Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape (2018) | Transcript

In his all new "Noble Ape" stand up special, Jim Gaffigan gets personal as he discusses the medical crisis that befell his wife and family this year, which almost led to his retirement.

BOY: That’s Mom and Dad.

[hip-hop music]

MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, Jim Gaffigan!

[cheers and applause]

Thank you! Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, my gosh, you make me feel only 20 pounds overweight. “Oh, look at his beard. He’s…” He’s got quite a beard. “He looks like an out of shape Civil War general.” My dearest Peggy… it has been a fortnight since I have had a salad. I love my beard. You grow a beard and strangers are fascinated. I have strangers coming up to me, “Hey, why’d you grow your beard out?” “I joined Al-Qaeda.” “Don’t even joke around about that.” But you can ask about facial hair, right? You can’t be like, “Hey, how long you had” the man boobs? “Are they natural?” Now you’re looking at my man boobs. To me they’re beautiful. When do I get a Dove commercial? I’m talking about the Dove ice cream bar which barely cleans your body and is less racist.

Thank you for coming out. It is great to be here. Thank you so much. It is… It’s been a crazy year for me. Crazy year. I don’t know if you know, in April it was discovered my wife had a brain tumor. I’m not even making this up. It was removed. She’s great. – Everything’s good. Thank you. – [cheers and applause] I didn’t remove it. I was in the other room soiling myself, but… the tumor is gone along with my ability to ever win another argument. It’s not like I was winning a lot before, but now I’m retired. And luckily my wife’s not the type to bring it up. Well, once she did. She was like, “You know”, I did have brain surgery.” And I couldn’t be like, “Yeah, that was like a month ago.” It’s time to move on, you know? What about my seasonal allergies? “We all have our cross to bear.”

It was crazy. You know, the surgeon told me the tumor was the size of a pear… Which is scary, but also confusing. I was like, “Did he go to med school or a farmer’s market?” But tumors are often compared to fruit. A pear, a lemon, a grapefruit. Interesting fact, worst tumor, grapefruit. Worst fruit, grapefruit. When you think about it, a grapefruit looks more like a tumor than a fruit. I must feel sorry for grapefruit. “Yeah, we can’t win, you know?” We’re already the worst fruit, now we’re compared to the worst tumor? “Well, at least we help old people poop.” That is the worst impression of a grapefruit ever. It’s kind of unfortunate that there’s another fruit that’s much smaller named “grape” ’cause you know there’s situations in doctor’s offices, “We found a tumor, it’s the size of a grape…” “Thank God.” “I didn’t finish… Grapefruit.” “Oh, that’s… That’s very different.” It was strange. You know, when the doctor told me the tumor was the size of a pear, I thought, “Wow, I guess doctors are bad at analogies.” But I quickly realized they’re just dumbing it down for idiots like me. Like the surgeon looked at me and thought, “Well, this guy’s not gonna understand centimeters.” I don’t even wanna try and explain circumference. Based on appearance, he doesn’t eat fruit, but… he’s probably seen a pear… “when he’s at the grocery store buying ice cream.” I don’t know why the surgeon sounds like Andy Rooney. [as Andy Rooney] You ever notice tumors look like fruit? [normal voice] By the way, if you don’t know who Andy Rooney is, you’re a child. And if you do know who Andy Rooney is, you should probably eat more grapefruit. Tumors compared to fruit. They’re… They’re sometimes compared to balls like a golf ball or a softball, but the surgeon looked at me and thought, “I’m gonna stick with food. I got a better shot at this fat ass understanding.”

I joke around, but it was scary. We have five children and there were moments when I was like, “Oh, my gosh, if anything” happens to my wife, those five kids are gonna be put up for adoption. Some of these jokes are just for the fathers. My wife was so amazingly strong and brave during this whole experience. For three months after the surgery she couldn’t eat solid foods and her friends would send us the most delicious food. She couldn’t eat. So I found myself hiding the food and secretly eating it. “This is like a whole new eating disorder for me.” Am I supposed to feel shame ’cause I’m helping my wife! “Really I’m a hero.” She mostly ate Jell-O. Jell-O. You know what they make Jell-O out of? Bones and hooves. I always thought that was an urban legend. Bones and hooves. What kind of mad man… “Let me have the bones and hooves,” I’ve got an idea for a kid’s dessert. It’ll be huge. We’ll get Cosby to do the commercials. Everyone trusts him. Anyone using the eyeballs? I can make an abacus. “I’ve got tons of ideas.” They say laughter is the best medicine… and it is, after you’ve received real medicine… from a real medical professional. Prior to that, you don’t want any laughter. You don’t want a doctor giggling during an exam. [laughing] “Oh, my gosh, this is your body?” Wow, nice man boobs.”

