Jim Gaffigan Uncensored: On Louis C.K.’s ‘Comeback,’ Ruling Sundance, and Popping Amazon’s Comedy Cherry
The husband and wife creative duo have worked together for their entire career — from stand-up material to a semi-autobiographical TV Land series The Jim Gaffigan Show, which depicted their family life and living in a cramped New York City apartment with five children. Currently, Jeannie is directing and executive producing Jim’s next stand-up special, titled Quality Time, which is intended to be the first original comedy special for Amazon. “When we were first dating we’d get a bottle of wine, we’d sit back, we’d write,” Gaffigan recalled. “Now that doesn’t happen. Now she sends me emails of comments when she sees a show. And sometimes I’ll read them. Her insight is invaluable.”
At 52, the “pasty-white comedian” (his words) emerged as the unlikeliest of Sundance Film Festival darlings, with three impressive indie movies debuting at this year’s fest: Them That Follow, about a snake-handling Christian cult in Appalachia; Troop Zero, a coming-of-age comedy alongside Viola Davis; and Light from Light, a supernatural thriller on the paranormal.
But those three flicks are just the first of seven Gaffigan-starring films set for release in 2019—not to mention his highly anticipated stand-up comedy special for Amazon, the streamer’s very first, due later this year.
“It’s amazing. How many times can I say amazing?” he asks, chuckling. “God, I’m so delirious!”
We’re huddled together at a hotel bar in Park City, Utah, where Gaffigan, ecstatically exhausted, is basking in the glow of his Sundance troika. It’s been a long road for the Indiana-born comic, who first hit the stand-up circuit in the early 1990s, cutting his teeth in a variety of commercials, bit movie and sitcom parts. It was only in the 2000s that he flourished, his cheeky musings on food, fatuousness, and fatherhood catapulting him to the top of comedy mountain.
Now, he’s ready for his big screen close-up.