With all the media attention on the aggressively ribald jokes told by a hundred different comedians in the documentary "The Aristocrats," it’s almost reassuring to see at least one comic is courting a wider audience.
"I keep it very family-friendly," says San Diego-based Gabriel Iglesias. "Every now and then I’ll slip a little bit, but that’s just the way I perform."
This comedic choice is fitting, given his appearances in ageappropriate fare such as Nickelodeon’s "All That" series and the upcoming family film "The Surfer King." Rather than being career suicide, his clean style has worked to his advantage.
"Big time," says Iglesias, 29. "I’m always ready for TV. I don’t have to edit my jokes — when you work clean, you can work anywhere."
Iglesias, whose Valley ties include a sister in Gilbert and a cousin ("Big Chino") on-air at radio station KISS (104.7 FM), does object to being pigeon-holed as a "Latino comic."
"I see a Latino comic as someone who can only perform for Latino audiences," Iglesias says. "I cross the board."
"You see somebody like Sinbad, you don’t say, ‘black comic Sinbad,’ " he says.
There’s another stereotype that Iglesias balks at — one aimed at his midsection.
The reason so much of his comedy deals with his size is not a gimmick, Iglesias says, but simply a reflection of what he deals with in his life.
"I talk about being a big guy and sort of the struggle, because that’s what I’m going through right now," he says.
Iglesias is sticking around one extra day at the Tempe Improv for a benefit show for his friend, the late Freddy Soto, whom he worked with "about a dozen" times.
"He was never one of those guys that ever bad-mouthed anybody or had anything negative to say," he says. "It was always fun and easy to work with the guy."
Proceeds from the benefit will go to Soto’s family in Los Angeles.
Gabriel Iglesias When: 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Monday (Freddy Soto benefit)
Where: Tempe Improv, 930 E. University Drive
Information: (480) 921-9877