Gabriel Iglesias brings 20th anniversary FluffyMania tour to San Antonio
Stand-up comedy star Gabriel Iglesias is a movie star, too, with roles in three holiday season films.
Fans won’t actually be able to lay eyes on him, though: All three movies are animated.
Iglesias plays the head clerk in the Department of Human Reunions in the new Pixar hit “Coco”; Rufus the dog in the Nativity-themed “The Star”; and Cuatro, a hedgehog, in “Ferdinand.”
San Antonio fans can see Iglesias, aka Fluffy, in the flesh when he returns to his favorite city Thursday as part of the FluffyMania world tour celebrating his 20 years in comedy. He was scheduled to play S.A. in March but canceled a string of spring dates to focus on his health. (He’s dealing with Type 2 diabetes.)
Iglesias reminisced about his career trajectory around that time on Instagram: “20 years ago tonight (April 10th, 1997) I began my comedy career here at the PCH Club in Long Beach, Calif. I’m hanging out here in the parking lot right now thinking about what a ride it’s been.”
He was back on the road by the summer, though his popular Instagram feed started to include posts about working out at Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys, California, in addition to his usual obsessions, such as vintage VW buses, pro wrestling and pop-culture collectibles.
After two decades in the business, Iglesias is one of the most popular comedians in the world, one of the few stand-ups — George Lopez and Kevin Hart are peers — who can play arenas, not clubs.
To see his mostly safe-for-work act, infectious storytelling punctuated with impressions and sound effects, is to understand why he’s also a natural for voiceover roles.
Instantly identifiable in his trademark jean shorts and Hawaiian shirt, Iglesias released his most recent comedy special, “I’m Sorry for What I Said When I Was Hungry,” about a year ago on Netflix. He also has a TV series, “Fluffy’s Food Adventures,” on Fuse.
On stage or screen, he establishes an instant rapport with fans. His comedy is typically neither angry nor absurd, just a friendly, occasionally exasperated, account of what he’s been up to.
He can spin 10 minutes out of meeting idol Arnold Schwarzenegger at a red carpet premiere or his frustrations with cost-saving sensors in public restrooms, which ends up with him being assailed by an automatic toilet.
He’s best when grappling with his conflicting personas — a big 40-year-old kid, a comedy superstar and a guy with grown-up responsibilities, including being a dad to a teenager who’s not impressed by any of that.
In a highlight of his last Netflix special, he recalls arguing with one of his son’s friends about superheroes, catching himself, and then continuing the fight anyway with a Batman smackdown — he’s “not the best superhero, Batman is the creepiest superhero.”
That’s about as dark as it gets at a Fluffy show, which may be one of the secrets to his success. In an interview with Broadway World, Iglesias says he purposely avoids divisive topics such as sports, politics and religion.
“There are enough things in this world that will divide and polarize an audience,” he said. “My fans spend hard-earned money and take time to come and see me live, and I hope to make everyone’s day a little better by bringing them laughter and sharing stories that they can relate to.”