Comedy Central // 2010 // 69 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ike Oden (Retired) // January 19th, 2011
Go to the restroom before you watch this and be ready to watch it again and again.
Live from El Paso, Texas, "Fluffy" comedian Gabriel Iglesias (All That) performs in front of a packed house at the historic Plaza Theatre in his latest stand-up special.
Before I begin, might I note that, for obvious reasons, the above charge is my new favorite piece of ad copy. I made a pretty risky move by not using the restroom before watching this (no smug Blu-ray case is going to tell me how to live my life). No accidents were had and despite the claim, I am not ready to watch I'm Not Fat...I'm Fluffy again, much less again and again because it's simply not that funny, bladder-bursting or otherwise.
I'd never heard of Gabriel Iglesias before having this disc plunked in my mail box. From the moment I saw the cover, which features the comedian sporting a poorly photo shopped, vaguely hydrocephalic head giving the peace sign while driving a VW convertible with sparklers exploding from the tires, I knew I was in trouble. The realization set in that Iglesias act was going to a) play a lot of race cards; b) play the "I'm a fat guy" card; and c) combine the two hooks into an unfunny, rather obvious persona that would irk me to no end. After bracing myself for the worst, I am quite pleased to tell you that I'm Not Fat...I'm Fluffy isn't the hackneyed monstrosity that the cover (and ad copy) promises.
Iglesias uses a fairly eclectic blend of storytelling and impressions, along with the expected racial and "fat guy" humor, to give his act an extra set of legs. For a guy who self-promotes his own lack of athleticism, he sustains a high energy charisma on stage that is infectious and appealing. Iglesias transcends his rather obvious "fat Latino" comedian angle through this zeal for performing.
There's something wonderful about material that's cynicism free, especially from a guy who clearly loves what he's doing. I like angry comedians as much as the next guy, but Iglesias steps far away from that angle to great affect. Whether he's talking about his semi-celebrity status, extolling the kindness of his fans, or pontificating on his relationship with his stepson, Frankie; Iglesias really seems to love what he's doing. His excitement got me excited, which is pretty great considering the fact he barely got a laugh out of me for 69 minutes.
Yeah, I said it -- I don't think Gabriel Iglesias is particularly hilarious. I don't think he's particularly unfunny, either. He's like that guy in high school who really wanted to be the class clown, but lacked the irony and cleverness to consistently do the job. Sure, the guy got some laugh-out-loud moments every now and then in study hall, but mostly he was just trying way, way too hard to bust guts consistently.
That's Iglesias in a nut shell. He has the unique ability to craft a compelling story with a fun punchline, but commonly zigs where he should've zagged in fart jokes, racial stereotyping, badly timed sex jokes and references that would feel more fitting fifteen years ago (Pokemon, Bill Clinton, and Dance Dance Revolution, among others).
At best, Iglesias' act is amusing. It kept me in my seat and never left me bored. I'm sure others find him hilarious -- the crowd at El Paso seemed to be eating it up (though the audio production wankery makes this questionable -- see below). Keep in mind, you're talking to a guy who thinks Hot Tub Time Machine is one of the best comedies of the last ten years, so maybe those unfamiliar with Iglesias should do some research on the guy to decide whether or not he's a good comedic fit.
Image wise, the 1080i transfer looks damn handsome for this type of show, offering razor sharp clarity on the dough faced performer, exposing everything from the pores on his face to the sweat perpetually dripping down his brow. He's pretty much the whole show, making it easy to ignore some dark patches in the corners of the frame (these are especially prevalent in the opening). Colors are strong and well balanced, bringing the neon-lit Plaza Theatre interior to a life. The shot-on-digital format fits the Blu-ray nicely; I just wish I could say the same about the audio track.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital contains a grossly overproduced audience reaction that consistently overpowers the comedian's speech. The track is clearly trying to replicate the experience of seeing the stand-up in person, but unless he's performing for an army of 10,000 extremely loud, extremely drunk patrons, I don't think it quite does the job. Stick with the stereo track for a more balanced sound level between performer and audience, and you'll get a lot more enjoyment out of it.
In terms of bonus features, I'm Not Fat...I'm Fluffy is pretty well stacked (and in high-defintion, no less), sporting a ten minute deleted scene ("High School Reunion"), an onstage Q&A with fans, and "Fluffy's Friends Hit The Stage: Martin Moreno & Noe Gozalez." Comedy Central is typically generous with substantial extras and this disc does not break the trend. Fluffy fans, rejoice!
Guilty, but released on good intentions.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Comedy Central
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 69 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scene
* Bonus Footage
* Official Site