BriefINK Review: ‘Dad is Fat’ by Jim Gaffigan

Dad Is Fat by Jim GaffiganJim Gaffigan probably isn’t for everyone. He doesn’t cuss much and talks a lot about everyday occurrences. He doesn’t wear red leather or talk about his coke habit. Because of this, he’s known as a “clean” family comic, a label that I think is unfair and unwarranted. Now, I have nothing against stand-ups who don’t talk about their junk in the crudest of terms or use profanity in their show; for me, if it’s funny, it’s funny. The problem with the family label is that people expect knock knock jokes and stories about baby poop. OK, Gaffigan, in all fairness, may mention baby poop or knock knock jokes, but it’s the way that he does so that keeps him from being the opening act for the The Wiggles.

The most amazing thing about him is the fact that he, his wife, Jeannie, and FIVE kids live in a 2-bedroom WALK-UP in New York City (emphasis mine). I can totally appreciate his thriftiness, as all of us can relate to how expensive it is to live there. But the description of the merry-go-round of sleeping arrangements that is performed every night? He and Jeannie operate on the level of a Cirque du Soleil troupe or a literal well-oiled machine. The amount of time it takes to dress, sunscreen, potty, locate toys and get those kids out of the door and down the stairs would turn me into a hermit and homeschooler. For Mr. Gaffigan, its has sharpened his observations and made him world-wearier (to our benefit).

Of course, this book is all about his family, his work as a stand-up, and living in the Big Apple, and he has that enviable knack of being able to take a joke or funny story in exactly the direction you think it’s going all while secretly planning a great twist at the end. I hope his sitcom that starts this summer on TVLand is good. It’s got a great cast, with Ashley Williams, Michael Ian Black and Adam Goldberg, along with cameos with some of our most funny comics. And Macaulay Culkin. Yup.

But I digress…if you have seen or listened to any of Mr. Gaffigan’s stand-up, this book is in the same vein of goofy, silly and insightful. Though there’s only one Hot Pockets sighting.

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan was published May 7, 2013, by Crown Archetype. I “borrowed” this book that was a gift to my husband.

Rating: 4

Genre: Adult Humor Memoir

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