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Pale Rider

Jim Gaffigan advances his art in new stand-up special

In Jim Gaffigan’s new Comedy Central stand-up special, debuting January 29, he further defines himself as a key color in the comedy palette, if one were to think of different types of stand-ups that way.

Gaffigan has cultivated an odd, surreal persona, commenting in a whisper on his own jokes, selecting the 7-Eleven microwave staple Hot Pockets as a trademark bit, a root from which all his other material grows.

Like Hot Pockets, Gaffigan’s targets are things no one would ever peg as fodder for comic gold -- cake, bathrobes, Christmas trees, fish, comparing steak and bologna -- a sort of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy grab bag of items.

Yet with these unlikely subjects, Gaffigan weaves monologues that capture absurdity in expertly comic fashion. “How come wearing a bathrobe outside makes you look like you just escaped from the loony bin?” he asks. “‘I’m just getting the paper,’” Gaffigan voices as the answer to his question. “Before the monsters do, right?” he says, as his punch line.

While Gaffigan doesn’t really work outside this self-imposed style, what he does is certainly unique.











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