Jim Gaffigan Always Keep Them Laughing

With the line waiting to get into Montclair’s Wellmont Theater ending in the parking lot and the place packed with people, it was no wonder that comedian, actor and recent author Jim Gaffigan had not one, but two shows last Saturday, March 2.

Jim Gaffigan performs to liven up the audience.

Before Jim Gaffigan took the stage, Tom Shillue warmed up the crowd. He started by demonstrating the slowness of watching golf, which got a quick laugh from the audience and definitely reeled them in.

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Once the audience was interested, Shillue talked about his life, from his move from “Everyone Here is the Same” Massachusetts to the oh-so culturally diverse Big Apple to his once-every-summer family Taco Night, which was considered his ethnic diversity.

From discussing the tacos, he delved into odd commercials focusing on the somewhat offensive Frito Bandito-the Mexican thief mascot of the Frito-Lay Fritos brand way back when. Shillue also joked about the odd bluntness of the old Armour Hot Dog commercial.

Bringing his family back into the act, he told the audience stories of his dad, comparing him to Darth Vader-a comparison that went over very well with the crowd at the Wellmont.

For his last bit, he went on about his Italian wife and her side of the family, doing an impression of his father-in-law as if he were part of the mafia. He quickly exited the stage, leaving every person in the room laughing.

After Shillue graced the Wellmont with his Irish-Catholic comedic charm, Jim Gaffigan grabbed the microphone. Immediately after greeting the crowd and poking fun at his weight, Gaffigan started his set joking about weddings, old people and his last twenty years in New York.

Gaffigan then went on to discuss the joys of taking a bath. “Who wouldn’t want to lay in a bathtub filled with dirty water?” he asked. He continued by asking what the point of body wash was, because soap apparently will no longer cut it.

Seafood was his next target calling crabs the scorpions of the sea, having no idea why anyone would ever eat octopus, and wondering why oysters are considered aphrodisiacs. Still on the topic of food, he told the tale of how the fortune cookie was created. It supposedly went something like this:

“Taste this cookie.”
“Hmm…It tastes like it could use a piece of paper in it”
“Really? How much do you think I could sell them for?”
“Y’know, I think we’ll give them out free with the bill.”

After the brief “history” lesson, which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed, Jim Gaffigan went on to discuss his family, making various jokes about his five-child family.

Jim Gaffigan’s next two topics, cancer and religion, could have either gone over very well or very poorly. There were a few gasps in the audience. However, the majority took his jokes lightheartedly. The interesting thing was the way that Gaffigan always chastised himself immediately after he made a touchy joke, which is probably why those went over as well as they did.

After a quick pass at dogs in purses and female bartenders, which earned little fits of giggles, Jim Gaffigan started on hotel cleanliness. He claimed that he would start to fall asleep in the bed, but end up in the bathtub afraid of the things that had happened prior to his stay. Or how he’d love to sit on the couch of his suite naked, he couldn’t due to the number of people who had probably thought and done the same thing. Gross, right? Exactly his point.

A few quick jokes about bacon and waffle houses (because it’s not a comedy show without them), Gaffigan’s last segment was about Hoy Pockets. Saving the best for last rang true for the comedian, as the theater was uproarious with laughter every time he mocked the microwaveable snack’s jingle.

Jim Gaffigan was outrageously funny in a way that was not offensive and fun to watch. Here is to hoping he will return to the Wellmont Theater!

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