When thinking of a rockstar, names like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Bono come to mind, but with his fourth and final show in Chicagoland on Dec. 14, Gabriel Iglesias solidified his placement amongst these legendary performers. Last night's comedy event found Iglesias delivering a marathon stand-up set at the Rosemont Theatre filled with new material, fan favorites and hilariously voiced characters.
Iglesias got a bit of help from his friends who warmed up the crowd with their own unique styles of comedy. Martin Moreno, who also served as the evening’s MC, kicked things off with jokes about the wide variety of online dating sites and the true meaning of the term “soulmate.” Larry Omaha had an endless supply of one-liners and an infectious chuckle that created aftershocks of laughter throughout the crowd. Alfred Robles, the third and final opener, delivered his jokes with a knowing grin, cracking-up the audience with tales of his super-religious mother. At one point, the crowd booed when Robles stated that he once wanted to be a police officer. The comedian was surprised for a moment, but he quickly turned things around by saying that he has never heard anyone boo someone's past career ambitions. “I'm an adult now and a comedian,” he then said receiving cheers and applause from the audience.
As Iglesias was about to take the stage, chants of “Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy” filled the theater. Iglesias started out his set with an impressive array of local jokes about Chicago, including a detailed knowledge of the city's Little Village neighborhood and his love of Portillo's chocolate cake shake. After poking fun at local weather men for their use of the “feels like” temperature gage, he proposed new and unique methods for determining the wind chill factor.
A good portion of Iglesias' set was dedicated to the power of words and how what he says sometimes results in unintended consequences. He joked that he has received dozens of chocolate cakes from fans every week since the late-1990s when his now-iconic chocolate cake joke first aired on television. Later, he shared that the “racist gift basket” prank, which he pulled on his friend G Reilly, has resulted in Fluffy himself being the recipient of some unwanted presents of his own. In one of the funniest bits of the night, Iglesias shared how an audience member from Mobile, Alabama rocked his world with a show-stopping gift basket that just kept on giving. Iglesias' vocal impression of the Southern fan was spot-on and sent the Chicago crowd into fits of laughter.
Throughout the night, Iglesias' quick wits were on display as he interacted with various people in the crowd. If a woman sneezed, he said, “bless you.” When a man coughed, Iglesias worked it into his bit and in the best example of crowd work from Sunday night, Iglesias created an absolutely hilarious moment when he reacted to the sounds of a baby in the crowd. “Is that a baby,” he asked before pretending that the infant was a pint-sized heckler. Later, Iglesias shared that he has been inspired by several interactions with his young fans, particularly those with autism. He expressed his intention to start an autism awareness campaign on social media. “Don't worry. I'm not asking you for any money,” the comedian joked, explaining that he wants to use his unique position as a celebrity to share ideas and facts about the disorder which affects so many kids today.
As Iglesias began to wrap up his set, thanking venues like Zanies and the Improv in Schaumburg for giving him his start in Chicago, fans began to yell out their requests for their favorite jokes. Iglesias' eyes lit up as he felt the enthusiasm from the crowd and he quickly proceeded to treat them to a round of “comedy karaoke.” Whether he was performing “Volkswagen Beetle,” “Chocolate Cake Made Me Late” or “Drunk People,” the fans at the Rosemont Theatre shouted along every word of each joke with the comedian. The venue was exploding with laughter as Iglesias closed things out by sharing that the crowd in Chicago is so great that the city is on the shortlist to play host to his 2015 comedy special.
After over four hours of amazing comedy, it was finally time to say good night. The crowd poured out into the unseasonably warm evening and shouts of “Martin” and “Fluffy” could be heard from fans who didn't want the experience to come to an end. Click here to pick up tickets to see Iglesias live at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and keep reading AXS for more comedy news, reviews and tour announcements.