Make 'Em Laugh: Gabriel Iglesias's "Aloha Fluffy"

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The aspect of Gabriel Iglesias's personality that makes him such an endearing comedian, even if the occasional joke doesn't land, has to be how down to earth he comes across in his routines and how genuinely thankful he seems to be for the career he has. He's just so happy to be up on stage and his enthusiasm is contagious. His latest stand-up special Aloha Fluffy brings that quality to bear on his audience in Hawaii and with it comes a barrage of amusing anecdotes about his time on the road with the highlights easily being his emotional recounting of his trip to the Middle East and the ridiculously (and intentionally) racist prank he pulled on a fellow comedian.

Gabriel Iglesias isn't the typical line 'em up and knock 'em down kind of comedian; he doesn't just introduce a premise and then immediately twist it into a punchline. His jokes are far more elaborate as they all originate from an experience he's had, either as a comedian, a friend, a husband, or as an adoptive father of his wife's son. The comical themes aren't much different from any other comedian's take on the subjects he covers, but it's how he goes after them. He mines about 30 punchlines from each 5-10 minute story pointing out his observations on what makes a given situation ridiculous or perilous for a man who doesn't want his wife to castrate him in the night.

His stories of navigating the tricky territory of enforcing rules for his new son (like wearing deodorant) by pranking him in hilarious ways are wildly entertaining, but Aloha Fluffy has moments that also border on the tender and reflective. The best example is Iglesias's trip to the Middle East and how it totally obliterated his misconceptions about what life is like on the other side of the planet. Even if you've been in a Middle Eastern country, his recounting of his reception there is simultaneously funny and eye-opening. It's stories like those that make Iglesias's stand-up specials stand out from the rest and Aloha Fluffy drives that point home.

For some comedians, keeping jokes clean (whether of swearing, sexual innuendo, or racial jibes) becomes the entirety of their act and it sabotages how funny their jokes are. Conversely, some comedians eschew any sense of shame at all and go for shock value and that too can affect how much actual comedy they manage to deliver. Gabriel Iglesias might be one of the cleanest and good-natured comedians out there, but he does so without any adverse effect on his stories. When a comedian can make that approach work for them it makes them incredibly accessible.

Comedy might be subjective, but Iglesias's personality and approach to comedy (with his obvious glee in getting a laugh in elaborate ways) make him a universally appreciable comedian. If you haven't seen any of his stand-up specials, Aloha Fluffy is a perfect place to start.

Aloha Fluffy is available now at Amazon.com.

Jun
09
2013
Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.

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