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Gabriel Iglesias Comedy Journey: From Selling Cell Phones to Selling Out Dodger Stadium, Fluffy Opens Up About His Road to Stand-Up Success

As Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias marks the 25th anniversary of the start of his career, the comedian reminisces about the origins of his act.

In the first episode of Variety’s new docuseries “My Comedy Journey,” created by Variety’s Alex Castro and Steven Gaydos, Iglesias visits his hometown of Long Beach, Calif., where he recalls his journey from selling cell phones to becoming a renowned stand-up comedian. 

“I love how I can drive five minutes and see my childhood,” Iglesias says while driving through his old neighborhood. He adds, “This is home for me, and I feel like if I were to leave, I would be losing touch with what’s real.”

In Variety’s ride-along Iglesias starts off at the very beginning pulling up next to his childhood home: an apartment building he lived in with his mother in the ’80s. 

“My mom used to yell at me from that window, right up there,” Iglesias says, pointing to one of the second-story windows of the building. “I’d play down here — this was my playground — and she’d say, ‘You make sure you play where I can see you.’”

Iglesias later drops by Tincher Preparatory School, where he performed for the first time in front of an audience.

“This school had a talent show. I showed up here with a friend of mine to do an audition — to do a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch,” he recalls. “When we walked up to do the sketches, my friend ran out that door, and so I was stuck there by myself.” 

Rather than bailing like his friend, Iglesias decided to mimic voices for the show. “At that point, I was used to being bullied, I was used to being called fat,” he says. “But after that night, I realized that what I did made everyone see me differently, and I liked it. Who doesn’t want good attention?” 

Throughout the episode, Iglesias discusses his comedic point of view as well as the process behind his stand-up routine. 

“I always give something a good opportunity,” he explains about his material. “If I think that something’s funny, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna make it work … Nothing is ever gone, it’s just on the back-burner.” 

Although he admires comedians known for getting controversial and “pushing the envelope,” citing Bill Burr and Dave Chappelle, Iglesias emphasizes that he’ll never use his act as a political platform. 

“That’s not what my fans signed up for,” he says. “It would be a disservice to all of a sudden change what I do and start being political, or start being like, ‘Oh, this is how you gotta be.’”

Iglesias made history as the first comedian to ever perform at Dodger Stadium, where he scored back-to-back sellout concerts. The historic stand-up event will air as a Netflix special titled, “Gabriel Iglesias: Stadium Fluffy Live from Los Angeles.” 

“Comedy has taught me that humor is something that brings people together,” he says.

At the end of the episode, Iglesias adds, “I know that I have a certain responsibility when I walk out there, to make sure that they leave feeling better than when they walked in.”

“Gabriel Iglesias: Stadium Fluffy Live from Los Angeles” premieres globally on Netflix Oct. 18.

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