My wife had the surgery in New York City at a hospital named Mount Sinai. I’ve noticed that a lot of hospitals in the U.S. are either named after Saints or ancient places in Israel which is not that reassuring when you think about it. It’s like, “Hi, welcome to our hospital.” We’re all about science which is why our building is named after the place God talked to Moses as a burning bush. Over here’s our Casper the Ghost wing… next to our Astrology Center. Do you like UFOs? We love those. “We’re all about science.”

Spent two weeks in the hospital. People what work in hospitals are truly amazing people. – [cheering] – They are. So nice and supportive. It makes you suspicious, right? Are they stealing the drugs? They’re a little too excited to be around sick people in pajamas. And when I say “sick,” I’m not talking about the positive slang, right? ‘Cause that’s… that’s part of our language, right? “That jacket is sick!” But you don’t want a medical professional to be like, “Your test results are sick! I mean, let me clarify, you’re dying.” It’s got to be hard to work in a hospital. That hospital lighting. Everyone looks sick in that hospital lighting. I walked in, they’re like, “We should get you to the ER.” “I’m just here to see my wife.” “Well, you have jaundice.” See? Compared to… Oh, my gosh! I have jaundice, too! “We all have jaundice!”

When my wife would nap, I would go to the cafeteria. Hospitals have the most cutting-edge medical equipment, but they’re still serving food like it’s Shawshank Redemption. How about selling an MRI machine and getting a pasta station? “Jim, you’re a monster.” There’s different sections in hospitals. There’s the Emergency Room, the Intensive Care Unit. Which sound scary, but I don’t know why anyone would want to stay anywhere but the Intensive Care Unit. It kind of implies the rest of the hospital’s like, “Look, we care, but we’re not gonna be a spaz about it.” “I get a phone call, I’m gonna take it, right?” We’re like the Mediocre Care Unit. Which is better than We Couldn’t Care Less Unit. “Those guys are horrible.”

It’s wild. My wife was in surgery for ten hours. And before the surgery, the surgeon told me, he goes, “Half way through I’ll probably stop and get lunch.” I don’t need to know that. Why even tell me that? Was he afraid I was gonna run into him in the cafeteria? “What are you doing here?!” “I get these cravings. Those Snickers commercials are true.” But he was a great brain surgeon. We learned later on that he’s like the best. I don’t know how they determine the best brain surgeon. You know, maybe there’s a competition. America’s Got Tumors. Heidi Klum thought he was the best. The best brain surgeon. Isn’t it enough that someone’s a brain surgeon? None of us could even get in Med School. A brain surgeon goes to medical school, afterwards, specializes in neurology, after that, specializes in surgery of the brain, and we’re like, “Yeah, but are they any good?” “Yeah, they’re a brain surgeon!” You know what they do with the bad brain surgeons? They don’t let them become brain surgeons. Can you imagine the pressure on a brain surgeon? At no point during their workday can they say, “Hey, it ain’t brain surgery.” ‘Cause it’s always brain surgery! Every day! “What’d you do at work, honey?” “Brain surgery!” “That’s fun. You want some fruit?” “Never!”

My wife had a… she had an amazing team of doctors. She had the brain surgeons. She also had an ear, nose, and throat doctor. Ear, nose, and throat. That kinda sound like they didn’t make the cut for brain surgeon. “I wanna be a brain surgeon.” “You know what? Let’s stick with the ears, nose, and throat. “You’d be better with the things surrounding the brain.” “Can I have the eyes?” “You know what? Let’s stick with the ears, nose, and throat. “We promised the eyes to the nerd at LensCrafters.” “Why pick an Optometrist?” Those ear, nose, and throat doctors, they must look at dentists and think, “Just teeth? That’s it? What about the tongue?” “Not the tongue, just the teeth.” “You just work on teeth? Surgery on teeth?” “Oh, I don’t do the surgery. That’s the orthodontist.” I mostly scrape stuff off of teeth… while I listen to ’80s music. “I love Debbie Gibson.” When you think about it, dentist, they don’t do the surgery, they don’t even clean the teeth. They’re like, “You guys do everything and then I’ll come in” and jab ’em with a sharp object… “while I listen to Debbie.”

