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Thursday, June 11, 2009


Written by Washington Post Express contributor Alfredo Flores

GABRIEL IGLESIAS IS like a human cartoon. He switches among characters he's met at a breakneck speed — anyone from racist Southern cops, mean Irish bartenders, his lively Mexican-American friends and family, California Valley Girls near his hometown of Long Beach, and suave D.C. tour guides. He also sports loud Hawaiian shirts and even has nicknames like Picachu and Fluffy. Oh, and he's easily excitable, letting out his trademark high-pitched squeal at the sight of a dozen Krispy Kremes, and sensually discusses chocolate cake over the phone with his girl (disturbingly similar to phone sex). The 2006 Comedy Central comedian of the year has made the late-night television circuit (appearances on "The Tonight Show," "The Late Late Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live"), was infamously booted off NBC's "Last Comic Standing" that year (he jokes, "I was the first Mexican deported on national TV"), and his one-hour special "2 Hot 2 Fluffy," debuts on Comedy Central in October. » EXPRESS: Why "fluffy"? » IGLESIAS: My mom called me that; sure beats the hell out of "fat." I then created the five levels of fatness and I've adapted that for my online clothing store for plus-sized people []. There, you can get the big, the "healthy," the "husky," the "fluffy" and the "Damn!" I've recently added a sixth level called the "Oh, hell, no!" [size 6XL]. I've lost a few pounds, so I'm between a husky and a fluffy. » EXPRESS: You open up the floor after your shows for audience questions. What do they ask? » IGLESIAS: I sometimes feel like a comedy mariachi, because instead of people asking me something personal about my life, I usually get joke requests. "Talk about chocolate cake; do corn on the cob; do Donkey [from 'Shrek']!" It's cool, because some people want to hear old jokes, but my new tour will feature 100 percent new jokes. » EXPRESS: What's up with the Hawaiian shirts? » IGLESIAS: Well, regular shirts get uncomfortable when you sweat a lot, and since I get pretty animated during the shows, it's kind of a workout. That, and I couldn't find clothes my size, so I always ended up wearing this, or some messed up T-shirt from some band I don't like, a Budweiser shirt I didn't want to wear just because Big and Tall carried it. Plus, when I went to Hawaii, everyone looked like swollen Mexicans. I felt at home. » EXPRESS: Now, with another TV special, are you too hot or too fluffy? » IGLESIAS: Both! A sense of humor is the way to go, and it's definitely worked out for me. Nowadays, if I'm in a room with two guys that just left the gym and have been going there for a long time, I'll still get more attention, which I think is pretty cool. » Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW; with Martin Moreno, Noe Gonzalez; Fri., June 12, 8 p.m., $32.50; 800-551-7328. (Metro Center)

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