that).

“Well, this has certainly turned into quite the therapy session. My therapist asked all these questions, minus the last one. I’m going to tell you what I told her. Little Gabriel is not ready to come out and play yet.”

6. How did you develop your comedic style? “A friend of mine, and I use that term loosely, recently played an old video of my first year doing comedy. And it was quite the sight. I sounded like every single stereotypical Mexican-American movie from the late ’80s, which is about three movies. To watch that now is very painful, short of ending up naked on stage. Wait a second, that happened once … not kidding. I’ve taken every chance on stage in order to grow my show globally.”

7. How and when did you make the decision to be a clean comedian? “Three months in, I already had a small following at a local dive bar in Montebello, CA, called Wild Coyote. A comedian and friend named Joey Medina pulled me to the side and gave me the best advice I have ever taken. He said, ‘You’re very likeable on stage, you don’t need to cuss. If you take the cussing out of your act, more people will want to work with you and you won’t have to edit your material when you do TV.’”

8. Why not venture more into political or controversial issues? “Because I like filling arenas around the world.”

9. Any memories from early in your career that make you laugh now? “So let’s get back to that naked thing. Early in my career, I found myself playing chicken with an audience member. Long story short, I found myself playing wardrobe chicken with a fan, and let’s just say I did not lose.”

10. You’ve come to Foxwoods many times now. Do you have any plans for after the show? “You can definitely find me at the tables after the show.”

11. This might be the hardest question, but what is your process for coming up with new material? “My life is so random now that the stories write themselves. I’ve never been able to be a 'joke writer.' I tell stories and make them funny. None of my material has ever been written on paper.”

12. Will you be testing out new material during Saturday’s show? “My new special is in two weeks, and if I’m still testing new material, I’m in trouble. But yeah, I will be testing.”

13. Do you ever feel the pressure to re-perform popular routines? “I like doing new material, but I love pleasing the audience. So I will always do an old piece at the end.”

14. Is there anything I missed or you would like to add? “You were cheaper than my therapist, can’t wait to do this again.”

If you go

Who: Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias

Where: Foxwoods' Grand Theater

When: 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $40-$64.50

Contact: 1-800-200-2882, www.foxwoods.com



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