Jim Gaffigan may be one of the funniest men in America. Not only does he manage to make hot pockets, bacon, and fatherhood hilarious, he stays funny without veering into politics. He’s got a new TV show starting in a couple weeks, and he joined Glenn on radio to discuss the show, McDonald’s ridiculous new McKale, and more.
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GLENN: Jim Gaffigan is a funny man and comedian who has a problem with some -- some food items, we understand. But loves them Hot Pockets. John Gaffigan is with us now. Hello, John.
GLENN: Do you miss the days when you had to get up early in the morning and do a radio interview with people who had no idea who you were?
JIM: Oh, my gosh, that's a great observation. Yeah. Well, you know, the whole thing is like doing this TV show, Glenn. It's way too much work. I know you're a colossal workaholic. But there's too much acting that occurs before 10:00 a.m. That's my whole thing. It's a TV show.
I had a pickup one time at 3:00 a.m. 3:00 a.m. I'm used to working for an hour a night where it's just me with a microphone. And I'm supposed to be cooperative with people at 4:30 in the morning? But...
GLENN: So, Jim, looking at your hourly wage then, I would say you're probably for the 15-dollar an hour for food workers?
JIM: Well, you know, I am someone who eats -- I probably singlehandedly kept McDonald's afloat in the past couple of months. But I most certainly -- I have worked in a fast food place. But, you know, I am for, you know, businesses making a profit. But I don't know. You know, it's like that's above my pay grade.
GLENN: Are you -- how do you feel about the kale announcement with McDonald's?
JIM: I felt like that was a sellout, you know. That's like us negotiating with ISIS.
GLENN: I mean --
JIM: Like, McDonald's, how dare you. How dare you betray -- you know what I mean? The kale thing. I appreciate the value of it being good for us. But that's not why we're going to McDonald's. All right. We're going to McDonald's because we really don't like ourselves. And we want a moment of happiness, Glenn. And we all know that. No one is going to McDonald's and then jogging, all right. We're going to McDonald's because we don't want to jog. Because -- because those fries are insane.
GLENN: When did you -- when did you -- because you really are one of my heroes. A, I mean this sincerely, you I believe are one of the funniest men in America. I would say the planet. But I don't speak other languages, so I don't know. But you're the funniest man in America now. And what I really admire, you're a hero of mine because you have just surrendered. You've just said, I'm going to be fat and lazy and I'm okay with that.
JIM: Yeah. Thank you for saying those -- but I think that there's a surrender, but there's also -- you know, my act and this show that is -- you know, you can download a free episode on i Tunes -- is all about an exploration of the id (phonetic). It's not how we should live. We don't want to -- we all want to lie in bed all day and eat bacon. But we can't. But that's romanticizing laziness and glut any is, you know -- it's the lesser of the sins. Right?
JIM: There's something about -- I'm not proposing that people consume the way I talk. You know, the funny thing is, people used to say. Gosh, you really talk. Your act, you sound like a morbidly obese person the way you joke about food. And now people come up to me and say, wow, you really joke a lot about food. Implying that I've gained a lot of weight.
But I don't know. Hopefully I'm romanticizing it. You know, when I wrote -- I do everything with my wife. And when we wrote Food: A Love Story, she was very insistent that we had a disclaimer in the beginning that said or more or less, this is no way to lead your life. I was like, I think you have to give people credit. They know I'm joking, you know.
GLENN: I have to tell you, Jim. You're crushing me. You are my hero up until about 45 seconds ago. I thought you did lay in bed all day and eat bacon.
JIM: I wish I could. I wish I could. But unfortunately, you know, I've got -- I've got a lot of kids. And I say a lot of kids because I don't know the real number because there's so many. I have a lot of kids, Glenn. I have an 11-year-old. A 9-year-old. A 6-year-old. A 3-year-old. A 2-year-old.
GLENN: You know what's causing that. Right?
You can't stop it.
JIM: Jesus caused it. No, I know what causes it. But, you know, I have to make some money.
