The Jim Gaffigan Show: The List – Alt, Alt Comedy (Review)

Jim Gaffigan and Adam Goldberg

It is ironic that The Jim Gaffigan Show deals with a website that leaves the comic off their list of top 100 comedians in New York.  Two days ago we were carrying on about how wonderful it was to discover the comic via Chelsea Handler.  This episode reveals that Gaffigan is a consistent comic performer and that there are alt, alt comedy clubs.

“The List” starts with Jim being told by Dave (Adam Goldberg)  about the top 100 list on Squidsizer.com and being number 98.  Gaffigan is derisory about the list and says it does not matter. Dave replies that it matters to his mother.

The episode then focusses on Jeannie (Ashley Williams) being angry on Jim’s behalf and trying to give the blogger Franz Dubois a piece of her mind. Meanwhile Gaffigan tells his wife that comedians do not care about lists. The punch line is all the comic’s he knows can talk of nothing else.

While Jeannie works to right this wrong, Jim is torn between showing he thinks the list is dumb and not worth worrying about and trying to get noticed by Dubois in the trendy “alt, alt” comedy clubs.

There are a few themes running through this episode. The increasing youthfulness of comedy audiences and  that the Internet is full of “privileged” (and lonely) rich kids blogging from WiFi cafes and specialist food shops. Another jab looks to be aimed at the way comedy is changing.  One subtle point is made when we learn that Franz is a woman. Jeannie believes fervently that Dubois is a man with an “ironic beard” and man-bun.

Franz  (Shades of Blue actress Annie Chang) introduces Jim to the concept of these exclusive new alt comedy clubs. He arranges a booking at QED, a popular alternative  scene.

The highlight of the episode has Gaffigan trotting gags to no response and each time he scrutinizes the audience they get younger and more irritated.  Truly one of the funniest things we have seen on television this year.

This ties into the younger audience theme. For example when Jim arrives at the club the young lady running it tells him: ” My grandfather loves you.” The club MC then announces Gaffigan and mentions he used to be on he David Leaderman show.

After finishing at QED Jim gets invited to “Jeffy’s” another alt “space” down the road. Pete Davidson is Jeffy. He greets the trio that arrive by telling that he has one rule. Guest’s must stay out of “that” room. “My step-dad,” says Jeffy, “is a real tool.”

When Gaffigan finishes his laugh-less set, Jeffy asks him if he want to go again. Jim says yes and ends up in a bathroom with a microphone in it. In the tub he finds Franz Dubois, Amanda (from QED) and an antagonistic looking man.

Apart from the younger audiences all appearing to be some eclectic group of pseudo intellectual arsehats,  these tiny venues feel like 1960s hippy coffee houses. Instead of beatniks spouting poetic drivel, however, the youngster are busy not being funny.

Regardless of the scene and the comedy, the script’s message appears to be that youth do not understand comedy and therefore do not find it funny. A direct shot across the bow of the politically correct generation’s attempt to kill comedy.

It could also meant that comedians need to change or face becoming irrelevant.

The Jim Gaffigan Show is a slice of comic gold.  Everyone on the show contributes to the comedy.  Without counting, it does feel like the 21 minute show (without commercials) delivers more laughs per minute than any other comedy series on television.

Kudos to Pete Davidson as Jeffy and Annie Chang and Franz Dubois.

TV Land airs the series on Sundays and Thursdays. Tune in if you like to laugh.

 

 

The Jim Gaffigan Show: Thanks Chelsea Handler

Jim Gaffigan

Until earlier today Jim Gaffigan was an unknown entity except for his teaser adverts on Hulu. Not knowing that he was on TV Land or who he really was, these quick commercials did not lead to his show.   Chelsea  on Netflix had Gaffigan as a guest and Ms. Handler recommended her viewers go check Jim’s show out. “It is funny as f**k,” Chelsea claimed. So thanks to Handler, Gaffigan was discovered by Mike’s Film Talk.

Those high words of praise resonated and a search was on for TV Land and the stand-cup comedian’s show. There were  three episodes available to binge  so the challenge was on. It was time to discover whether the show would live up to Chelsea’s recommendation.

After 63 minutes of viewing, sans commercials, the verdict was positive. The Jim Gaffigan Show is indeed “funny as f**k.”

Each 21 minute episode (longer if one forgets to turn the adverts off) was brilliantly  funny. Well written and the guest stars were just spectacular:  Alec Baldwin,  Zachary QuintoGilbert Gottfried (his “Affleck! Affleck! was hysterically funny), Raven-Symoné and Macaulay Culkin (to name a few) and the regular cast are all excellent comedic actors. 

For the record,  the cast includes Adam Goldberg,  Michael Ian Black and  Ashley Williams

The three episodes on offer in season two are: The Calling, The Trial and Ugly.  Each one has a prevalent theme. Episode one was about what one should do with their life. In other words a person’s “calling.”  Two was all about that Gaffigan tweet about women doing their nails:

Jim Gaffigan Article About That Tweet

Three was about auditioning for a part in an Alec Baldwin  film as a lead character whose name is Ugly.

Each episode has a couple of things going on along side the main storyline. In one,  the gay realtor Daniel (Black) is pranked by a man whose boyfriend he lured away. YouTube celeb Tyler Oakley is the punch line. 

Jim’s onscreen wife Jeanne (Williams) is catcalled as she walks past a construction site on another episode…by a female worker. Her decision to retaliate causes a riot.

These episode are laugh out loud funny.  It is no mean feat to write and star in a show which results in honest to goodness belly laughs. The Jim Gaffigan Show does this easily with each episode leaving the viewer an urge to watch all this comedy over and over.

Gaffigan’s real-life wife, also named Jeannie, is producer on the show that her husband co-created with Peter Tolan. This is a match made in heaven for those who love comedy done well.  It is criminal that the series is hidden on an obscure network (?) such as TV Land. 

Chelsea Handler’s having Gaffigan on as a guest, where they talked about the tempest in a tweet that was,  allowed us to find this brilliantly written and delivered show.  Mike’s Film Talk has fallen in love with this show, its characters and the wealth of “name” guest stars.

The Jim Gaffigan Show airs Sundays on TV Land. Take a moment to find the network and check this show out. It will be well worth the time spent.  Thanks to Chelsea Handler we found the series and have become instant fans. She was right, it is funny as f**k.