I did figure out what type of doctor I would want to be, which is an anesthesiologist. ‘Cause just once I’d like to walk in a room and go, “Hi, I’m Dr. Gaffigan. I’m gonna give you some drugs” so you can’t talk or move… and one of these strangers is gonna cut you open. “Good luck.” What draws someone to anesthesiology? It’s like, “I like medicine, but I really enjoy” getting people high. If I could combine the two. “I also prefer to sit during surgery.” You ever see the anesthesiologist during surgery? They’re always sitting there like… “I don’t even know why I have to be here.” Yeah, they’re still alive. “Anyone got the WiFi password?”

But I have a newfound respect for doctors. I do. ‘Cause when you think about it, unless we’re sick, we listen to absolutely nothing doctors tell us. They’re like, “You should lose weight.” “Never gonna happen. What else you got?” “You should exercise.” “Does eating French fries count?” “Get out of my office.” I don’t even listen when I bring my kids to the doctor. The doctor’s like, “To avoid an infection…” I’m like, “De de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de.” My wife’s like, “What’d the doctor say?” “Don’t pick the scab. I don’t listen to nerds!” That was the only time I would ever see a doctor. Is when I bring my kids in. Sometimes I’d try and horn in on a pediatric appointment. The doctor’d be like, “How’s little Mikey doing?” “Mikey’s good. He’s good.” He’s a little worried about this mole I have on my arm. Yeah, I explained to Mikey that I’ve always had the mole, “but Mikey thinks it might’ve changed colors.” “Jim, would you like to make an appointment?” “No, it’s Mikey. He just needs a thumbs up” or a thumbs down on the mole. I know Mikey doesn’t want to play the Hippocratic Oath card, “but you have to tell us, don’t you?”

I’m mostly healthy. I, uh, worked out today. I know I don’t need to. When I’m home in New York City, I workout at the Chinatown YMCA. And I realize when people hear “the Chinatown YMCA” they think, “Oh, that’s not like a serious place to workout.” And it’s not. It’s not at all. It’s mostly little kids learning how to swim and really old, Chinese people with their parents. I didn’t even know you could live to that age. But I tell you, watching a 90 year old on an elliptical, really inspires me to die in my 70s. It looks like a machine is eating someone’s grandma. But I love my Y, you know? It’s… It’s different from a normal health club. There’s never moments when you think, “Oh, my gosh, look at how much weight that guy’s lifting.” It’s more like, “Oh, my gosh, that guy’s smoking…” on a treadmill in dress pants.” It’s very business-casual. Sure my Y doesn’t have some of the amenities, but it also doesn’t have the normal health club distractions. I don’t have to deal with loud music or people that are in shape. I walk around my Y and I’m like, “You know what?” I’m doing okay. Maybe I should teach a class. Hi, welcome to advanced elliptical. Doesn’t matter if you don’t have workout clothes on, we’re not gonna be raising our heart rate. So let’s step on, pick a show, and think about what we’re gonna eat. Okay, who’s having a burger, huh? “Let’s practice eating fries.” I’m ignored at my Y. I’m ignored at all health clubs. Like, when I walk into a fitness area, even in a hotel, people always look at me like, “I didn’t know they serve food here.” The only people that approach me are personal trainers. They’re like, “You looking for a personal trainer?” “Uh, no.” “You should be.” So I’ve gotten to the point, if I’m approached by a personal trainer, I just act like they’re hitting on me. They’re like, “Hey, how you doing?” “I’m married.” “Uh, I don’t think you unders…” “I understand perfectly! You wanna get with me… “but I’m taken, so you can look, but no touchie.”

I got to do some international shows this year. I performed in Japan for the first time – which was amazing. – [cheers and applause] I mean, I wasn’t in Japan just for stand-up, I was also modeling. I wish that wasn’t that funny. But Japan… The Japanese are just… They’re… they’re better at being human. Can we admit that? They’re… You know, they’re more polite, they’re better at design. The Japanese toilet. Are you familiar with the Japanese toilet? The Japanese took the most disgusting experience of human existence and fixed it. The Japanese toilet washes you, dries you, does your taxes… and that is in a Tokyo airport bathroom. You leave a Japanese public restroom cleaner than when you walked in. You leave an American public restroom with PTSD. Your only thought is, “How can I forget that experience?” Is there alcohol nearby?” The entire time I was in Japan I felt overweight. Probably ’cause I am overweight, but generally the Japanese are thin. I mean, there are people that are overweight in Japan, but not like in America. We’re better at not being thin. ‘Cause if you get really fat in Japan, they make you Sumo wrestle. They make their fat people fight each other… To entertain the thin people! And the fat people in Japan go along with it! “Why am I doing this?” “It’s prestigious. Now you try and push that other fat ass out of the circle while we try not to giggle… [giggles] But first, throw on this giant diaper “and put your hair in a bun. It’s very dignified.” The Japanese are quiet and polite. They’re like the opposite of my children. I had my kids with me and they were always making loud noises. Occasionally, I would catch a Japanese person looking at my poorly behaved kids and then they would look at me and I’d always say the same thing, “We’re Canadian.” Of course, we’re not Canadian, but… that is what some Americans do when they travel internationally. They tell people they’re Canadian. Which I think is cowardly. That’s why I always tell people I’m North Korean. Then I get the respect I deserve! How much attention does the country of North Korea need at this point? Every two days North Korea’s like, “We’re gonna blow up the world!” Isn’t there a party that’s like, “Then just do it.” “Get it over with, you spaz.” “Jim, don’t even joke around about that.” What if someone from North Korea was in the audience? “They have a missile program.” It’s kinda fun tracking the North Korean missile program, right? They’re like, “North Korea” has missiles that can reach Alaska.” “Oh, my gosh, Alaska?! Well, I don’t know anyone that lives in Alaska.” “North Korea has missiles that can reach the West Coast.” “Oh, my gosh, the West Coast? Well, I don’t go there that often.” “North Korea has missles that can reach the East Coast.” “Whoa! We gotta do something about this! Now we’re talking about real people!” – [cheers and applause] – Oh, thank you.

