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Long Beach gives comedian Gabriel Iglesias key to the city

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias given key to Long Beach, his hometown
Comedian Gabriel Iglesias given key to Long Beach, his hometown 02:56

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias performed in front of a sold-out crowd Tuesday after his hometown handed him a key to the city. 

Iglesias, who still lives in Long Beach, aimed the show at teens and young adults. The city gave anyone between 16 and 24 free tickets.

"I'm always saying, 'Come to Long Beach! Come to Long Beach! Come to Long Beach!' and he never comes until now," 16-year-old Vicente Castellanos said as he tried to contain his excitement. 

Castellanos was one of about half a dozen teens who got free tickets through the nonprofit Latinos Action First. 

"I love him cuz he grew up here," Castellanos said. "He grew up in poverty like everyone else. I'm just really happy. I've been a fan since 2019."

Before the show, Iglesias said he's still in shock about the show and honor of getting a key to his hometown. 

"It hasn't hit me yet what a big deal tonight is," he said. "When I first got here with my mom, we were in Section 8 housing. We were on welfare. We were struggling."

Iglesias added that he geared his show toward the younger generation to inspire them.

"If I can make it, why can't anyone else," he said.

Cesar Piceno came out to the celebration with his two kids. He talked about seeing Iglesias around town before he was famous and isn't surprised he's still representing and giving back to the city. 

"As Long Beach natives, we're here to support him," Piceno said. "It's super amazing he's back to the community."

While some tickets were free, people could still purchase seats for $15. Part of the proceeds will go to the mayor's "Stronger Beach" initiative, which provides youth resources.

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