I have to admit that I had not heard about Gabriel Iglesias before I got this Blu-ray concert film in the mail. From the first look at the cover you notice the obvious. Gabriel is a rather rotund comic. For him, it’s not a liability at all. Honestly, he’s turned it into a cash cow, of sorts. It’s a huge, pun intended, part of his routine. In fact, to understand the titles of the release you have to be clued into one of his signature routines. He identifies six levels of obesity. They range from Big, Healthy, Husky, Fluffy, Damn, and the latest level Oh Hell No. As you might guess, Gabriel considers himself in the Fluffy category. Still, for all of his pounds he has quite a bit of energy, and he moves along the stage quite well for his weight. His body and child-like face make him disarming and more than a little bit charming on stage.
Gabriel has a pretty solid repertoire of routines. The show actually starts off slow as he appears to name-drop. He goes endlessly on and on about his encounters with the more famous Paul Rodriquez. Fortunately, the show gets a lot better as soon as he’s used up every bit he can ride on that subject. While his bits often cover a lot of the familiar stand-up fodder, he tends to be cleaner than most comedians. He does resort to the occasional toilet joke but doesn’t appear to be stuck there. His best material is when he’s delivering short rapid-fire bits. When he slows down for a longer story, the funny factor drops considerably.
The best tool he has is his ability to do sound effects and female voices. He has that telephone-hold voice down pat. He can do little kids, laying a lot of material on his girlfriend’s boy Frankie, whom we meet at the end of the performance. These “voices” routines are by far his strongest material and get the most generous applause from the fans.
The show bogs down in another area where Gabriel tries to promote his accessibility. He explains that he’s the same guy in person as he is on stage and encourages fans to approach him out in public. This is obviously a sign of his relatively new-found fame. He’s almost begging to be mobbed, likely like all of his idols. He’ll tire of it soon enough. He also talks about the chocolate cakes that fans leave for him at shows and how he brings them home to his family. His girlfriend worries about someone trying to poison him. Again Gabriel makes light of the possibility, but it’s more real than he believes. It’s unfortunate, but there are nut jobs out there who will do all kinds of crazy crap. Gabriel’s almost asking for it. Here’s hoping he stays safe.
What is safe is the bet that you’ll find this material a little fresher and more enjoyable than the bulk of what we get in stand-up anymore. Usually there’s this competition to see who can be the most vulgar or offensive. Look, I love the whole pushing the envelope thing. I’ve been a fan of South Park since its internet-file days. But, there’s something rather refreshing to see a guy like Gabriel Iglesias strut his stuff here in El Paso, where he appears to have gotten his start.
The comedy concert is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The 1080i image is arrived at with an AVC MPEG-4 codec at an average 25 mbps. Look. This is a comedy concert, and so the high-definition image presentation isn’t as important as it is in most releases. Still, it’s a solid presentation. Colors are natural. The black levels work well for the audience shots. The contrast levels allow you to appreciate the subtle light effects going on on the stage. It’s all just about as good as this kind of release gets.
The PCM 2.0 track delivers the routine. If you’re looking for anything more, you’re in the wrong review.
Additional Footage: This includes a deleted routine that was likely cut because of stage-hand interruptions. There are also short routines by a couple of his buddies: Martin Moreno and Noe Gonzalez. For some reason, these performances are bleeped.
Onstage Q&A With The Fans: (8:09) Starts out with some fan testimonials and leads to Gabriel answering audience questions.
Comedy is such a personal thing that it is absolutely one of the hardest things to review. Tastes vary to such a degree that what one person finds completely unfunny leaves another person in stitches on the ground. But there are those routines and comedians that have appeared to find some universal appeal. People like Bill Cosby or George Carlin might not be your favorites, but I’ve yet to find someone who thought they sucked. I’m not saying that Gabriel Iglesias belongs anywhere near that category. He doesn’t. He is creative and manages to do better with less. “Sometimes you have to create your own entertainment.”