I did some shows in China. All in Chinese. I picked it up at the Y. It’s not that hard. It wasn’t that complicated. You visit some places and you think, “All right”, there’s a language barrier, but I can get by.” In China I was like, “Oh, if I got lost I would die here.” I wouldn’t last a half a day. Everyone’s looking at me like I’m a ghost anyway. The Chinese were very nice. They were fascinated with my pale, blonde children. Many of them wanted pictures with my kids. They didn’t really ask. They just grabbed a kid. “Can I have a picture with this one?” “I guess you’re gonna.” And when they were done with the picture, they would rub my blonde kid’s head ’cause you know, they’re my kids, but they’re also lucky objects. And after this happened a couple times I was like, “Hey! We should charge, right?” China was fascinating and exhausting. I brought my kids to The Great Wall, we saw the Terracotta Warriors, we walked through the Forbidden City, we rode in a ricksha, and when we were leaving I asked my five year old, I said, “What was your favorite part of China?” And he said, “I liked that time we saw the truck with the pigs on it.” ‘Cause at one point, we were stuck in traffic and this truck pulled up and it had pigs in cages. And that was his favorite part. After the 15 hour flight. And I remember when that truck pulled up ’cause I remember looking at those pigs and feeling sorry for them, but those pigs looked happy. It was almost like the pigs were looking at me and my five screaming kids and going, “Well, at least we’re not that slob.”

I do enjoy travelling to other countries. Seeing how different, but essentially similar we all are. Like the U.K. is not that different from the U.S.. You know, if anything, you go over there and it seems like British people are trying to be different from Americans. They’re like, [British accent] “Oh, you drive on the right side” of the road? Then… then we’re gonna drive on the left side of the road. Oh, you call your mother ‘mom’? Then we’re gonna call ours… ‘mum’. Oh, you call that a cookie? “Then we’re not going to the dentist.” [normal voice] You know that’s true. [cheers and applause]
I did notice something when I was over there. You know, British people, they don’t say “the” before “hospital.” You ever notice that? They’re like, [British accent] “Hospital? I was feeling knackered so I went to hospital.” [normal voice] Whenever they would do that, I’d say, “Stop that. That’s wrong and weird.” Are you trying to sound like a polite caveman? And I had a friend from London, he was like, [British accent] “What makes you think you’re doing it properly?” [normal voice] And I go, “‘Cause I’m American and we invented the English language.” It was a pet peeve of mine. So I did some research. You know why British people don’t say “the” before hospital? ‘Cause they’re dicks. “Jim!”
I know that sounds harsh, but admit it! British people always talk to Americans like we just walked into their jewelry store with two full bags of garbage. [British accent] “Ugh, may I help you?” Are you lost? “[shudders]” [normal voice]

