Movie Review

DVD Review: Gabriel Iglesias – I’m Not Fat… I’m Fluffy, Live From El Paso

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I love how more and more comedians are putting their shows on DVD. Not only does it give you the opportunity to take home your favourite show and replay it as many times as you want, but it’s honestly a great thing to have playing in the background during a party or a get-together. What, you’ve never tried that? You should give it a shot, perhaps on New Year’s Eve; on one side of the room, pop in one such DVD (volume low, captions on) and on the other side of the room, put some music on. (And let me know how it goes.)

I finally got my hands on the new Gabriel Iglesias special, which was filmed in El Paso in 2009. As he explains it in the DVD, Gabriel chose to film the presentation in El Paso because of his history in this town, which includes doing shows since 1997. These shows are not only funny, but they are refreshingly family-friendly. As opposed to other comics, he barely uses profanity and sparsely uses sexuality as the (rather easy) butt of his jokes. And yet, using a mix of sound effects (he’s really good at doing the sound of a car) and jokes pertaining to his weight — or rather, to his “fluffiness,” as he puts it — he still makes his crowds double up in laughter.

For those of you who have seen Gabriel Iglesias’ previous specials, you know that he has five levels of fatness. However, it’s not quite five anymore, as Gabriel has met someone who needs a whole new level to himself. A quick refresher: the five original levels are “Big,” “Healthy,” “Husky,” “Fluffy,” and “Dayyum” (that’s when you see someone so fat that you can’t help but exclaim “Dayyuuuum!”). The new sixth level is called “Oh, hell no!” and describes a person who, when you seem them walking towards your elevator, you do NOT want them stepping in with you. And for those of you who have never seen Gabriel Iglesias perform, let me tell you something: the delivery makes this cuteness downright hilarious.

Don’t let the self-deprecating humour fool you; Gabriel doesn’t reflect a related lack of confidence: “I know they were checking me out because they were looking at me like I check out tacos.”

His show revolves a lot around his family: his mother, his girlfriend, and his stepson take up a major portion of the time. He also talks about how becoming famous has affected his life (all in a positive way), but we can clearly see that Gabriel is still down-to-earth; he even encouraged his fans – those at the El Paso taping as well as any who are watching it, anywhere around the world – to approach him for a chat if they spot him on the street. After all, he tells us, it’s the fans that made it possible for him to be able to take care of his family. I know; so cute.

There aren’t many Bonus Features available on the DVD. They include five-minute clips each from two other comedians (whose styles vary greatly from Gabriel’s and are definitely not family-friendly) and a deleted scene from Gabriel’s show during which he talks about his high school reunion:

Girl: You’re fat too
Gabriel: I was fat in high school. I kept my figure, why wouldn’t you?

The Bonus Features also include a Q&A session with the fans, of which three moments constitute its highlights. First was when a young fan asked to have a picture taken with him & Gabriel invites him to come onstage. A small moment, and perhaps not a funny one, but still a great moment that reflects the fact that Gabriel Iglesias still is, as he puts it, the same guy as before.

Second was the fan who got a lot of screen time. It began when Gabriel Iglesias called him out for leaving the room to go to the bathroom when all he was doing was stepping to the back of the line to have his turn at the mike. It then continued when the fan stepped up to the mike and Gabriel told him he was pretty (yes, pretty, that’s the word he used). Obviously that made everyone laugh while slightly embarrassing the fan, who graciously thanked Gabriel. And as the fan stepped away from the mike, Gabriel gave him some advice: “Don’t you ever commit a crime.” Seriously, this is one show this fan is not going to forget.

The third highlight was when we meet Frankie, Gabriel’s stepson. Frankie seemed happy to oblige, and yes, the two do look like they are biologically related. Perhaps that impression was enhanced by the fact that the two of them were dressed similarly (which was adorable). But the best part was the following:

Gabriel, to the crowd: Hey everyone, is reading important?
Crowd: Yes!
Gabriel, to Frankie: You hear that?
Frankie nods.
Gabriel: Good, now go play some videogames.

The only thing missing from this DVD was more of Gabriel’s Bill Clinton impression, which is, well, impressive. Other than that, it’s a little over an hour of (mostly) clean, family-fun.

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