Stand-up comics Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias and Rick Gutierrez have been friends and collaborators for years, and tonight the former is helping shine the spotlight on the latter. Gabriel Iglesias Presents Rick Gutierrez: I'm Not Mad, I'm Just A Parent premieres tonight on NuvoTV (just in time for Father's Day!), and we spoke recently with both Rick and Gabriel to get some insight into the special, their friendship, and their senses of humor.
This special isn't the first time that you two have worked together. So how did you first come together, and what impressed you two about each other?
RICK: [The] first time I met Gabriel was (said together) San Antonio, Texas.
GABRIEL: For a thing called the Latino Laugh Festival, which was produced by a network called CTV that later became NUVOtv. It was put together by a man named Jeff Valdez and Bruce Barshop and the festival had us working together in some way, shape or form.
RICK: Yeah, I came to see him, and then we were like I love you, no I love you more…
GABRIEL: We wound up at a Denny’s.
RICK: ...I love you, I love you more, you’re great, and so he [Gabriel] goes ‘Hey man, here’s my number, if you’re ever in LA, come check me out.' So two weeks later, I get separated and I didn’t call him - I just ended up at his doorstep. 'Hey, remember when you said if I ever needed a place to crash to call you?' He goes, 'Yeah, I was kidding.' (laughs). He was one of the greatest guys ever. I spent two years on his couch.
GABRIEL: Two years, man.
RICK: Amazing times we had together.
Talk to me about the actual putting together of a stand-up special. How do you decide what topics to cover? How much writing do you really have to do?
RICK: It’s not easy to put a special together. This is my life’s work. I have being doing this for 22 years and this is my first one-hour special. Him [Gabriel], on the other hand, has eight of these bad boys, because he is prolific and he knows how to do it, and I don’t want to do the whole Gabriel Iglesias how wonderful and great and a genius he is…
GABRIEL: ...Shut up, shut up, answer the question.
RICK: Anyways, to tell you the truth, it takes a while for me. This is a lifetime work, the hours just parts of material I can actually do on TV and put out there to have this really great show of what life is for me. And I want people to enjoy it, man, because that’s my laugh for real (laughs).
GABRIEL: And because I’ve had the opportunity to do a few specials – to actually get to produce one for someone other than myself – I felt that I had enough credibility to make sure that the production was good, the sound, the lighting, the marketing and just everything about putting a special together was done right and was done with the artist in mind. Not are we going to make the most money and how can we capitalize. No, it’s all about making sure he comes out looking right and is the one that’s looked after.
RICK: And when I finished doing the first shoot, the first day, the first night…I honestly felt like it was the best product that I could put out and that he helped me put out the best product that I could put out. And I thank him for that, there’s not many comics, most comics will do this: ‘no stay down, you’re the crab I’ve been talking about’ (yells). But he [Gabriel] helped me achieve an amazing miracle in my life, and that’s put my body of work on film for everybody to see and enjoy. And I love you for that, dude.
GABRIEL: Thank you. (they hug)
You've both had your experiences in the world of TV. Give me one thing each of you would say you've learned from working on television.
GABRIEL: TV and film for me are not as exciting as the live stand-up show and getting the immediate reaction of the crowd. TV is a lot of hurry up and wait for your shot and less immediate reaction from people.
RICK: With TV it’s about personality and selling yourself. The most important thing I have learned is how to make people laugh by relating to them.
What's going to make you guys consider this special a success after it airs? Is it just going to be the ratings it pulls in or have you set other goals for yourselves?
GABRIEL: Ratings are nice. [I] would like to see more people coming to see Rick live, because that is quite an experience!
RICK: Just having this special air on NUVOtv is a success. What would be even better is having new fans come out and get the live experience.
What have you two learned from each other since you've known each other?
GABRIEL: Rick has taught me to have a lot of patience.
RICK: I’ve learned to be a lot calmer, and learned a lot about the business of entertainment. I consider Gabriel one of my best friends.
What else are each of you doing this year? Any exciting plans or things that we should inform our readers about?
GABRIEL: Check out The Fluffy Movie in theaters July 11. It’s the first of its kind, a stand-up movie you can see with your family. I’m also touring around the country and the world. Tour dates [are] at fluffyguy.com.
RICK: Touring! Starting my new tour with new material and new and exciting ideas. Come watch the birth of a new set. Check my Facebook page to see when I’m in a town near you: facebook.com/funnyrick.
Who are the people that you find funny or particularly impressive? The people that you'd go and buy a ticket to check out when they're in town.
GABRIEL: Eddie Murphy was my comedy inspiration. I would pay to go see Bill Cosby and Jim Jefferies live.
RICK: Gabriel Iglesias…need I say more?
Gabriel Iglesias Presents Rick Gutierrez: I'm Not Mad, I'm Just A Parent premieres tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on NuvoTV (check your local listings for specific channel).