My 16-year-old son and I disagree on most things — from music to movies and from long-term plans to everyday responsibilities. I've often wondered if he goes out of his way to proclaim the exact opposite of whatever I decree. Most recently the discussion has turned to his future. I want him to consider college while he is set on military service immediately post-high school.
But there is one thing we agree on — the comedy of Gabriel Iglesias, a.k.a. "Fluffy."
And his upcoming show at the Indiana State Fair has both of us pretty stoked.
Fluffy's brand of humor is universal and timeless. He tells stories of his life — his travels around the world, his crazy friends, his battles with weight (which led to his nickname) and his family dynamics.
As a Mexican-American, he doesn't run from the stereotypes he has faced in his life, but rather embraces them — along with every other existing racial stereotype. He addresses them all in a hilarious, yet non-offensive way.
He calls it unity through laughter.
Iglesias is more than just a comedian. He has lent his voice talents to both Nickelodeon and Disney. He even took on a bit more serious role as a drug dealin' DJ in Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL.
That's not bad for a guy who was working at a cell phone company in Los Angeles before trying his hand at making people laugh for a living.
Iglesias' mother and other family members tried to talk him out of taking such a big risk to step away from the mundane security of his "day" job. But he wouldn't hear of it. And despite his mother's initial fears coming true (he was evicted from his home and lost his car in those rough early years), Iglesias is definitely shining.
Before that star shines in Indy for the Indiana State Fair, I took the opportunity to ask Iglesias a few questions — a few from me and a few from my son, who has proclaimed himself Fluffy's biggest fan. It also gave me a chance to say "Thank you," because Fluffy's unity through laughter has definitely brought this old lady and her teenage son closer together.
NUVO: Was there anyone in particular that influenced your career?
Gabriel Iglesias: Yes, Eddie Murphy's "Raw" was my first inspiration.
NUVO: If you could go back and re-do a moment in your career (on stage, in film, etc.), what would it be and why?
Iglesias: I have no regrets.
NUVO: You have traveled around the world. What is your favorite country to visit and why?
Iglesias: I love Australia. I love Norway. Europe in general has been amazing to me. It's hard to pick a favorite, I have had so much fun around the world.
NUVO: How did you and Martín (Moreno) become friends?
Iglesias: We go way back to performing in small comedy clubs and hole in the wall bars and met doing comedy.
(Martin Moreno is another Mexican-American comedian. Moreno's brand of comedy is more NC-17 compared to Iglesias' PG-13 style, but the two are the best of friends and their antics often become material in Iglesias' acts.)
NUVO: If your mom was still here, what do you think she would say about your success?
Iglesias: I think she would be proud and be very happy for me.
NUVO: What would you say to young people about following their dreams and making their own destiny? What would you say about their moms who fear for their future?
Iglesias: If you believe in yourself and work hard, anything is possible. It is your mom's job to fear for your future, remember they have your best interests at heart.
NUVO: Everything about your comedy is very personal — friendships, relationships, family, your ethnicity, your weight, etc. Is it hard to open yourself up to the world?
Iglesias: Haha. No. I keep some things to myself. What makes me relatable is sharing these stories about my kid, my crazy friends and even my weight loss, because these are things that everyone can relate to.
When: Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum