Gabriel Iglesias displays experience and craft in latest special
By Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief
Stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias is a friendly, jovial, mischievous presence on stage with material that’s obviously been well written, crafted and constructed. In fact, one would be missing out by not paying heed to him until now, with his latest album “Aloha Fluffy,” released September 24 in audio form after airing on Comedy Central and as a video release earlier in the year. Iglesias has had numerous specials and series over the past several years, and commands arena-size audiences for live shows.
Although it’s curious not to have every format of Iglesias’ work released simultaneously, the CD release in particular spreads out over two discs and includes a bonus story about Iglesias’ experience as a cast member in the movie “Magic Mike,” available only on the CD release, that is well worth the purchase price.
But enough about the format and mechanics – Iglesias, self-dubbed “Fluffy” as in the title of this special, wears his heart on his sleeve in the material, which is one reason why he connects so successfully. On “Family,” in “Aloha Fluffy,” he adds healthy perspective to the outlook in the material – describing his stepson, 15, whom he’s now been a father to for eight years, he says, “I know the math doesn’t add up. But I’m not ghetto. I just hooked up with a beautiful woman who had a pre-started family, which is why the math is off. … Basically I took over a lease is what happened.” That last bit gets a great laugh.
It’s that easy approach to life that comes through throughout Iglesias’ material. Not only can he get away with cutting humor on the topic of race, he makes it look easy and inoffensive. That’s most evident on the two-part piece “Racist Gift Basket,” where he describes at length a prank played on an African-American fellow comic. The title pretty much sums up what the prank was, and one should leave it to a listener to describe the piece any further, but it’s definitely a highlight of the package here.
While there is some filler to “Aloha Fluffy,” mainly the inclusion of every bit of opening patter and transitions, overall the material and Iglesias’ personality is strong enough to merit repeated listens. Certainly you will want to share pieces like the ones described in this review – they will inspire you to tell people, “you gotta hear this…”
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