Gabriel Iglesias on The Fluffy Movie and Standing Up to Hollywood
For a modern stand-up comedian, the biggest commercial achievement is the stand-up concert film -- not just an hour-long special, but a feature-length film released in movie theaters. They are rare, because few stand-ups have the right mix of ability and marketability to compete with spaceships and superheroes.
But Gabriel Iglesias has the chops. The Fluffy Movie, his addition to the stand-up concert film oeuvre, opens this Friday, July 25. He spoke with New Times about his process for the film, expanding his horizons, and teaching Hollywood that although comedians can become movie stars, the story continues after the credits roll.
"This feels amazing. As a comic, usually the dream is to get a special on HBO or Comedy Central. Back in the day, HBO was the holy grail of comedy -- George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock. That was the goal," Iglesias remembers. "And then Comedy Central comes along and you get the chance to do a half hour. I had done Last Comic Standing, and Comedy Central was like 'you got some good face time on that, would you be interested in doing a full hour?' And I'm like, HBO isn't calling, let's give it a shot."
There was one drawback, though: "I just didn't like the fact that there were going to be commercials during it, and that they would censor you. Now I'm not saying I'm the filthiest comic, but certain words they didn't like me using. Especially Spanish, anything in Spanish they wanted to cut out even if it was just a punch that would have subtitles to explain what it was. So a lot of back and forth."
A then-younger Fluffy was approached by Levity Entertainment to produce an hour-long special. Now, having a clearer idea of what he wanted, he opted to do it his way at his cost. He found a venue in Bakersfield he knew he could sell out, and "the ball just started rolling. Next thing you know, we do Hot and Fluffy, then two years later I'm Not Fat... I'm Fluffy, then three years later the Aloha Fluffy special. Two weeks before I taped Aloha Fluffy, I got approached by a film company."