GLENN: May I ask you a question. I read your book. What is it? Dad is Fat, which I just thought was hysterical. But the thought where you talk about the tarp was not enough over the living room at the birthing of your child at home. I wondered why someone would actually -- I mean, when there are modern hospitals, why you would birth a child at home.
JIM: Well, you know, this is right in your wheelhouse, Glenn. The home birth thing is real. It's -- it's -- we've been kind of brainwashed. And understandably. I understand your point of view that home birth is kind of like having someone inexperienced fix an airplane you're about to fly on. It sounds dangerous.
GLENN: No. It's not that it's dangerous. It's just the clean-up. And I'm a very, very big believer in, if I'm in pain, I must be in Cuba. I want medicine. I don't want pain.
JIM: Yeah. Oh, yeah. It's not like I had the kids. You know, my wife. I was sitting -- I was on more medication than her. But I think that -- look, we're human beings. We've been having -- I can't believe I'm talking about home birth. But we've been having babies for a long time. And there is -- there's been this -- I think this -- you know, it's -- that's how it used to be. You know, I'm from the Midwest. You know, my grandparents weren't born in a hospital probably. And so it's -- it's not something that we have been doing. There's less germs in your house than in a hospital. But now I sound like the home birth --
GLENN: No, I just want to know. Because there is a side of you, Jim. Not the stage side of you. There is a side of you -- my mother was born on the kitchen table. And my grandfather used to tell us all the time while we were eating. It didn't work for me.
GLENN: But there is a side of you that is a serious guy. And somewhat really odd.
JIM: Yeah. Well, thank you.
GLENN: You're welcome.
JIM: No, I'm a very misanthropic optimist. I think that I am -- you know, it's like -- you know, I'm kind of -- I think of myself as, you know, somebody that -- of our childhood. It seems like there was this time when like somebody could be kind of Catholic and cynical and they could be all these things and also open-hearted and stuff like that. I don't know. Anyway, what I'm saying is, I'm a great guy.
No, I think of myself, yeah, I'm definitely -- I mean, Glenn, I go on stage and make strangers laugh. There's nothing normal about that, you know what I mean?
GLENN: What's it like to be -- because I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I'm either loved or I'm absolutely hated. I think you're either loved or they just haven't seen you yet. What's it like to be universally loved? Tell me your sob story. Tell me the bad times.
JIM: That's very nice again. But here's the thing, I think there's also something about I serve as -- because I saw this even in the kind of rise in some of my popularity. There was all these anti-Bush comedians. There were the blue-collar guys that were kind of attacked for, you know -- I don't know what they were attacked for. And then there was me talking about muffins. You know what I mean? And so I'm the beneficiary of not -- not engaging -- well, it's what you do. Your job is to question things. Right?
From your point of view. And so what my -- I deal with the minutia. I think people come to my show as a break from --
GLENN: Oh, yeah.
JIM: You know what I mean?
PAT: No doubt about it.
JIM: Let me be clear. I've been doing stand up for a long time. I'm a pale blond guy where if I talk about things political, the audience tightens up.
GLENN: Yeah, I don't want you to. We've talked about this when you asked, you know, if I would be on your first episode. And I told the guys, I said, everybody is on this episode. He has everybody. Because we didn't want to know. And I don't want to know your political views. I don't want to know anything about you. Because you really are -- you're unspoiled. There's not many things we can go to anymore -- and where I can sit next to Rachel Maddow and the two of us could just laugh our faces off. That's really needed in America.
JIM: Well, thank you.
PAT: Plus, it's really hard to be funny and not dirty. And to be funny about muffins and Hot Pockets and kale is hard. What you do, Jim, is probably the toughest comedy in the country.
JIM: Well, thanks. I just kind of do what I do. I will say that if there is some negative -- I mean, there's nothing sexy about what I do. So --
GLENN: I mean, you're not scooping up the chicks afterwards, I'm sure.
