Had a nice long chat with comedian/actor Jim Gaffigan the other day. Our wide-ranging talk lasted more than an hour. Some of it appeared in print today. Much of it did not. And some topics were better left off the record, as they say. Regardless, check out Mr. Gaffigan this weekend at the Comedy Connection in Faneuil Hall Marketplace if you get the chance, and read up on these other gems from our talk below…
Comparing sitcom work to movies, ads and stand-up:
"I like dry comedy stuff. When you get a role in some comedy TV show, it ends up being sitcommy. Which is funny. But it’s not like, it’s more servicing a joke than a funny situation. When I was on Ed, that was a blast. But That 70s Show, I was just coming in, being the dumb guy, saying my dumb lines, and leaving. When you’re doing a serious drama, it’s a fun challenge, because there’s a greater emphasis on the reality of it."
On the Comedy Central Stand-Up Showdown:
"You really go into stand-up so you can be elected to higher office. I’ve talked to other comedians. You can’t really compare different styles of comedy. It’s always flattering when someone says I’m like Brian Regan. I do think we’re alike in that we’re silly and we talk about mundane things and don’t curse all the time…but how do you measure Lewis Black vs. Dane Cook? They’re two different types of comedy….I think Dane Cook makes every other comic who’s trying to sell a comedy CD that much easier. (Customers), they’re not just buying Jack Johnson. They’re buying Jack Johnson and Dane Cook, and that’s opening doors for us. Dane, he’s like a rock star, where I’m more like David Gray."
On being a father of two kids under the age of 2:
"It’s like living with an orangutan. It’s chaos. Those babies, I love them, but they’re constantly going to the bathroom. It’s hard work watching my wife do all that work. It’s exhausting!"
On MySpace (we’re MySpace friends):
"I am totally addicted to MySpace. If you want to waste 12 hours really quick…It’s flattering. You get these messages from people, and then you can let people know you’re going to be in Boston. And then they say, Hey, I’m friends with you on MySpace…When my special aired, I got literally 300 messages…MySpace is weird because there’s (images of) a guy without a shirt on, and then there’s a 13-year-old girl who’s practically naked. Hey, I’m just trying promote my show!"
There also are lots of crazy MySpace profiles out there.
"They have the Matrix design going on and there are eight videos playing, and I just wanted to see if you were in Boston. They say, What kind of television are you? I’m a flat-screen TV. Or what girl would you be on Full House. You need to know that kind of thing before deciding to be a MySpace friend. That darned Internet has changed everything."
On Saturday night, I discovered that Jim Gaffigan is as sincerely pleasant and gracious in person as he was on the phone. Hung out with him in the Comedy Connection’s green room before he prepared to take the stage for his first of three sold-out shows Saturday in Boston. Met his childhood buddy, Rob, who now lives in Portland (Maine, not Ore.) and works as an anaethesiologist. Rob had some amusing tales of his own — should he not tell them onstage, I might have to steal his one story as a bit! Just kidding. Sort of. Alrighty then. Back to Jim Gaffigan. If you haven’t seen him perform, go. He’ll be performing theaters later this winter/spring — and in Seattle and Portland (Ore., not Maine), my old friend from Seattle comedy days Duane Goad will open the shows. Or buy Gaffigan’s DVD, Beyond the Pale.