Gabriel Iglesias set to host Montreal Just For Laughs gala

31. July 2014 10:55 by Julie Merar in Theater  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()


Montreal's Just For Laughs comedy festival is one of the most highly regarded events on the stand-up circuit. It is able to annually book the best comics from all over the world and sell out arenas and amphitheaters around the Quebecois city.

The festival is known for putting on a number of galas that are hosted by some of the biggest names in comedy. This year's hosts include Chevy Chase, Don Rickles, Andy Samberg and Seth Rogen​, to give you an idea of the kind of star power the event organizers are capable of pulling.

However, there is one comic who will be hosting his own gala this year whose name is not quite as recognizable as those previously mentioned. That comic is Gabriel Iglesias, or as he is known on the circuit, Mr. Fluffy.

California roots
Iglesias was raised in Chula Vista, California. With five older siblings, Iglesias learned quickly how to develop his sense of humor in order to deflect any negative attention he received. Now, Gabriel Iglesias tickets sell out regularly as the comic visits town after town with his set of mostly self-deprecating humor.

The comedy star tries to steer clear of politics, religion and sports, as those topics tend to divide the audience. Instead he opts for a show that consists of a barrage of character impressions and personal stories.

His hosting gig at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival comes at a good time for the comic, who is preparing for the release of his film "The Fluffy Movie." The movie will give audiences around the world a chance to see the comic's latest set.

The Gabriel Iglesias Gala
The gala that Iglesias is hosting will contain performances by a wide range of other comics such as Cristela Alonzo, Ryan Hamilton, Elon Gold, Darrin Rose, Joe Matarese, Angelo Tsarouchas and The Boy with Tape on His Face.

The opportunity to host a gala at this international comedy festival is a highlight of any comic's career. Iglesias has definitely earned the honor, as his shows are incredibly popular, despite him not being a household name. However, his upcoming movie and Just For Laughs festival appearance are sure to bring the breakout star to the next level.

Be sure to get your hands on your own Gabriel Iglesias tickets when he stops by a town near you.

Can World Cup fever carry over to the MLS?

28. July 2014 12:32 by Julie Merar in Soccer  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

We are about a month out from Team USA being ousted from the World Cup tournament by Belgium. At this point, let us take the time to look back and examine whether or not all those Americans who came out in droves to watch the nail-biter were there for sport or country. After all, the U.S. population is nothing if not patriotic, but the incredible furor that surrounded the U.S. team's performance in the World Cup had some hoping that this was being fueled by more than just a desire to wear the Stars and Stripes as a cape. Could it be? Is soccer finally becoming as popular in America as it is abroad? And if so, does that mean that MLS tickets are going to see a spike?

Rise of soccer in America
Things are looking good for soccer in the United States. A recent survey of teenagers between 12 and 17 years old revealed that the same percentage of kids are avid fans of MLS as they are fans of the MLB. That means, in high schools all across America, soccer is the new baseball.

The fact that the same percentage of teens like soccer as like baseball is the result of a more than decade-long trend of declining interest in the MLB and rising interest in MLS. Young adults, too, seem to be warming up to the sport thanks to a childhood spent at little league soccer games and an adolescence playing the popular FIFA video game.

The threat from across the Atlantic
While the American people may certainly be more interested in soccer these days, some fear that they are focusing on teams across the pond rather than supporting the burgeoning U.S. soccer clubs. After all, Americans love to watch star players, and right now, those players are in international leagues. The World Cup may have garnered a lot of new soccer fans, but it did so by introducing them to the best players in the world, not just the best players in the U.S. Of all the goals scored during the round of 16 matches in the World Cup, more than 40 percent of them came from players in the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga.

These stars are drawing a lot of attention to international leagues, though this need not be considered too much of a threat to the MLS. After all, as far as tickets sales go, a soccer fan in say, Texas, who wants to see a live soccer game is going to buy Houston Dynamo tickets, as traveling to England to watch a match seems extravagant.

This suggests that even though the World Cup may have diverted some attention overseas, the MLS is going to still benefit substantially on the local level. The expansion of the league to include more teams in more cities across the country has created strong pockets of fans who are willing to show up at the stadium on game day.

Top 5 fervent fan bases of SEC football

11. July 2014 11:32 by Julie Merar in College Sports  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

The Southeastern Conference of the NCAA is known for containing some of the most fervent fan bases in the country. When football season rolls around, the stadiums of Ole Miss, South Carolina and LSU fill up as students and community members rush in to support their home teams. In honor of these wild fans, here are the top five most fervent fan bases across all of college football:

5. Alabama Crimson Tide
Head coach Nick Saban is widely regarded as one of the best in the league, with a record of 170-57-1. With such a star coach at the helm, it's no wonder Alabama tickets routinely sell out on game day. The franchise sold more than 101,000 tickets for its national championship game, but it isn't just the numbers that earn the Crimson Tide a spot on this list. The loyalty with which students and alumni pledge themselves to the football program at the University of Alabama is truly without equal.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State University is home to one of the largest student bodies in the country. More than 43,000 undergraduates attend the school, though the average football game attendance is more than double that. The large Buckeye community fan base will come out to support their team on even the coldest Ohio fall day. Despite the large capacity of the stadium compared to the number of undergraduates, Ohio State football tickets can be difficult even for students to get ahold of.

3. Michigan Wolverines
With one of the highest attendance figures in the nation (the Wolverines average more than 100,000 fans a game), the University of Michigan Wolverines more than deserve a spot on this ranking. The coaching staff at Michigan recognize the dedication of their fans and are more than willing to give back. In fact, they recently honored a young fan battling cancer by recruiting him to the team. As part of the process he got to meet with current players and coaches as well as attend a press conference with his favorite team. It is that kind of positive fan treatment that keeps Michigan Stadium (aka "The Big House") packed all season long.

2. Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia football is huge in the university's home city of Athens. Bulldogs fans routinely show up to Sanford Stadium more than 90,000 strong to celebrate the hometown heroes. Dawgs fans are so intense that they have even invented their own lingo to refer to their team. For example, the saying "between the hedges" was started by UGA fans, as their stadium was one of the first to enclose the field in hedge plants. In addition, Dawgs call football pants "silver britches" in honor of head coach Wally Butts, and "Uga" is the name of the live English bulldog mascot. 

1. Louisiana State Tigers
The fan activity inside Tiger Stadium on game day is almost as wild as what goes on outside of it beforehand. LSU is known for having some of the best and most outrageous tailgate ceremonies in the country. Even the fans who can't get game tickets show up for the shrimp boil!