Obviously, I love the Brits and I would never do those jokes there. I have been lucky enough to perform in the U.K. a couple times and one time I was walking through Piccadilly Circus… Which, for the record, is a horrible circus. There’s no animals. No, I was walking through Piccadilly Circus and I saw they had an M&M store and I looked at that M&M store and it just made me think of all the things the British have given the Americans. Like our language, Shakespeare, the Magna Carta, and I looked at the M&M store and I thought, “Now we’re even.” When I looked at the M&M store, I wasn’t even embarrassed to be American, I was ashamed to be human ’cause has anyone at any point in their life thought, “When are they gonna open an M&M store?” Sure, I can buy M&Ms absolutely anywhere, but I like to buy in bulk… “in a pro-M&M environment.” Obviously, we don’t need an M&M store. We don’t even need different colored M&Ms. They all taste the same. They’re just bits of chocolate shaped like Advil. With an M on it. They’re not even M&Ms. They’re Ms! We don’t do that with anything else. “You want some raisin & raisins? Go ahead, grab a handful of raisin & raisins.” No, I don’t even know how many M&Ms or Ms they would have to sell in London to justify Piccadilly Circus real estate, but this M&M store is massive in the U.K.. It is three levels… Which I guess makes sense, ’cause the first level so you can buy M&Ms, the second level so you can buy more M&Ms, and then the third level so you can jump to your death ’cause you wasted time in an M&M store when you were in London! By the way, I don’t have any judgement. If you personally enjoy going to the M&M store, that’s fine, but, obviously, you shouldn’t vote. [cheers and applause]
I was with my kids at the time and they wanted to go to the M&M store, ’cause little children only wanna do horrible things. Kids never wanna do something fun like sit in a dark bar and drink beer. And I remember standing there with my kids and I was aware that there were other parents with their children in the M&M store ’cause that’s what you do as a parent. You do things with your kids ’cause you love them, but I realized in that moment I don’t love my kids that much. I love them enough to walk by the M&M store. “Jim, you’re a monster.” But being a parent is not that different from being a tourist. It’s essentially the same experience. In both you walk around exhausted spending money you don’t have while you look for a bathroom. It’s the same experience. You know? Thank you. [cheers and applause]

I, uh… I was recently given a gift certificate for a massage which I will never use because I’m not one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I’ve gotten a massage before, but I just… I find it hard to justify a massage like, “You know what I deserve?” To have someone I don’t know rub my body. “Let’s make that happen people.” ‘Cause massages are always from strangers. We get massages from strangers ’cause we can’t count on the people who love us to touch us. Right? I mean, it could be your best friend. “You see that guy? I’d take a bullet for him. I’m not giving him a massage. I’m no queer.” My wife, the woman I love, the mother of my children, here’s my massage, “You good? That’s… my hand’s cramping.” So we pay total strangers. “Hey, I know nothing about you, why don’t I take off my clothes” and climb on this padded dining room table? “Then you can do whatever you want.” We know nothing about these people. I don’t even ask if they’re masseuse. “Oh, you’re dressed like an orderly in a mental ward,” why don’t I get in the most vulnerable position I can think of? How about face down on the donut pillow? Does that work for you? ‘Cause then I can look at your feet “and imagine you’re grabbing knives.”
What do we really know about massage therapists? They like to rub strangers for money while they listen to the Avatar soundtrack. That’s a red flag! Those are the traits of a serial killer! I never know what to say during a massage. Sometimes I’ll try and break the ice. I’ll be like, “Hey, you’re not allergic to leprosy, are ya?” They never laugh ’cause they’re busy imagining making a suit out of my skin. ‘Cause they’re murderers. They already put the lotion in the basket. – [cheers and applause] – Thank you.
I don’t even know what type of massage I’m getting when I get a massage. “Do you want a deep tissue, a shiatsu, or a Swedish massage?” I’m like, “I’ll take the blonde.” I don’t know. ‘Cause men view massages differently. A woman gets a massage her friends are like, “Good for you.” A guy gets a massage, “You dirty dog, eh!” ‘Cause men sexualize all human interaction. “It was a therapeutic massage.” “How therapeutic?” “Nothing happened.” “Yeah, that’s what we’ll tell your wife, huh?” That’s gotta be frustrating for massage therapists. That double meaning. “Did you get a massage or a massage?” No other occupation has to deal with it. “Did you get a cavity filled or a cavity filled?” “How many dentistry references is he gonna have?”
For me, a massage is just an hour of awkwardness, right? She gets done, she leaves the room, I put on the robe, I step outside, she hands me a glass of water. I always look at her and go, “You’re never gonna call me. What a charade.” I did have one massage therapist, she told me they’re allowed to turn people down. I don’t know why she told me that. [chuckles] It was after a show. Can you imagine getting turned down by a massage therapist? That’s rough. “Yeah, you couldn’t pay me to touch you. Not for all the money on the planet.”

