There aren’t many comedians like Jim Gaffigan. Because most comedians, like people, don’t have more than three kids. Then again few comedians can become famous because of Hot Pockets, but if it weren’t for those god awful microwave lava cakes most of you reading this wouldn’t even know who Gaffigan is in the first place.
If you are unfamiliar with Gaffigan as a stand-up comedian, you’re probably a horrible person. He’s had a half hour and two full hour specials produced by Comedy Central, a recurring role on That 70’s Show and several movie and TV credits spanning comedy to drama. His stand-up is most identifiable for his high pitched parody of an overly offended audience member reacting to his jokes.
Back in December Louis C.K. sold his special “Live at the Beacon Theater” for $5 exclusively on his website. Gaffigan is the latest comedian to adopt this strategy selling his special Mr. Universe for the same price and donating 20% of the proceeds to the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
On becoming a father for the fourth time he says this: “No one congratulates you on having four kids. After the third kid they start treating you like you’re Amish. ‘Four kids well that’s one way to live.’” The comedy throughout revolves on his own life of being a father, a lazy person and a connoisseur of questionable eating decisions.
Gaffigan really connects with my inner laziness. Whereas some comedians dig deep down and find anger or sadness or embarrassment, Jim reaches deep down and exposes the most American part of us. He says, “I actually live across the street from my health club. Right across the street…It’s open twenty four hours—still can’t get there.”
And what would a Gaffigan special be without food humor? He’s a successful comedian, could probably afford a nutritionist and a healthy organic diet full of vegetables and fruit. And yet he still eats at McDonalds. But he defends himself, almost justifiably. “Maybe instead of buying a Big Mac you read Us Weekly…or you convince yourself that a Starbucks Frappucino isn’t a milkshake. Or maybe you watch Glee.” Like you and me he’s just tired of people getting superiority complexes for refusing to eat at McDonalds. His description of McDonalds is: “Momentary pleasure followed by incredible guilt eventually leading to cancer.”
I’m lovin’ it, Jim.
The best part of Mr. Universe is that it’s seventy five minutes. That’s fifteen minutes of comedy per dollar. Suddenly an iTunes song or a McChicken seem suspiciously overpriced. Another thing that often goes overlooked in stand-up comedy is that Gaffigan is very economical and sparse with any coarse language. It may seem like a little thing, but I like that I can quote a joke verbatim without having to worry if the person I’ve just told it too is offended by the language. Gaffigan is near the top of stand-up with his latest special. The five dollars gets you three online streams and three downloads and they’re only available at JimGaffigan.Com.
About the Author: Nate Rankin writes Comedy Reviews and Fiction because no one taught him any better. His fiction has been featured by Workers Writes, theNewerYork! and Used Gravitrons and is forthcoming in The Green Blotter. His work can be seen here: http://iamseamus.tumblr.com/writing You can find him on the Tweety Box @CommanderSeamus If you'd like to submit a review inquiry please send to nrankin22[at]gmail[dot]com