Jim Gaffigan’s ‘Dark Pale’ Special Is His Best Yet

Have we misunderstood Jim Gaffigan all along?

A Midwestern-born father of five, Gaffigan is known for his clean, family-friendly stand-ups on the most offensive subjects (kids, food).he is safe enough open for the pope And he complains regularly on “CBS Sunday Morning.” But his consistently entertaining new special, “Dark Pale” (the tenth), breaks that vanilla image. He said the pandemic made him question his mortality. And there was a surprisingly eerie act in which Gaffigan, dressed in a black suit and shirt, imagined his own funeral. He wanted an open coffin, and there was a recording of him sitting and shirtless, occasionally raising his arms like a marionette, saying, “Don’t worry, I’m in a better place,” before adding, “I’m kidding.” I am here. “

It’s an unexpectedly eerie visual, after talking about cremation, Gaffigan adopts his signature second voice—a gravelly whisper that behaves like a critic in a crowd—and asks, “When is he going to make a food joke?”

If you’re not a fan, it’s easy to miss, but Jim Gaffigan is doing great. Already prolific, he’s gone even further, producing five specials in six years, and this new Prime Video is the crowning achievement. Rather than resting on his laurels, he’s become more ambitious. There are still jokes about chain restaurants (he calls Starbucks “upscale job security”). But the joke’s fiery tone and complexity demand attention, if not reappraisal. In the title (his third time using the word “Pale”), he says he has something heavier in his head than fast food. After revisiting his vast trove of material released over the past few decades, what is clear is that he has always done so.

Gaffigan’s perseverance was there from the start, but those early albums may surprise those who only know his famous persona. He swears and talks about sex, giving the impression of a frustrated son rather than a disgruntled family man. in 2015 Interview with Marc MaronGaffigan said her first acting experience was pretending to be happy when her father came home. This suggests his most fertile theme: the infinite capacity for denial of the American people.

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