Massages, that’s how some people relax. Some people relax in a hot sauna. And sure, who doesn’t love recreating the feeling of being trapped inside an active volcano? I don’t understand the appeal of a sauna. Here’s every experience I’ve had in a sauna. I’m like, “Okay, I’m gonna get a sweat going”, it’s gonna be really good for me. Here we go. It’s time to get out, right? “I don’t wanna overdo it.” What is so relaxing about sitting in a hot box next to a pile of smouldering rocks? I always look at the rocks like, “Whoever’s cookin’ the rocks,” they’re done. “That’s a wrap on the rock cookin’.” And to make the sauna more enjoyable, you’re always seated next to a naked, 80-year-old man. “Oh, good, I get to sweat next to someone’s grandpa who’s only wearing a hand towel.” The nudity in the sauna seems unnecessary. This isn’t Rome. I just look around the sauna like, “Wow…” so this is why we wear clothes, huh?” So we may eventually eat.
In Finland… In Finland where they invented the sauna, they relax in Finland by drinking vodka in the sauna. Which might explain why we’ve never read any Finnish literature. Vodka in the sauna? Actually, the Fins, they pronounce it, “Sao-na” ’cause they’re wasted. [slurred speech] “You wanna go to the ‘sao-na’ and drink some ‘bodka’?” Drinking vodka in a sauna? You know what kind of ideas you come up with? An M&M store. – [cheers and applause] – Thank you.
In Finland… In Finland, I was invited to take a sauna. I was also invited to go cross-country skiing and I could think is, “Is fun illegal here?” Like what kind of antidepressant do you have to be on to enjoy cross-country skiing? I can’t believe cross-country skiing’s even a sport. “Hey, you know that awkward part in downhill skiing” where you’re trying to get over to the lift? What if we just did that? Whoo! This is fun! And to turn around…” “You know what? Don’t turn around. “Let’s go across the country.”

People who enjoy winter seem mentally unstable. Right? Some of those winter activities should get you committed. It’s like, “Look, we love you, we’re just worried.” I mean, yesterday we caught you walking through the woods with tennis rackets tied to your feet. This morning, we saw you sweeping the frozen lake. What’s next? You sitting in a sled being pulled by dogs? “Get some help.”

Oh, I did one of those genetic tests. I was surprised to find out I’m all Asian. You do learn things from those genetic tests. Like I discovered I wasted 100 bucks. [laughter] They send you information. Mine just said, “Dude, you’re white.” In fact, you’re very white. “I hope you feel guilty.” They didn’t even break down my nationality. They just highlighted all the British Isles. They’re like, “You’re trash from here. Wherever people need sunscreen.” But what do we expect to learn from these genetic tests? Like, “Oh, my gosh! I’m related to my ancestors!” We’re only gonna find out bad news. You see it in the commercials. I thought I was Italian, but it ends up, my great-grandma was a whore. [laughter] So I guess I’m Eastern European. Sometimes people think I’m saying. Eastern Europeans are whores and… I am. No. My point is, only good family news is passed along. Like, if your great-grandfather was Abraham Lincoln, you’d already know that, but if your great-grandfather was the town drunk, your grandpa’s likely to go, “Uh, I don’t remember.” I think he worked in a bar. “Chief gutter inspector.” I do know I have some Irish ancestry, but, apparently, the Irish didn’t keep great records ’cause, well, draw your own conclusion. Something tells me they weren’t busy sunbathing. I’m Irish, but I have blonde hair. Supposedly, the only reason the Irish have blonde or red hair is ’cause the Vikings invaded, pillaged, and probably other stuff.
Those Vikings, the Scandinavians, I don’t know if you’ve been to Sweden, it’s like a whole country of Scarlett Johanssons. If I was in Ireland at that time, I would’ve been, “Oh, no, some Viking ladies coming to pillage me.” I guess I’ll hide on this bed covered in rose petals. Hopefully she can help me put together that table. [laughter] [cheers and applause]

They say last names can tell you something. Like if your last name is Cooper, that means you probably had an ancestor who made barrels. If your last name is Canter, that means somebody along the line was a singer. My last name is Gaffigan, which is Gaelic for “highly anxious.” And when I learned that, all I could feel was… highly anxious. I mean… how anxious do you have to be for people to go, “You should go with it as your name.” “Why’s that?” “That’s what we call you anyway.”
It does seem like some last names were chosen to impress, right? You know, someone’s like, “You know what?” I want the ladies to know I’m successful, so I’m gonna go with the last name, ‘Goldman.’ Goldman, what are you going with? “Weiner.” “I want the ladies to know I like hotdogs.” But who knows? Maybe last names mean nothing. You know, where I’m from in Indiana, there is a guy who owns an RV dealership and his name is Tom Raper. That’s his name. And there are billboards. “Come see Tom Raper.” And people go. “Well, we should check it out.” Now I don’t know why we would let someone named Raper sell RVs. They are essentially mobile crime scenes. If my last name were Raper, I wouldn’t leave the house. How do you even go out to dinner? “Party of two. Raper. Is there a Raper here?” Are there family reunions? “Are you a Raper? I’m a Raper.” Is this your son? He looks just like a Raper. “It’s so fun getting all the Rapers together.” In Milwaukee, I stayed in a hotel named The Fister. That was the name. The Fister. And… And, obviously, they were sensitive to it sounding weird, so they added a P at the front. So it was The Pfister. Hey, it worked for Michelle Pfeiffer. And that hotel was started by a man named Guido Pfister who thought, “My name’s Guido Pfister, why don’t I go into hospitality?” Guido Pfister? His name sounds like an ethnic slur. “Get outta here, you Guido Pfister! Go pfist somewhere else!” [laughter]

