Iglesias: Non-confrontational comedy translates to universal appeal

Comedy Impact Report 2012: Standup - Gabriel Iglesias

With more than 200,000 tickets sold in the first three quarters of 2012, Gabriel Iglesias is having his biggest year yet. He also made major inroads onscreen with his Comedy Central series “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution” and his role as a DJ in Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike.”

Iglesias’ success translates far beyond the U.S. While he has performed in 49 of the 50 states (promising West Virginia, “I’m on my way”), Iglesias enjoyed a triumphant run in Australia that included a Sydney Opera House performance with an audience so wild, “It should have been a special,” he says. The only place on earth he has found truly challenging was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but after a few anxious opening moments, he found his stride enough to be invited back in 2013 — a year that will see the release of another standup special and the launch of an animated series based on his life.

“The appeal is doing material that everybody can relate to,” Iglesias says by phone from London. “I avoid topics that only a specific group understands. I don’t get political, I don’t talk about religion, and I don’t shit on people’s views. I give people a good time and have people bring children as young as 9 and their grandparents in their 90s.”