Gabriel Iglesias jokingly claims he's why Dodgers could afford Shohei Ohtani

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Gabriel Iglesias made history in 2022 as the first comedian to sell out Dodger Stadium with two sold-out shows. Two years later, he described the experience as "being hugged by 45,000 people."

At the start of the first show, just 30 seconds in, Iglesias was moved to tears by the overwhelming ovation he received from the audience. He went beyond his contractual obligations and was on stage for nearly three hours. This resulted in a hefty fine that Iglesias has not made public.

"I'm the reason why the Dodgers could afford (pitcher) Shohei Ohtani," Iglesias said.

Before the shows, Iglesias was awarded certificates and proclamations for his career accomplishments in comedy, film, and for selling out the stadium by California state officials and Los Angeles city and county officials. The performances were recorded for the Netflix special "Stadium Fluffy."

Afterwards, he spent time doing shots with his friends and reminiscing about the long journey that led him to perform at Dodger Stadium. The experience made him question how much further he could take his stand-up comedy performances, and whether it was time for him to retire from live performances.

Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias will perform at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on May 3-5, 2024.
Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias will perform at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on May 3-5, 2024.

"I felt like I jumped the shark. I'm very goal driven and anytime I do specials or tours, there has to be an outcome and something I'm working towards. That was hard. I love comedy and doing stand-up, so it was one of those things where I had a few months of back and forth, and I talked about retirement," Iglesias said.

Iglesias hasn't retired yet. He's performing three shows from May 3-5 at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage as part of his "Don't Worry, Be Fluffy" tour.

'I'm not here to offend, I'm here to entertain'

Iglesias has been making audiences laugh since his debut on the Nickelodeon show "All That" in 2000. Even though he was disqualified during the fourth season of the comedy competition series "Last Comic Standing," he has continued to bring people together through his humor.

He avoids topics such as politics, religion, and sports, but he is still able to find humor in race and culture without being offensive, insensitive, or racist.

At the beginning of his live shows, he asks the audience if anyone has never heard of him, and occasionally a few hands go up in the arena.

"I say sorry to them because they don't know what they signed up for," Iglesias said. "If you've seen the shows, you know where my head is at, you where my heart is at, we're going to have a good time and I'm going to push the envelope a bit. Remember — I'm not here to offend, I'm here to entertain," Iglesias said.

Despite his success, he continues to dress casually in sweatpants and t-shirts and chooses to reside in Whittier against the advice of some of his acquaintances. This approach makes him accessible to his fans.

Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias
Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias

"I tell people 'I'm not that Gabriel Iglesias, I'm the one you run into at the drive-thru. People like that, and I feel like they see me and think 'He's one of of us.' I've never felt like I'm on the other side of that and always feel close to people," Iglesias said. "There's certain things I do and I haven't been able to break those habits. Don't get me wrong, there's access and other things, but I feel like staying connected to people and that's the only way they keep you around, not the other way around."

He once lost a significant amount of weight

One relatable subject Iglesias has made light of for several years is his weight. In his 2014 special "The Fluffy Movie," Iglesias said he weighed over 400lbs and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He joked about being a high risk for COVID-19 during "Stadium Fluffy," comparing the virus to being matched with someone on the dating app Tinder and getting the vaccine as soon as it became available.

During the 2010s, Iglesias lost 70lbs while doing DDP Yoga, the cardio fitness yoga method created by former pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, who described the program during a 2017 interview as "yoga for people who wouldn't be caught doing yoga." Iglesias put weight back on and Page was shown in a 2019 video confronting him in an IHOP eating Oreo pancakes.

Iglesias said he's still in touch with Page and recently did some of the original workout routines.

"(Page) always calls me when I'm in a drive-thru and I swear to God, he can see it. It's the funniest thing and I'm like 'I'm not answering this phone right now because he's going to hear them ask me 'Do you want ketchup and napkins?' He's an incredible person and very intense. I guess that's part of it, but he has a huge heart and helped so many people. I'm glad he took the time to help out when I really needed it," Iglesias said.

Whenever he performs, he usually has only a few hours to spare before soundcheck and getting on stage, but he always tries to find a local restaurant that embodies the "flavor of the city."

"It's crazy because people say 'You've been everywhere.' Yeah, but never for more than 5 minutes. It's hard and I would love to have more time enjoying these amazing places, but now I just want to get something to eat and take a couple of selfies," Iglesias said.

If you go

What: Gabriel Iglesias

When: 8 p.m. Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5

Where: Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa, 32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage

How much: $85 to $200

More information:

Desert Sun reporter Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @bblueskye.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Gabriel Iglesias jokes he's why Dodgers could afford Shohei Ohtani