I don’t know if you can tell by looking at me, but I’m kinda obsessed with not being interested in fashion. It’s, uh, something I care deeply not about. And I’m aware that not being into fashion is a fashion choice, right? How annoying is that? It’s like, “Oh, you’re not into fashion? That means you’re an norm core.” Why can’t I just wear clothes to cover my disgusting body? Why must it be a choice? ‘Cause the only choice I make when it comes to clothing is “does it still fit me?” I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to fat out of clothes. That’s a special feeling. There are watershed moments in your life, right? When you hold your newborn child or you fat out of a T-shirt. It’s amazing ’cause you don’t even go to the obvious conclusion. You’re like, “Well, this shirt used to fit.” I haven’t grown since I was a teenager. Oh! I’m a fatass! “Well, time for a burrito.”
The best is when you pack for a trip and you fat out of clothes, but you don’t realize until you get there. [laughs] You sit there and you go, “Well, I guess I can wear that as long as I don’t” breathe out… “or sit down.” You ever wear a shirt you can’t sit down in? “Yeah, you know what? I’m gonna stand.” I know it’s Thanksgiving. I’m more thankful standing. “Better angle for carving.” I still have all the clothes that don’t fit me. They’re in my closet in case I have a dramatic weight loss over a weekend. It’s ridiculous. It’s like I’m curating an exhibit of my weight gain. “Well, that suit was from 30 pounds ago” and that sweater was from last winter “and this shirt… This shirt never fit.” Have you done that? Have you bought clothes that don’t fit thinking that’ll be the incentive to lose weight? It’s like, “Well, I’ve only gained weight” for the last 40 years, “maybe this shirt’ll turn it around.” “How’d you lose weight?” “I bought a shirt. It worked.”

No, fashion’s kind of wasted on me. You know, like, those fashion shows. To me, fashion shows just look like skinny teenagers walking around in their parent’s clothes looking for food. [laughter] [laughter and applause] “Ma, there’s no food out there. All right, I’ll change my outfit and look again.” Fashion shows are rather absurd when you consider they’re just people sitting around watching people walk around in clothes. Which is what people do in clothes everyday. But at fashion shows, they’re so fascinated. They’re like, “Oh, my gosh.” Ooh, wow, look at that person walk in clothes. How do they do it? “If only we could watch them do laundry.”
And we all know what a fashion show is ’cause we’ve seen it on TV. In December they televise the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show… Which is excellent, by the way. Well, that one’s different ’cause there’s angels. So there’s a spiritual aspect… to the thongs their peddling. It’s interesting. All the models are beautiful. You ever notice that? You’re like, “Yeah, Jim”, that’s the point.” No, but all the models… They pick people that would look good in any clothing. Like, if you want me to buy a suit, show me Michael Moore looking good in it. And I’m not picking on Michael Moore. I’m friends with him. I like Michael Moore. And not just ’cause he proves you don’t need to shower to be famous. You ever see Michael Moore on television? He looks like he’s been robbed of everything he owns. “Are you the victim of a shipwreck?” What happened?! Pull it together! You won an Academy Award! “Stop shopping at the lost and found!” But I understand Michael Moore’s mentality. Fashion’s not gonna change his life. It’s not gonna change my life. I look the same whether I’m wearing a T-shirt or a tux. I still look like someone who eats fast food. Probably ’cause I do eat fast food. I look the way I look.

