Even though he’s had practically no TV exposure in the UK, American comic Gabriel Iglesias is playing the massive Hammersmith Apollo this weekend. He’s a big name in the States – and, through the power of the internet, he’s popular across the globe now too – as seen on most of the late-night chat shows, as a contestant on ‘Last Comic Standing’ and as Tobias in the ‘Magic Mike’ films.
On stage, Iglesias is a nice-guy stand-up, reenacting feel-good stories using his impressive vocal range. Here, the 39-year-old comic (known as ‘Fluffy’ to his fans) counts down his ten favourite stand-ups.
‘Russell Peters changed my comedy touring game. He would tell me about the places around the world that he would perform and I would wonder: Why am I only staying in the US? I need to see some world! I can thank Russell for inspiring me to perform in other countries, since I never wanted to leave home.’
‘He kills me! He’s a great performer and friend.’
‘As far as guys who perform on stage, I love Chris Rock. I’m kind of jaded on everyone else.’
‘He is very much a storyteller and I would listen to his albums when I was a kid.’
‘Groundbreaking and boundary-pushing comedy. His HBO specials were game-changers.’
‘When I started out I was very blue. People would call me “the Latino Sam Kinison” because I was very loud and in-your-face.’
‘Billy’s produced legendary characters and he’s naturally funny. He’s one of my comedy heroes. I geeked out when I got to meet him and Whoopi Goldberg while doing “The View.” What they did with Comic Relief was amazing.’
‘A mentor who paved the way for Hispanic comedians. Even offstage this guy is silly and fun to be around.’
‘An all-round legend and one of the funniest and kindest men in comedy. I had the chance to share a stage with him and he was always spontaneous and so animated.’
‘He has a special place in my comedy story. Seeing “Raw” as a kid was a big inspiration for me to do stand-up comedy.’