Jim Gaffigan Performs Tonight at Rose State
Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Back in the ‘30s, an English vaudeville comedian named Max Miller kept all his nasty jokes in a blue notebook, and it gave birth to the comedy business phrase, “playing blue.” Comedian Jim Gaffigan doesn’t have a blue note in his book, and it all came down to curse words not meshing with his methods.
“I am a clean comic and … it was kind of this artistic decision that I got rid of curse words, because it’s not necessary when you’re talking about Hot Pockets and escalators,” Gaffigan said in a recent phone interview.
Gaffigan, who performs Saturday at Rose State Performing Arts Theater, doesn’t take a dim view of the Chris Rocks, Lewis Blacks and Patton Oswalts of his business, but as a top practitioner of observational humor, he found himself cursing less and less until the profanity was gone. He unconsciously weaned himself from it. Gaffigan said he’s big in Salt Lake City, and families can listen to his discs together in the car without sudden blushing or cupping junior’s ears.
His style is a wonder of deconstruction. Gaffigan will write one joke, and then work that topic from every direction until he reduces it to a core of ridiculousness. His routine about the portable pastry Hot Pockets is a favorite — Gaffigan gets to the taste, the process, the ingredients, the after-effects and the insidious three-note jingle.
“Here I am writing this new hour, and I’m always writing, and every comic has their own style, and my style is an analysis of the mundane,” Gaffigan said. “If I’m going to be talking about ketchup, it’s getting it at every angle. You’re going to be talking about usage, about packaging, and you’re going to be talking about perception of ketchup. You’re going to tackle the whole topic.
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