Jim Gaffigan has enjoyed success as an actor. He was part of the underheralded TBS sitcom “My Boys” for three seasons. He co-starred in “That Championship Season” on Broadway and has made some hilarious cameos in HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords” and on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”
“It’s been great being able to do what I enjoy all of these years,” Gaffigan said. “That’s so whether it’s a big role or smaller role.”
The 46-year-old has a nice touch as a thespian, but he’s strongest, perhaps, when he delivers stand-up.
It’s hardly a surprise that David Letterman and the aforementioned Stewart are big fans of Gaffigan’s stage work.
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Gaffigan, who will perform Monday at Wichita’s Cotillion, showcases his comedic skills when making observations, particularly about his passions, which include food and his family.
His self-deprecating humor typically wins over audiences. Gaffigan jokes that his father is Swedish and his mother is Elton John.
“There is no greater fun than going up and doing stand-up,” Gaffigan said while calling from New York. “I enjoy it when I have the opportunity to do it because it’s just me. There is no gatekeeper. It’s all you when you get up there.”
Gaffigan is not selfish and has no problem sharing the spotlight when he works on productions or in his personal life. And there aren’t many comics who have five children. But that’s the practicing Roman Catholic’s story.
“I love my family,” Gaffigan said. “I’m not your average comic, in which it’s all about them. I never felt I had to fall into that comic stereotype. I do things a certain way. I also am not one of those guys who will do anything for a laugh. I don’t see the point of dropping the f-bomb. Obscenities are a crutch. I think I can make people laugh without using those words.”
Gaffigan never chose to go the safe route as a comic. But he initially took the safe route when it came to choosing a career.
After graduating with a business degree from Georgetown University, Gaffigan toiled as a copywriter.
“But that wasn’t enough for me,” Gaffigan said. “It would have been easy for me to do that for a living, but I had to challenge myself. It wasn’t an easy thing because I come from a pretty conservative family. When I said I wanted to leave a steady job for the entertainment world, they didn’t get it. They were like, ‘What, are you nuts?’”
Gaffigan obviously knew what he was doing.
“Fortunately, it all worked out,” Gaffigan said. “There was no guarantee that was going to happen, but it did, and I’m grateful because I would rather do this than anything else.”