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John Lamb, Published April 17 2013

Hearing voices: Comedians take over stages in downtown Fargo on Friday

FARGO – The laughs are on Downtown Fargo on Friday night, when not one but two big comedy shows, just two blocks apart, descend on the city.

Comedy Central’s favorite “fluffy” funnyman Gabriel Iglesias returns to town on the trail of a new comedy special, “Aloha Fluffy.”

The California comic got his big break in 2006 on “Last Comic Standing” and quickly parlayed that into bigger success.

Known for the variety of voices he uses in his storytelling, Iglesias’ favorite target is often himself, or rather his weight, with his line, “I’m not fat; I’m fluffy,” becoming his signature and the title of his 2009 special.

Two years ago Iglesias sold out two shows at the Fargo Theatre, so this time around he’s moved to a bigger room, Fargo’s Civic Memorial Auditorium.

This leaves the more intimate stage at the Fargo open for Maria Bamford.

Despite being raised in Duluth, Minn., the comedian is just now making her Fargo debut.

While she now lives in California, Bamford has earned Minnesotan-for-life status, with her most popular appearance on a Target ad during the holidays in which she plays an overeager shopper.

Bamford’s confessional comedy comes from her openness and self-deprecating takes on her depression and anxiety, sometimes fueled by her dysfunctional family. It may sound dark, but similar to Iglesias, her ability to do different voices accentuates the humor in her stories.

A veteran of the late-night shows, she earned a broader audience as the only woman in “The Comedians of Comedy,” the road/concert documentary following a 2004 tour with Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Brian Posehn.

If you go

What: Maria Bamford

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway

Info: Tickets are $26 in advance, $28 the day of the show. Mature audiences only. (866) 300-8300.

If you go

What: Gabriel Iglesias

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Civic Memorial Auditorium, 207 4th St. N., Fargo

Info: Tickets are $40.50. (800) 745-3000.

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533