Gabe Iglesias got an unwanted gift for his birthday. Just before turning 45 a few weeks ago, the comedian best known as "Fluffy" came down with COVID-19, which forced him to cut short a nearly monthlong residency in San Antonio and threatened his scheduled appearance Saturday in Minnesota.
But Iglesias is keeping his at Treasure Island Casino commitment, kicking off a worldwide tour that will extend until at least next July.
His work ethic is one reason Forbes ranked him sixth in earnings among stand-up comics in 2019. His success has a lot to do with family-friendly material that led to several Netflix specials and a short-lived sitcom, "Mr. Iglesais," a modern-day version of "Welcome Back, Kotter."
The comic spoke last week from his home in California, where he was just finishing up his quarantine period.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: I'm good [fakes a coughing fit]. Just kidding. I'm trying to stay positive — and negative at the same time.
Q: How did you find out you had the virus?
A: I was doing a long stint in San Antonio and the entire time I was complaining because the air conditioning wasn't working. I had all these swamp coolers and fans everywhere. And then one night I came off the stage with the chills. I had to take the blanket away from my dog. I knew something was going on. I got a COVID test and it came back negative, but the next day I had more chills and body aches everywhere. Then they went away. A couple of days went by and I was going into production for a stand-up special, so we had to do some more testing. It was a different company doing it. This time, I came back positive.
Q: You got the virus despite getting vaccinated four months ago. What do you say to people who look at what happened to you and think they don't need the shots?
A: It would have absolutely been worse if I hadn't gotten the shots. The only thing that happened to me was that I got the chills and I couldn't smell food for a day. I was never hospitalized. The way I see it, there's no way I should have gotten through the last year without getting the coronavirus. I'm 45, not 25. I'm not just overweight, I'm very overweight. I've got high cholesterol and diabetes. So, I'm lucky.