My husband is a big fan of stand up comedy. We’ve seen a lot of Netflix and HBO specials together- including the Jim Gaffigan special that introduced the world to “Hot Pooockets.” I knew Jim Gaffigan had a big family because he is currently capitalizing on it; between his Chrysler commercials and his semi-autobiographical TVland series it’s hard to miss. While Gaffigan has always been successful it’s clear his kids’ antics are helping write their future college tuition checks.
“Raising kids may be a thankless job with ridiculous hours, but at least the pay sucks.”
Gaffigan’s family resides (at the time of publication) in a two bedroom apartment in New York City; their cramped quarters mixed with Gaffigan’s unusual job creates amusing circumstances that Jim shares with the reader. He complains about his children’s terrible behavior, applauds his wife’s mothering skills and warns the reader to procreate at their own risk. He’s tired all the time and everything is more expensive and more difficult as the father of five. I couldn’t help but think- well it’s not like you’re an assistant manager at Taco Bell. He follows every complaint he has about his children with an explanation that he couldn’t imagine his life without them, they light up his life and their lives are wonderful. It gets a little grating at times but I believe he is sincere in both his happiness with his home life and his frustrations with raising a child size basketball team. Gaffigan constantly reminds the reader he has 5 kids, not four not six but FIVE kids. He explains that, after you exceed society’s expectation of 2.5 children, five kids might as well be 15. But he has five.
The most satisfying part is Gaffigan’s love and admiration for his wife, Jeanne, who has birthed and raised all of his children all while raising Gaffigan and managing large portions of his career. It’s very sweet and I sort of just wanted hush Jim and ask Jeanne what her thoughts on their family were since it’s made pretty clear that she spearheaded the “large family” decision.