Jim Gaffigan | The White Bread Tour | 11.23.13

Jim-Gaffigan 75He’s extremely down to earth, and his commentary on being an avid-eater and a father of five is gut-bustingly hilarious.

Jim-Gaffigan 500

Peabody Opera House, St. Louis

The burly, self-deprecating Jim Gaffigan opened up his second, crowd-filled St. Louis show quite appropriately with jokes about a precious St. Louis delicacy — toasted ravioli. A man who immediately states that he loves to eat, Gaffigan explains that he has made it a habit of trying local specialties when he travels. He poked fun at the use of the word “toasted” to describe this Italian appetizer, as they are, of course, deep fried, and also commented on their tendency to harden after a minute, suggesting the St. Louis Arch is actually made of minute-old toasted ravioli.

I’d never heard Gaffigan’s comedy prior to this evening, but I was won over by his charm immediately. You’d think that for a man who is a published author (the tour is promoting his memoir Dad is Fat) and a successful, touring comedian, money wouldn’t be much of an issue, but he complains about rising prices just like the rest of us, targeting gourmet doughnut and cupcake venues specifically. He’s extremely down to earth, and his commentary on being an avid-eater and a father of five is gut-bustingly hilarious.

Two food groups that Gaffigan does not like, however, are vegetables and seafood. He personifies the veggies that appear on vegetable trays at parties, giving voice to a piece of cauliflower that is well aware he has no chance against the nearby fat-filled party dip. He is particularly irritated by the current public fascination with kelp, relaying a story about a mother at his children’s school who offered him some chili, which he accepted but immediately returned once she whisperingly bragged it contained kale. “I’m allergic,” he told her. As for fish and the like, Gaffigan considers crab and lobster to be the bugs of the sea and takes on a hillbilly voice when describing the first person who thought it was a good idea to try clams. Like myself, he is also quite disturbed by the fact that restaurants, like Red Lobster, let patrons choose their own, live crab from the tank. “Um … I guess I’ll take the one in the corner who is struggling with his rubber bands,” he quipped.

Among other topics, he spoke about his dislike of weddings and wedding registries (joking about having to purchase an overly priced, giant fork), and about his wife’s seemingly “annual” pregnancy. His transitions between jokes were so seamless that they hardly felt like transitions at all. His entire stint on stage was essentially like one big joke that came full circle at the end, by which point my abs were literally sore from laughter. He concluded the show with his famous commentary, or well criticism, of Hot Pockets, which alone is worth giving a search on YouTube.

Gaffigan is a natural comic. He isn’t loud or high-energy. His occasionally hushed voice is actually one of the funniest aspects of his demeanor. He isn’t the least bit crude and applies humor to the most average subject matter without ever growing uninteresting. Tickets to his shows can get pretty pricy, but he’s worth every penny. | Megan Washausen

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