This is the most interesting interview done to date. In what was perceived as a failed attempt to interview Gabriel Iglesias himself, ended up being a fantastic interview filled with advice and wisdom from the comedians who tour and open for Gabriel Iglesias regularly. The way it happened is, Gabriel Iglesias sold out the entire Toyota Center arena, and then the very next night, Iglesias put on a free show at the Improv for the first 300 fans who showed up with proof of tickets from the previous night.
On this show titled “Fluffy & Friends”, Gabriel Iglesias showcased his favorite up-and-coming comedians open and tour with him–comedians who have appeared on Comedy Central, and so much more. The comedians in this interview include:
Shaun Latham: Shaun appeared on the first season of “Gabriel Iglesias Presents: Stand Up Revolution” on Comedy Central. Shaun has traveled all across the country opening for Gabriel Iglesias.
G. Reilly: Performs in every major club in Los Angeles, and travels all across the country with Gabriel Iglesias. He also appeared in “Aloha Fluffy: Gabriel Iglesias Live From Hawaii”.
Dillon Garcia: Dillon appeared on “Gabriel Iglesias Presents: Stand Up Revolution” on Comedy Central. Aside from opening for big names like Gabriel Iglesias, Dillon has also opened for Nick Swardson, Dave Chappelle.
What’s the best advice you can give to young comics?
Best advice? Just keep doing it. JUST. KEEP. DOING IT. Don’t listen to the punks that are on your level. The last thing you want is to be influenced by the donkeys at your level. They don’t know more than you, so they can’t give you advice.
How important is the “popularity” and the exposure that comics chase after?
Always know, whether it’s a contest or a one-nighter—it’s NOTHING. Your only goal should be to work harder and get funnier. Don’t get wrapped up in the local hype, or the “Funniest Person In Town” kind of hype or this ‘n that. Just work on your jokes. Record every set, and listen back. Listen to the shitty sets that you don’t want to hear—fight through it! Listen to not only where they laughed, but listen where they DIDN’T laugh.
What are your thoughts on doing comedy contests in hopes of elevating your career?
None of this is gonna make you a star. I don’t care if it’s a “Funniest Person On This Side of the Mississippi” contest! [laughs] The only thing these contests do is they try to get the crowd packed on a night that usually isn’t. That’s all that is. Just make sure that you’re working on bits. Whatever the show is, know that it’s all just another fight—like a boxer.
Words of wisdom, G. Reilly?
Comedy is a MOTHERFUCKER. It’s a motherfucker! In order to make it, you hafta shut EVERYTHING down: Friends, family, relationships…it’s a motherfucker, man! I’ve been doin’ this for 15 years. This is forreal. It’s HARD. But, they’re giving away millions! Think about this: All your life you’ve heard, “A Million Dollars”. You think a million dollars is a lot of money because all your life you’ve heard people say it. All you gotta do is focus on the first million. FOCUS ON THE FIRST MILLION! It’ll all happen if you treat it like a job. All right, I’m out!
When did you start doing comedy?
I started when I was 16. I didn’t know any other comics who were 16 when I started, so I learned the hardest way. And I don’t want to be the young kid spittin’ knowledge ‘n shit, but this is all that I’ve learned so far. I got really lucky. I’m not gonna say I’m the funniest mu’fucka in the world ‘cause I’m not. But, I will say that I worked hard for everything that I have. I was given opportunities that a lot of people don’t get, but I matched those opportunities and I delivered. It’s hard to get to this spot man, but I worked really hard.
What advice do you have for comics starting at a young age like you did?
If you’re a comic who’s 21 and under, you think you know everything. ‘Cause that’s just our nature. We think we know it all, and we think we got it all figured out. I’m lettin’ you know that you don’t. Listen to the older comics who are giving you help, because they’ve lived through it. Have respect for the people that did it before you. And, don’t forget to have fun—that’s the number one thing. Also, don’t crave respect.
Is it difficult having success at such a young age?
It’s hard being young and expecting people to respect you. You could be a fuckin’ multi-millionaire, but if you’re young, it’s hard for people to respect you because of your age. It’s hard for people who have been doing it longer seeing someone younger and selling more tickets. But one of my favorite quotes is from Drake and it goes like this: “Look in the mirror, the mirror’s revealin’, if you ain’t got it, you ain’t got it…the theory’s brilliant.” If you don’t got it, you don’t got it. But if you do got it, just keep working at it.
How important is the business side of comedy?
It’s all about putting asses in seats. That’s what it comes down to. Your respect comes from how many tickets you sold that night. You could be the funniest motherfucker in the world! But, if you don’t sell tickets, people just look at you like, “Okay, you’re just ANOTHER funny mu’fucka, that’s it! You’re just another funny dude.” I know a lot of dudes that are funnier than me, but they’re not sellin’ tickets because they think it’s all about being funny. And it’s really not. I learned that being funny is only half of the game.
What words of encouragement do you have for the young comics who are still struggling?
If you’re going through hard times as a comic, and you’re bombing a lot and people are telling you to quit and that you ain’t shit, trust me, it gets better as long as you work on your craft. Work hard, do your thing, and you will get there one day, with hard work and dedication. If you have love for the art and for comedy, then just do you and don’t listen to anybody else. Pay respects to the people that did it before you. ‘Cause they’ve lived through everything that you’re living through.
What is the key to selling out arenas like Gabriel Iglesias has done?
The reason Gabriel Iglesias sells out arenas, is because he does a show like this the next day for 300 for FREE. His fans feel like they’re friends. They’re not his “fans”, they’re his friends. Who else has sold out the Toyota Center, and then hosted the Improv the next day?! Not a cameo appearance, HOSTED! It’s humbling.
Final thoughts / words of wisdom?
You want to be likable. You want people to come back. You want people coming out, enjoying your set, and wanting to take pictures with you because they feel like, “Yo, that is MY friend!” You want to be accepted to where people aren’t afraid to come up to you. Also, listen to the people that did it before you. Have fun. Stay in your lane. Do you, have fun, and sell tickets.
INTERVIEWED & WRITTEN BY DAVID GAVRI