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Gabriel Iglesias Talks Comedy, Cartoons, and Magic Mike XXL

Standup comedy is currently experiencing one of its biggest booms. Every night of the week, clubs and theaters all over the Twin Cities are packed with fans new and old, and comedians are continually finding different platforms to showcase their unique styles.

Still, even in a time where standups are regarded in the same light as rock stars, there are only a select few who have established themselves as the gold standard for comedy. Gabriel Iglesias is one of those comedians.

With his signature Hawaiian shirts, over-the-top character voices, and hilarious personal stories, Iglesias is a performer whose comedy connects with all kinds of folks. This past summer, he released a full-length standup concert film, The Fluffy Movie, while also building his television and movie credits. This week, Iglesias brings his Unity Through Laughter tour to the only venue in town that can host a comedian of his stature: Target Center.

Before Fluffy arrives in Minneapolis, we talked with the comedian about his meteoric rise to arena status, his budding voice-acting career, and his upcoming appearance in the new Magic Mike movie.

What's the experience like doing comedy in an arena setting like Target Center in Minneapolis? Are you still able to connect with the audience?

The best thing about performing in an arena setting is the acceptance of thousands of people at the same time. I can still connect with the audience, as long as I can see them.

You're at a level where, comedy-wise, it seems like you've done basically everything there is to do in standup. Are there any goals as a standup that you're still trying to achieve?

My next milestone will be performing at Madison Square Garden on April 17. It's one of those iconic, bucket-list venues to perform at. The arena tour has been great, and I look forward to bringing it to the Target Center as well.

Even though you just put out the movie last year, do you have any immediate plans for another standup special?

Not immediately, but keep an eye out, probably next year.

You've done some voice work for several films, which seems like a natural fit for you. How much freedom do you have to put your own personal touch on those characters' voices?

I have as much freedom as the director gives me. I really enjoy doing voice work. It has been great to me, and I look forward to more of it. Hear that, Pixar and the Mouse?  

You're also doing acting, and you're back in the Magic Mike sequel. How did your friends and family react when you told them you were going to be in a movie about male strippers?

Are you kidding? All the ladies were thrilled. Some of them got to be extras in the first movie, which was great for them. Everyone is excited that I'm going to be in the sequel.  

In The Fluffy Movie you talked about losing a significant amount of weight. Is that a sign that we're finally going to get a Fluffy dance scene in the Magic Mike XXL?

I'm not saying yes... but I'm not saying no.   

IF YOU GO:

Gabriel Iglesias
Target Center
Friday, Feb. 27
8 p.m., $27-$87