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Comedian Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias to receive key to the city

Samuel and Beth Keesal, and Rev. Dr. Leon and Paula Wood also will receive keys to the city for their contributions to Long Beach.

Comedian Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias to receive key to the city
Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. Courtesy of Mayor Rex Richardson’s office.

World-renowned comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias will receive a key to the city from Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson on Tuesday, June 18, during a performance in Downtown.

Iglesias is among five recipients of the prestigious honor this year, joined by Samuel “Skip” and Beth Keesal, and Rev. Dr. Leon and Paula Wood, who will receive their keys during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 16, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday.

“Each of these extraordinary people represent the best of Long Beach, whether it be through philanthropy, service to the community, or representing our city to the world at large,” Richardson said in the announcement. “We are thrilled to celebrate their contributions to our community.”

Iglesias will give a special low-cost performance at the Terrace Theater at 8 p.m., with comedian Martin Moreno as the opening act. Long Beach residents ages 16 to 24 can attend for free by asking their council representative for a ticket.

General admission tickets cost $15 via Ticketmaster and are on sale now.

Some of the proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the Mayor’s Fund for Long Beach to support the recently announced S.T.R.O.N.G. Beach initiative, which is aimed at reducing violence among youth.

Brandon Richardson was laid off by the Long Beach Post on March 22. Thank him for continuing to cover Long Beach without pay.

The show also will feature a job and resource fair geared toward youth, including food trucks and bars for those over 21. The fair begins at 6:30 p.m.

“I’m honored to be recognized by my hometown in this way, and I’m proud to be able to support Long Beach’s youth at the same time,” Iglesias said in a statement. “If you’re a kid growing up in a tough situation, you might not believe that there’s a whole other world out there waiting for you — but there is. I’m proof of that, and you can be too.”

Born in San Diego in 1976, Iglesias spent most of his youth growing up in Long Beach. Today, Iglesias is one of the world’s most successful stand-up comedians. Recently he was named the second-highest-grossing touring comedian and is one of the most-watched comedians on YouTube with over 1.1 billion views.

In 2022, Iglesias became the first comedian to sell out Dodger Stadium.

Iglesias’ decades-long career has included everything from Netflix specials to appearances in movies, including “Magic Mike.” On the small screen, Iglesias has appeared in several shows, including his own: “Fluffy Breaks Even” (later renamed “Fluffy’s Food Adventures”) on Fuse and the Netflix original series “Mr. Iglesias,” which follows a teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach.

He also has carved out a place for himself in the voice acting sphere, with roles in animated films such as “Coco” and “The Nut Job.”

The Keesals meanwhile have spent years dedicating themselves to the local and national communities, according to the mayor’s announcement, supporting numerous charitable and civic projects. They continue to serve on boards of charitable organizations as they have done for years.

Leon Wood is a founder and President of Success in Challenges, a social services agency nonprofit that largely serves the Greater Long Beach area. Paula Wood serves as executive director of the nonprofit, with over 30 years of experience working with families and youth through the Long Beach YWCA, United Way and others.

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