JIM: No. And there's nothing -- and I'm grateful so that I can call in and I'm so grateful that you participated in the show. But there's nothing -- like, I'm never going to be on the cover of GQ. And that's fine. But there's -- there's also -- I'm like -- I had this joke -- my wife wouldn't let me do it. I wanted to call -- because the accusation that gets leveled at me is that I'm mainstream. So Republicans and Democrats both like my stuff. So some people say, oh, it's too mainstream. It's not niche enough. I wanted to call my tour [foreign language] which is French for mainstream. You know, but that's not that bad.
STU: Because in the show, the first episode, the Jim Gaffigan show, you have to get on i Tunes, it's a great show -- even with all your trying to stay away from controversy, you kind of get pulled into something on the show that kind of stems from a real incident. Right?
JIM: Yeah. Actually they're sampling different episodes. But the one that Glenn is in and that was on my website was inspired by the fact, I'm Catholic. And my wife is Shiite Catholic.
And that's very rare in the entertainment industry. It's like, look, I spent 15 years as an atheist. So it's like, I understand that like there is a somewhat of a disconnect of being this comedian. This cynical comedian to be a person of faith. So that was kind of inspired. It was actually inspired by when I wrote that book Dad is Fat. There was a Washington Post article that kind of identified me as the leader of a new Catholic evangelicalism. And I was like -- that was some of the -- the -- you know -- and I love the idea of being outed as a Christian in this day and age.
GLENN: It's a different world. Jim, we want to hit your tour. You can find out all about his tour on JimGaffigan.com. I want to thank you for not coming really anywhere close to you so we can see you. So we have to travel now.
JIM: I was just in Dallas.
GLENN: I was out of town that day. You didn't call, okay.
STU: You were supposed to schedule --
JIM: I know. I was very selfish.
GLENN: My children came. And they liked it. But big, fat dad had to be in another state.
JIM: You were probably publishing two books.
STU: Do you see a serious issue in the world of comedy, Jim, of that because you deal with this in the episode that Glenn is in which is you were outed as a hero of the Christian comedian movement. Then the entire world turns on you in one second because of something else you did and then all of a sudden you're the vicious enemy of all things religious. I feel like it's actually a real thing you're playing off here which is a constant search for outrage. Every time a comedian says anything, there's one side or the other that will come after them and try to attack them.
GLENN: Comedian, shut up.
PAT: Isn't it ruining comedy?
JIM: Yeah. I think there is something very interesting -- you know what I think it is? I think everybody really wants to look smart. And the way we can look smart is to identify mistakes people have made. And in social media, it's really easy to say, you spelled that word wrong. Or that -- you know, if you read that sentence wrong, it can -- you can be characterizing -- it can be characterized as homophobic. Look, words are important. But I also think that we're kind of getting away from like the bigger picture kind of stuff of, you know -- again, it's not -- it's not my wheelhouse. But, you know, there is this kind of outrage police that exists. And I think that it's important. I mean, obviously we don't want horrible things to happen. And things we -- things that rational or enlightened (phonetic) -- but those things that -- we're losing some of our sense of humor. You know, I'm glad that I'm married now because I can't imagine being flirtatious in this day and age. Maybe because I was so bad at it. But I remember having that thought, I wouldn't want to try to be flirtatious with a woman at a bar. I think that 15 years ago, you could kind of make a moron out of yourself and it wouldn't be the end of the day. But now, if you do that, it could be really ugly. And, you know, you wouldn't want, you know, to make someone uncomfortable. But I think now people are instructed to be more uncomfortable when we should let things kind of slide off our back like they used to.
GLENN: Jim Gaffigan. He has the Jim Gaffigan Show on i Tunes. And it is really, really funny. Worth watching. If you've never seen him before in person, grab a ticket. You will laugh all night. Truly, truly one of the funniest men in America today. Jim Gaffigan at JimGaffigan.com. Jim, thank you so much for including us in the show. We'd love to have you back. It's rare that we get a chance to really laugh hard and our audience loves you and we love you. And you're welcome here any time.
JIM: Thanks so much. I really appreciate it.
GLENN: God bless. JimGaffigan.com.