By Katie Swinton
Although it may not seem like it at first, Jim Gaffigan is actually like many of the students at the University. He majored in finance at Georgetown University and for a year even played on the football team. After college, he moved to New York to work for a consulting firm; however, he did not stay on this route.
“I was raised to seek security, and security was wearing a coat and tie to work, but I always had this desire to do comedy and acting,” Gaffigan said.
He soon got fired on purpose from his job to pursue his comedic aspirations. Now he is one of the most successful stand-up comedians.
Gaffigan fulfilled his own ideal success story. He turned his back on corporate America, followed his dreams and achieved them.
“It sounds corny but you have to do what you enjoy because chasing money or security is very short-sighted,” he said.
Although he does not like to be called a “family-friendly comedian,” Gaffigan was the perfect choice for Parents’ Weekend. He said he would prefer to be viewed as “funny…and handsome.”
Gaffigan put on a great show at the University on Saturday night as he masterfully skirted the edge of awkward inappropriateness but never quite crossed the line. The audience remained in constant fits of laughter as Gaffigan breezed through his hour-long routine.
Renowned for his love of food, pale skin and falsetto inner voice, Gaffigan displayed his ability to present his observations about the little things in life in a hysterical manner which lies at the base of his comedic success.
Gaffigan showed off his improvisational skills with a brilliant opening as he criticized the oddly placed ferns and flower arrangements that covered the stage. He characterized them as decorations for a memorial rather than a comedy show, throwing the audience into hysterics.
He also acknowledged the nice view of his bald spot on the jumbo-tron.
He, moved on to his obligatory fat jokes, the highlight being the story in which a fan told him that he’s “not that fat.” His response: “You’re not that polite.”
Gaffigan’s comedic prowess is displayed best when he talks about food which, naturally, dominated his routine.
The questions that drew the most laughs were those laced with wisdom from his years as a food connoisseur: “Has peeling an orange ever really been worth it?” “Can we stop with the kale propaganda?” “What exactly is the difference between anchovies and a sweaty eyebrow?”
The greatest moment of the show could have been when he said to the crowd, “I’m gluten-free. Are any of you?”After a moment of response cheers, he followed with, “I’m just kidding. You’re a communist.” Then he joked that those who could not enjoy “the amber waves of grain” were truly the ones who should be pulled aside in airports.
Despite Gaffigan’s love for food, he is not a fan of seafood. Specifically, his diatribe about shell- fish had the crowd doubled over in laughter. He equated lobster to some sort of sea bug, noting “a spoonful of butter helps the bug meat go down.” He also dubbed crab “the pistachio of seafood.”
He appealed to the college kids in the crowd when he spoke some very true words about experiences at the bar, noting “picking up your friend from a bar at 2 a.m. is a lot like picking up your kid at nursery school.”
He included some statements that might have hit a little too close to home for current students, such as, “no one has ever taken a shot and then done something they’re proud of.”
Gaffigan closed his set with his infamous Hot Pocket routine that recounts the horrors of Hot Pockets and that odd jingle, which led to thunderous applause as he left the stage.
Gaffigan released a book this past May called, “Dad is Fat.” It recounts the hysterical and stressful experience of raising his five kids with his wife in a two-bedroom apartment in lower Manhattan.
He recounts, “about 10 years ago I couldn’t get a date, and now my apartment’s crawling with babies-–- I don’t know what happened.”
While he still has the same style, his five kids have added to his comedic routine.
As an observational comedian, his experiences with his own children have provided him with tons of hilarious material.
He jokes, “I’m not really sure how Moses did it. I’m sure he was like, ‘I wanted to leave for the Promised Land two weeks ago, and I can’t get everyone to put their sandals on’.”
He added in an interview afterwards, reminiscing about his own Parents’ Weekend, if nothing else, “you’ll get a good meal out of it.”