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An American comedian who appeared in various commercials and films before rising to national popularity in the late 2000's. Jim Gaffigan released his first album, Luigi's Doghouse, in 2001. King Baby, his seventh album (released in 2009), spawned a popular Comedy Central special.

Gaffigan's routines commonly focus on aspects of everyday life, the most prominent of which are eating and being lazy. Gaffigan also includes frequent high-pitched asides, meant to represent a hypothetical, easily-offended audience member. (Rumor has it that these are based on his sister-in-law's reactions.)


Tropes Present:

  • Big Eater: As stated above, he often references his love for food. His album Beyond the Pale consists almost entirely of food-related jokes.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Jim Gaffigan has a routine where he says how there's so much pressure in our culture to have a good time on our birthday, so that we whine when we aren't given a break on that day.

  Jim: I can't believe I gotta go to work on my birthday. I can't believe I have to do laundry on my birthday. I can't believe I have to pay for sex on my birthday!

  • But Not Too White: A major portion of Jim's act is making fun of his own extremely pale skin.
  • Censorship by Spelling: "I always feel dumb. It doesn't help that my wife spells everything in front of the kids."

 "Don't tell the kids about the I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M"

"...(Beat)...Who's in the emergency room? And why do I want a Dilly Bar?"

  • Content Warnings: He feels that Hot Pockets should come with a warning label that states "Warning: You just bought Hot Pockets! Hope you're drunk or heading home to a trailer! You hillbilly, enjoy the next NASCAR event!"

 Hypothetical Audience Member: Hey, I like NASCAR! He's a jerk.

  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Defictionalization: Jim Gaffigan once made a joke about how there will one day be a bacon hamburger with two doughnuts instead of buns, and that someone in the audience will probably think it's a brilliant idea and make one. Meet the Luther Burger
  • Food Porn: He comments on how Food Network's like porn when you're hungry.

 "What are you watching?"

"Uhh, uhh, Food Network."

"Well, why are your pants off?"

"...I like food...a lot."

    • He takes it one step further when he points out that packaging is like clothing for food.

 (seductively) "What you wearing there, cookies?"

  Jim: I went camping recently...for this next joke...

  • Memetic Molester: Invoked Trope. Plays this angle up and has the hypothetical audience member react this way.
  • Metaphorgotten: He manages one that still somehow makes perfect sense, when describing his experience of having a fourth kid: "Imagine you're drowning, and someone hands you a baby."
  • One-Hit Wonder: He feels he still has to perform his popular Hot Pockets bit to satisfy his fans.
  • Overly Long Gag: Lampshaded several times, as in this bit:

 Hypothetical Audience Member: That's got to be the end of the bacon jokes.

Jim proceeds to tell more bacon jokes



Hypothetical Audience Member: If he tells another cake joke, I'm gonna kill 'im.

Jim: Enough about cake. Pie!

    • We can't forget his Hot Pocket routine. At some point, the joke becomes the fact that he's still talking about Hot Pockets.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful: Jim has a bit where he points out that life is easier when you're attractive. "If a stranger smiles at you and they're attractive, you think 'Oh, they're nice'. But if an ugly person smiles at you, you think 'What do they want?'."
  • Screw Yourself: In one joke Jim says that he couldn't go through childbirth because he doesn't have a uterus but also because he couldn't have sex with a man. Unless it looked like him. "Some Jim on Jim action" indeed.
  • Self-Deprecation: Constantly makes fun of himself, particular his pale skin.
    • Frequently pokes fun at Christian traditions and beliefs, despite being a practicing Catholic.
    • Plus of course all the Hot Pockets junk-food jokes, then goes on about his love of bacon. Might double as Hypocritical Humor.
    • Also his frequenting of McDonald's. "I love the awkward silence that always follows that statement."
  • Take That: In his "King Baby" special: Waffle House, Dunkin' Donuts.

Notes

  1. Elton John is not a woman!
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