Singapore, Australia, Riverside (Iowa), London, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Boston, Honolulu. That’s Gabriel Iglesias’ fall Stand-Up Revolution Tour.
How did Iowa land in the middle of all his west-east comedy globe-trotting?
Riverside came first, “then all these other dates got booked around it,” Iglesias, 36, says by phone before a recent gig in Ventura, Calif., not far from his home base in Long Beach.
His Riverside shows, slated for 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, in the casino’s Event Center, are sold out. But more laughs are in store that weekend. He’s the middle batter in a comedy triple header that begins Friday with Patton Oswalt, the voice of Remy the rat-chef in “Ratatouille,” and ends Sunday with major league mimic Rich Little.
Iglesias — no relation to crooners Julio and Enrique — is very much his own star, hosting Comedy Central’s “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution.”
This upstanding guy keeps his live shows pretty clean, with just a couple of f-bombs tossed here and there, not a bombardment.
- WHAT: Comedy Weekend with Patton Oswalt, Gabriel Iglesias and Rich Little
- WHEN: Oswalt 9 p.m. Friday; Iglesias, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Rich Little, 5 p.m. Sunday
- WHERE: Riverside Casino Event Center, 3184 Highway 22, Riverside
- COST: Oswalt: $25 to $35, Iglesias: sold out, Little: $20 to $30
- TICKETS: Casino Gift Shop or Riversidecasinoandresort.com
“The live show is a lot of fun,” he says. “I don’t get political, I don’t get controversial. It’s not a tell-you-what-to-do type of show. It’s a really fun show. ”
He tends to blend stories, sound effects, beat-boxing and fun characters, but Saturday’s routines are completely new, giving Riverside audiences a sneak peek at the material he’s bringing to his new one-hour Comedy Central television special. He’s also dipped his toes into the film realm.
The guy whose tagline is “I’m not fat, I’m Fluffy,” is fresh off a summer screen appearance in “Magic Mike.”
His first love — besides his girlfriend and his 15-year-old son — is connecting with audiences, in person and via YouTube and social media.
“You have to have a strong connection with your fans. They’re the ones who are going to take care of you,” he says. “The industry notices you when you have a really strong connection with people on social networks.”
He grew up as the shy guy, not the class clown, so he says the first time he really knew he was funny was when we got his first check.
Patton Oswalt, on the other hand, says he was “one of a lot of class clowns, all in a little clique.”
His father was a Marine, and Oswalt, now 43, was named for Gen. George S. Patton. His family moved around some, but settled in northern Virginia.
Oswalt majored in English at the College of William and Mary, hitting some open mike nights between his freshman and sophomore years, then started getting regular gigs by his senior year.
He worked in Baltimore for a while, then moved to San Francisco and eventually to Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and 3-year-old daughter.
He describes his comedy style as “off the cuff.”
“I go up and sort of see what’s happening and let it develop that way,” he says.
Vocal chameleon Rich Little, performing Sunday, is one of Iglesias’ idols.
“I’ve been following comedy and entertainment since I was a little kid,” Iglesias says. “Because I do a lot of voices and characters, I used to watch Rich Little — especially when he’d do Ronald Reagan. When I did my first school talent show, the impression I did of Ronald Reagan was an impression of Rich Little doing Ronald Reagan.”
— Diana Nollen