Jim Gaffigan is a pioneer in the stand-up comedy world, blazing a trail for food obsessed people everywhere. He made “food comedy” a category all unto itself. You have to only watch his famous 5-minute bit on Hot Pockets to see what I mean. But Gaffigan is more than just a food comic. He has quietly built a reputation as one of the best stand-up comedians in the world. And he has now taken that finely tuned comedic material, and poured it into his new, aptly named show, The Jim Gaffigan Show.
The Jim Gaffigan Show centers around Gaffigan’s life as a stand-up comedian living in Manhattan with his wife and five children. The major themes of the show are food, family, friends, work, religion, and well, more food. In one scene, Gaffigan’s wife mocks him for getting banned from Big Gay Ice Cream, an ice cream shop in New York. His idea of cheating in Las Vegas is eating an entire red velvet cake in his hotel room alone at midnight, and then sheepishly lying to his wife about it, telling her he only ate half of the cake at midnight and the other half in the morning. He gets into a fight at the airport after eating another person’s momentarily unattended fries off their plate. The man has a problem, and it is hysterical.
While Gaffigan is certainly the star, Ashley Williams kills it in her role playing his wife, and carries more than her fair share of the weight. She is so convincing, that when I first saw the show, I thought it might have actually been Gaffigan’s real wife playing the role. Adam Goldberg plays the role of Gaffigan’s best friend, portraying a typical New York comic like Dave Attell. Michael Ian Black plays the role of Gaffigan’s wife’s gay best friend and ex-boyfriend. The obvious tension this creates between Gaffigan and Black is hilarious.
The Jim Gaffigan Show has flown mostly under the radar, which is odd because Gaffigan is an extremely popular stand-up comedian. Maybe it is because the show airs on TV Land, which despite its name, has yet to make much of a mark in the TV world. But the show deserves more exposure, and in the current comedy landscape where depraved humor is flourishing, it is nice to see a legitimately funny show that also has a heart. You can watch the first five episodes of Season 1 here. The schedule for Season 2 has not been released yet.
By Michael Halpern