116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
If it seems like Gabriel Iglesias is a laid-back, regular dude onstage, well it's true, since that's who the stand-up has been since turning to comedy in 1997.
Iglesias, 45, delivers personal stories, which are often self-deprecating.
"I'm not fat, I'm fluffy," became Iglesias' signature line at the start of his eventful career. His weight has inspired his material.
"I like talking about myself since I know what I'm talking about, and people connect with it," Iglesias said. "I'll talk about flying Southwest (Airlines). I won't complain about issues they have with fluffy people. I look at the other side. When I fly Southwest, I buy two seats. It's what I call 'ghetto first-class.' I have lots of room, and it's great because I get double the snacks."
Iglesias, who will perform Sunday at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse, scores points since he and his material are relatable but unpredictable. His stories are personalized, rather than rapid-fire one-liners or topical humor.
Iglesias is a survivor.
He lived through a hardscrabble youth in Southern California in public housing. As a young adult, he quit a stable job with a phone company to focus on comedy. He was evicted and had his car repossessed, but he continued with comedy.
"You got to do what you have to do in life," Iglesias said. "If you work hard enough at what you love, things will work out."
As a prepubescent Iglesias realized he wanted to become a comic.
"When I saw Eddie Murphy's ‘Raw,’ I was like, ‘I want to do this!' I always tried to make my mother and my friends laugh. It was a way to get through the tough times. When I saw that I could make people laugh, it just made me want to do it more. Comedy has a way of making everything better."
Comedy led Iglesias to Hollywood. The charismatic humorist appeared in the film “Magic Mike” and voiced characters in “The Nut Job” and “El Americano: The Movie.” However, if Iglesias had to make a choice, it's stand-up over the soundstage.
"I love that with comedy, you just go and have fun onstage," he said. "With movies, you work and then you wait around. I enjoy doing movies, but I'm not crazy about all of the waiting you do."
During “The Fluffy Movie,” he revealed that he reached 445 pounds and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. His doctor gave him two years to live. The news shocked Iglesias, who responded by losing 100 pounds.
"You do what you have to do to survive onstage and in life," Iglesias said. "I don't want to go anywhere. I want to be there for my fans and my family."