Stand-up comedy routines do not always translate well to audio recordings; not being able to experience nuance like the comic’s facial expressions and gestures can diminish the funny. That’s not a concern with Jim Gaffigan's latest CD "Obsessed" though as the comic relies on well-written jokes instead of histrionics. He also doesn’t riff on topics like politics or stuff “ripped from the headlines;” he’s joking about things everybody can relate to and accordingly spends a good deal of his set riffing on his favorite subject, food.
The early part of the set features Gaffigan dishing out the laughs as he talks about fruits and vegetables, Southern food and donuts and poking fun at his own weight (and the nation’s) with lines like “I’m preparing for a big role … it’s a cinnamon roll” and “Last night I ate a pint of ice cream … because I’m American.”
Addressing the crowd’s generous response, Gaffigan quips, “Hey you guys are nice. I should have showered” before launching into a routine about showers versus baths, a lampoon of the infamous Cialis commercial with the outdoor bathtubs, and men’s resistance to entering a Victoria’s Secret store.
Staying with the theme of obsession, Gaffigan quickly returns to talking about food with a funny routine about lobster and crabs that draws big guffaws from the audience; the bit is funny regardless but the comic customizes his zingers for this particular crowd, which happens to be assembled in seafood-loving Boston.
Public restrooms, kids and Mt. Rushmore get skewered towards the end of the show and Gaffigan even manages to make a riff on cancer funny. Gaffigan’s voice is somewhat akin to that of a lovable oaf when he speaks normally but he also peppers his routine with a few recurring voices, all of which work to enhance the “I’m dumbfounded” quality of his comedy.
Also refreshing is the fact that Gaffigan is funny without trying to be shocking or gross; there’s no profanity or lewdness involved here.
"Obsessed is also available as a DVD.
Visit the official Jim Gaffigan website.