Gaffigan entertains audiences better on stage than on screen

Jim Gaffigan amuses his fans better as a stand-up comedian than as an on-screen TV personality.


photo courtesy of TV Land

by Maggie Knox, Editor-in-Chief

You know him from short internet video clips: those segments describing his love for baked goods, toaster pastries and bacon brought him to the forefront of “ordinary guy” stand-up comedy. Although Jim Gaffigan remains an enjoyable live comedian, his new TV series, “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” doesn’t offer much else than what he already executes perfectly in person.

Granted, the show is still humorous in and of itself; Gaffigan portrays a semi-autobiographical version of himself to illustrate the day-to-day “first-world” struggles and hijinks that go along with being a father, husband and food-lover. Episodes “Red Velvet If You Please” and “My Friend the Priest” comically expand on the themes prominent in his stand-up to draw a connection between the two styles of performance. As a result, these styles produce a cohesive image of Gaffigan.

However united they may be, though, the restriction of a show’s screenplay caps the creativity usually consumed by Gaffigan. For example, its July 15 pilot episode was promising of new content, yet the following handful of installments only showcase varied versions of the same few relatable punchlines: Gaffigan’s mischievous kids, his marital banter, his insecurities about his performances and his perpetual love for tasty grub. Fans of Gaffigan may prefer the surprise of his on-stage storytelling to the predictable story lines of his TV show.

“The Jim Gaffigan Show” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on TVLand and Thursdays at 7 p.m. on Comedy Central.