Last Friday, the Gordon Field House was packed with audience members eagerly waiting for the comedic styling of Jim Gaffigan. Unfortunately, others were left standing out in the rain as the show was completely sold out. Those who arrived long before the scheduled start got the show that they had paid for. It was complete with jokes about Hot Pockets, digestive malfunctions, and the laziness that Gaffigan is famous for.
As Gaffigan took the stage to an enthusiastic applause, many were wondering which jokes from his storied repertoire he would be using and whether or not he had any new material. Instead of relying on college humor, Gaffigan received inspiration from everyday life.
Good comedians turn simple observations everyone notices into funny statements that everyone can laugh at. Gaffigan began his act by talking about shoes. Everyone notices how there seems to be a shoe for everything. You can’t go into a store like Olympia Sports with the intent to just buy a pair of sneakers. You’ve got to pick from running shoes, skate shoes, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, etc., all of which look the same. As Gaffigan so accurately pointed out, they might as well have a section for pole jumping shoes. He continued from there, picking out the funny aspects of socks, speed walking, bacon and much more, but nothing could compare to when he started to tell his famous Hot
Gaffigan didn’t even need to get to the punch line to get a reaction from the crowd, and it certainly was funny. As soon as he started the joke there was laughter. Greasy, hallowed out bread filled with substances that resemble meat but might not be meat are just asking to be made fun of. Even though you can pretty much taste the added preservatives, they aren’t that bad. Personally, I would love to see what Gaffigan could come up with after eating a garbage plate.
While most comedians don’t acknowledge that they are making people laugh, Gaffigan is known for frequently interrupting his routine by switching to a high-pitched voice and commenting on whether or not he thought his last joke had been funny. The voice in itself is amusing, and breeching that invisible wall between performing and talking to the audience works surprisingly well in his material.
Like all comedians who come to RIT, Gaffigan got to do his routine alongside an interpreter and the audience got to see a naturally humorous moment when Gaffigan commented that the sign for bacon was “pretty.” Like many comedians who have performed at RIT, he made the interpreter part of his act by calling him his father.
Jim Gaffigan’s performance at RIT was highly anticipated, and for good reason. He started everyone’s Friday night off with a good laugh, for which he received a loud round of applause.