It’s safe to say that the torch has been passed down to Gabriel Iglesias as the representative of Latinos on the comedy circuit. George Lopez is still around, but there’s only so many different funny bits one can spin about the mistreatment given by a certain family member.
“Fluffy’s” climb to notoriety revolved around jokes about his weight and his eating habits, but his style is molding his ability to kick out the jokes in a different direction. Iglesias could easily play on the Latino stereotype and beat the proverbial dead horse, but his new material on the “Fluffy Tour,” presented by Comedy Central, is perhaps funnier than some of the material that put him on the map.
The jolly comedian, who played the Buell Theatre on Friday, reminds me of an uncle of mine, Uncle Jesse, who has the innate ability to connect with all walks of life. Both have the same appetite for life — and are just as funny.
Gabriel’s charm and his unpretentiousness are a prized package that keep fans flocking to his shows in droves. (His last album went platinum, mind you.) Also keep in mind that both shows Friday night were sold out, only reinforcing my belief that a new ambassador to the comedy circle was christened. In Fluffy’s short time in Denver, he namechecked the popular Mexican food landmark in North Denver, Chubby’s, as well as Greeley, Uncle Nasty from KBPI and the downtown watering hole the Front Porch.
Iglesias champions himself a comedian for the people, by the people. And by the people, he’s equal opportunity when poking fun at the colorful society we have here in the good ol’ US of A. Gabriel spoke candidly about how in every race there’s a drunk song associated with them. For the Latinos, he sampled a Vicente Fernández song, sending the massively Latino crowd into a screaming frenzy. He ran down the list: for the Asians he played Carl Douglas’s massive hit, “Kung Fu Fighting.” For the Caucasians in the crowd, Lynrd Skynrd’s anthem of the South, “Sweet Home Alabama” blared across the theater.
As well as Gabriel’s set went over with the new material, he went past his allotted time to perform some crowd favorites. The “Krispy Creme” routine had the entire crowd mouthing his every word as if they were the lyrics to a Top 40 song. I wasn’t expecting the George Lopez imitation, but there he was — Gabriel mimicking the now late night host on TBS, head gestures and all.
In the end, Fluffy’s comedic talents didn’t rely solely on his comedy routing, but his impeccable talent with different voices. His uncanny ability to imitate most accents won me over in a night where I expected to hear stories of his “madre” or “abuela” mistreating him as a child.
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Julio Enriquez is a Denver writer and photographer, editor of the Cause=Time blog and a regular contributor to Reverb.