For someone who hadn't toured in Australia before, Iglasias had made one hell of an impression. He was known and anticipated. People had bought cake and transformers, had come armed with their favourite stories and catch phrases. When he finally sauntered out on stage following two warm-up acts, slightly out of breathe already, a thousand people stood as one. I swear I could hear tears in amongst all the cheering. This guy was loved, and he hadn't even said a word.
It was warranted as well, Iglesias is a genius. As he engaged with the audience he became so enthusiastic and animated, it was difficult not to belly laugh. He made fun of his own weight in a good natured way, he engaged with his fans, he was polite and charming ("Call me Fluffy, I don't know why, but in Australia you just call me 'Fluff'"), and the stories he told was brilliant.
Iglasias retells recent trips doing stand-up, of experiences in Australia, of going to the middle-east and being on tour in America. Due to popular demand, there's also the tale of assembling a racist gift basket as a practical joke on a fellow comedian. All of these are accompanied with a variety of skillful sound-effects and an impressive back catalogue of voices and accents. There doesn't seem to be anyone he can't impersonate. After a few requests, he even cautiously embarked on some material about the Crocodile Hunter, and he was so accurate and hilarious with it that no one could hold it against him.
Once you wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes, you'll find that the show is over way too soon. Just as you were starting to get to know Iglesias, the time was up. He genuinely loves the fans though, and to show it, he happily appears outside the venue and proceeds to (literally) embrace the waiting audience. As I leave the Athenium Theatre there's a line of adoring fans, many of them with gifts, stretching out of the venue and most of the way down to Swanston St.
Thanks for the show, Fluffy, and come back soon. Melbourne will be waiting!
Gabriel Iglesias in The Fluffy Shop Tour, The Athenium Theatre, 6:45pm until 17th April.