There is one thing that is undeniable about Gabriel Iglesias: he has mass appeal. The Mexican American comedian brought his Beyond Fluffy world tour to Toronto for two shows as part of the JFL42 comedy festival. The moniker Fluffy came from his tongue in cheek way of making fun of his weight– at his heaviest he was 445 and he has since lost 100 pounds.
The show is clearly a well oiled machine setting up a formidable amount of merch for the whole family and displaying a sign “All shirts go to 5X.” Matinee comedy shows are rare but Fluffy fans were unphased to fill Toronto’s Meridian Hall at 4pm. As people took their seats “fluffy facts” were projected branded with the scooby doo meets day of the dead motif of the tour.
The show opened with a commercial for Fluffy’s latest Netflix special. Opener Alfred Robles performed in front of a massive branded projection of his own head shot surrounded by his name and a Guadalupe inspired border. It was meant for the much larger arenas and amphitheater stops on this tour. Robles was completely inoffensive and did jokes about how his girlfriend bossed him around until they broke up. Proceeded to jokes about how useless he was without her and how he was really deep down a self proclaimed “Cat daddy.” His closer, a reflection on a memory where a teacher was convinced he was getting beat at home, was sweet and very easy to understand.
Robles returned to the stage with a 5x T-Shirt and invited any audience members who thought they could fit it to come up. Robles selected the Top 3 and the audience voted on the “Fluffiest” one. The winner waved their T shirt proudly as they maneuvered their rascal scooter back to the designated area.
The lights went down and this time a projection of a cake adorned with the day of dead animation being assembled as it flew through space to the apocalypse now theme song.
Fluffy emerged to a mostly standing ovation.
He explained that his show was entirely new material. He proceeded to update the crowd about what has happened in his life since his last Netflix special. Speaking to thousands of people as if there were old friends at a company picnic. He started with a jokes pandering to Toronto’s NBA championship. Proceeded to talk about his love for his Chihuahuas and his decision to leave them behind because “He played a Viking festival and had no idea what would happen”. His ever present Latino perspective was referenced when in Estonia he was disappointed that a greek man serving gyros was not a Mexican serving tacos. There was a sitcom like anecdote about how a winery is no place for a Fluffy.
The show’s most genuine moment was when Fluffy revealed that he was going through a separation. A joke about Country music had a well meaning skeleton that was genuine. A bit that will likely be perfected as time goes on.
The show closed out with a high energy bit that referenced the success of Russell Peters and Fluffy’s confusion around politically correct terms for races other than his own. This bit was served with a large portion of Fluffy’s signature voices.
Fluffy’s appeal is as broad and non threatening as his custom Hawaiian shirts.