By G. Michael Dobbs
Comic Gabriel Iglesias has a slightly different writing regimen than other comedians. Rather than sit down at a computer and write jokes, Iglesias told Reminder Publications his material comes to him from just living life.
"I live it and then exaggerate it," he said.
Iglesias is one of the rising stars of comedy, with successful tours and several comedy concert DVDs to his credit. He will be performing two shows at the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee on Aug. 8.
He is also one of the hardest working comics around, is on the road 45 weeks of the year.
Known for his Hawaiian shirts and expressive voices, Iglesias' routine on the six stages of being fat -- "Big, Healthy, Husky, Fluffy, Damn! and Oh Hell No!" -- has not only given him a comic niche onto himself but created a cottage industry.
Calling himself "fluffy," Iglesias has capitalized on his success with a host of "fluffy" products on his Web sites, www.fluffyguy.com and www.fluffyshop.com. He sells tee shirts and outerwear for men, women and babies with messages such as "Real Men Have Stretch Marks."
Iglesias said his clothing line came out of a frustration over not finding clothes he liked -- sizes on his site go up to five extra large -- and became one of the companies he set up. He also produced his first two comedy specials and has produced and set up distribution for his comedy DVDs.
"At the end of the day, I own everything [about his comedy]," he said.
He said his trademark stories, such as being pulled over by a police officer and having his friend complicate the situation, are true. The actions of his friend, comic Felipe Esparza, make up a lot of his act, he explained.
Esparza is currently one of the contestants on "Last Comic Standing," and Iglesias said, "You can't miss this guy. He looks like a terrorist."
One might think that Iglesias is on the route to television sitcom and movie stardom, but those are not things he's pursuing.
"I got into comedy to do comedy," he explained. To do a sitcom, it would have to be the "perfect circumstances," he added.
"I wouldn't want it to fail," he said.
He has been asked to audition for movie roles as well, but passed those by due to his touring schedule.
He admitted that one of the roadblocks to making the break to other comic media is the difficulty driving around Los Angeles, where he lives.
"I hate traffic," he said. "I don't cuss, but get me in traffic and wow!"
He missed doing a guest shot on a sitcom because he didn't want to deal with the traffic.
He has done some voice acting for animation, which he does like.
"You walk in and they hand you two pages [to perform]. You're done in a day and then checks show up at your doorstep. It's beautiful!" he said.
He enjoys the freedom stand-up brings him.
While he wouldn't call his show "family friendly," Iglesias said his comedy is cleaner than most.
"At the beginning I was really, really dirty and I was told if I worked clean I'd have more opportunity. People said I have a real likable stage presence," he said.
He cautioned that some profanity might be heard, but not much.
"When I'm doing stand-up I'm the director, the producer and the writer," he explained.
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