Clean Comedy

Jim Gaffigan


Tears are a great thing when they’re laugh-induced. I love to laugh, so much so that I make it a point to build laugh time into every day. I don’t get a lot of TV viewing time, but Hubby and I try to schedule in about 30 minutes of sitcom before bed, even if it means staying up later than we’d planned in order to fit it in. We watch old episodes of King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, Modern Family or Monk nearly every night.

Since this has been our routine for the past five years of so, it’s safe to say that we have seen each of these episodes at least a half dozen times. This makes no difference. They’re still funny. Steve sits in his recliner and I can tell he’s laughing because of the ear-to-ear smile on his face and the wetness in his eyes. Me, I laugh out loud, as I see once again the hilarious bits played out, sometimes noticing a nuance that had escaped me in previous viewings.

These funnies are an effective distraction from the pressing deadlines and stress that invariably invade my life. It’s much easier to fall into a pleasant sleep having just watched Kramer slide like a hockey puck into Jerry’s apartment. There’s something about seeing Ray Barone stuff a beef sandwich into his pants pocket that makes me forget about the aggravation of a workday that finished without ticking off a single item on my must-do list. Witnessing Doug Heffernin fake a heart attack to hide the fact that he forgot the name of one of his wife’s co-workers somehow lessens my aggravation factor when my husband lines up the Tupperware on the kitchen counter so it can “fully dry.” Seeing Phil Dunphy play the recorder for a snake in an attempt to woo it away from the shoe that he lost in the snake’s tank after climbing into the window of his client’s home while wearing his boxers—well, I don’t care who you are. That’s just funny right there.

I have Sirius XM radio in my car, so part of my daily laugh plan is to listen to Laugh USA. The comedy on this station is squeaky clean and much of it is therapeutically funny. Some of these comedy masters throw out some zingers that make me bust out in giggles:

Jerry Seinfeld: “Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?”

Bill Cosby: “Let us now set forth one of the fundamental truths about marriage: the wife is in charge.”

Anita Renfroe: Talking about mammograms and pretending to scoop one colossal breast into the X-ray machine. “The nurse wants you to laaay it up on the altar . . . just laaaay it on the altar, whatever you have. For some of you bigger girls, it’s like too much waffle mix in the waffle iron.”

Jeanne Robertson: “Have you ever wanted to take a young person’s face in your hands and say, ‘Are you in there?’”

Brian Regan: “My wife and I, we have two wonderful kids. And another kid.”

Michael Jr: “Out of nowhere my (five year old) son looked at me and said, ‘Dad, I wanna be a doctor.’ And I thought, Yes! Yes! He’s already got direction. Then he said, ‘Or a dinosaur.’”

Tim Hawkins: “It’s hard to be cool when you’re in your forties. I used to go to cool places, cool parties, with the cool people. Now all I do is walk around my house and turn off lights. That’s my job. I walk around my house turning off lights wearing black socks and boxers.”

Last night hubby and I went to see Jim Gaffigan in concert at the Rialto theatre in Joliet IL. Honestly, I didn’t know that much about him before grabbing the tickets from StubHub the night before the concert. But I’d heard some of his bits on Laugh USA and jumped at the opportunity to see him in person.

The Rialto has a seating capacity of about 2000, and Gaffigan had sold out two shows for that night. Turns out, he’s selling out venues like this nearly every weekend night. And now I know why.

For starters, who do you think introduced him and welcomed him to the stage? His kids. Actually his own kids and his brother’s kids. The kids on stage were about five to seven years old. They were adorable, and from the get-go you know it’s gonna be a clean show. Gaffigan casually walked onto the stage wearing faded jeans, a casual shirt and red sneakers. He made a few comments about his kids and then promptly began gushing about his love for Chicago style deep dish pizza. What? That’s not funny you say? It is, when it comes from Jim Gaffigan’s mouth. Then there’s a quirky segue into his obsession with steak. He does a full fifteen minutes on steak, and it never gets old. It’s not so much what he says that’s so funny. Most of the time it’s how he says it. But sometimes what he says is pretty darn funny, too. “My wife came into the room, ‘Jim, are you going to eat an entire pint of ice cream yourself?’ ‘Hopefully. Unless you selfishly want a bite!’”

All of these talented, funny people, making a really good living off of making people laugh, prove that it is not necessary to roll around in the mud to be funny. Without stooping low, we can all have a life brimming with happiness and hilarity.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:6 NIV

I’d love to hear from you. Who makes you laugh? How do you get your daily dose of funny?

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