Look, I didn’t vote for Trump, but I walked around New York City and everyone the week after the election looked at me like, “You did it! You did it!” And I was like, “I didn’t do it!” But after a couple days I was like, “Did I do it?” I know people are scared about Trump being president, but I can tell you, as a straight, white male, – I feel like I’ll be okay. – [laughter] [cheers and applause]

My wife hates that joke and I love her, but not enough to get rid of that joke. I would do anything for my wife I’m aware of that. But there are people that are more romantic. Prince Edward abdicated his right to the English throne for the woman he loved. Isn’t that unbelievable? He was forced to choose between the woman he loved or being King of England, and that idiot… chose the broad. Now I’m sure in that moment it was the right decision and I’m happily married, but even in the best relationship, each person has thoughts where they go, “I’ve made an enormous mistake.” But we never thought, “I could’ve been King of England.” Do you think Prince Edward really ever got over that? Every time he had to empty the trash, he was like, “A King of England doesn’t have” to empty the trash! “The King of England can chat with his ex on Facebook!” Can you imagine what kind of news event that abdication was in the U.K.? There must’ve been, “He’s gone mad. We should get him to hospital.” “Jim, your British accent is getting worse.” Why wouldn’t you take five minutes and learn a good accent? “It’s just lazy. It’s just lazy.”

My wife’s pretty amazing. She is better at things and I’m not ashamed to say that. Like, her guilt trip, legendary. My wife is half Catholic, half Jewish, so her guilt trip is like a superpower. I walk in a room, she looks at me, and I feel horrible. And that’s called love. We’ve been together so long I will get angry about a guilt trip she hasn’t even given me yet. I’ll be like, “I’m gonna watch the football game.” She’s like, “Okay.” And I’m like, “‘Cause I want to!” I’m always in trouble with my wife ’cause I’m selfish, I’m lazy, insensitive, and a bunch of other stuff. She rattles on. And I understand being in trouble for stuff I’ve done, but sometimes I get in trouble for stuff other men have done. Once I got in trouble for something a guy did in a movie. I was watching a movie with my wife and in the movie there was this married guy with children who left his family for a 20-year-old woman and I knew in that moment I should sleep on the couch. [laughter] And the movie ended and my wife looked at me and she was like, “Why would someone do that?” And I was like, “Uh, it… it was in the script?” I didn’t say that. I just said, “Where do you want me to sleep?” I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m picking on her ’cause I’m grateful to have her in my life. It’s nice to have a partner. Someone looking out for you, you look out for them. Like I did two weeks of shows out of town in December and when I came home, my wife informed me that she made me an appointment for the gastroenterologist. If you’re unfamiliar, that’s the doctor that sticks the camera up your butt. I mean, they do other things, but that’s what they’re famous for. That’s probably how they attract people to the field. “You like photography?” [laughter] “Then I got a job that you’re gonna love!” I didn’t ask my wife to set up this appointment. I wasn’t sick. I didn’t have any symptoms. She just did it ’cause she was looking out for me. So she casually brought it up. She goes, “Just so you know”, I made you an appointment for the gastroenterologist. And I said, “Just so you know, I won’t be going.” She’s like, “Why wouldn’t you go? It’s just a consultation.” I said, “Well, it’s the principle.” I’m an adult. I make my own decisions. “Thank you.” Anyway, so I’m at the gastroenterologist… [laughter] The doctor starts to describe the procedure and I said, “Look, I should probably let you know”, I don’t really enjoy getting my picture taken. I would be open to an ultrasound, I think a lot of men are curious what the jelly “on the belly feels like.” Anyway, the doctor, he didn’t think it was funny. [chuckles] And I knew it was precautionary, so I agreed. So he went over to his computer and he goes, “All right, my next available appointment is in three months.” I was like, “Three months?!” This was in December. I didn’t know if I wanted this procedure hanging over my head during the holidays. “Jim, you want another piece of pie?” “No, I’m getting a camera up my butt.” I don’t want some team of doctors to be like, ‘Wow, this guy loves pie. “Barry, get out here. He’s got half a pie up there.'” I didn’t know what could delay this important procedure, but part of me didn’t want to find out. I didn’t want the doctor to be like, “Well, the real delay is finding someone to clean the camera.” That takes forever. Turnover in that position is insane, you know? People do it once and they’re like, “‘You know what? I’m going back on food stamps.'” Then I was thinking, maybe it’s the doctor. Maybe he’s like, “Dude, I can only do this procedure” once a month. Then I gotta take a week off, sit on the beach, and ask myself. ‘Why keep sticking cameras up people’s butts?’ “I could’ve been a dentist.” “Again with the dental reference.” But in February I had the procedure and I think every man in here should get a colonoscopy because I had to. It’s not an easy decision ’cause the best news you can find out from getting a camera stuck up your butt is learning you didn’t need to have a camera stuck up your butt. That’s the best news. “Yeah, we didn’t need to do that. We can just chalk that up, one for fun.” And the day before the procedure, you can’t eat anything. And I’m a total pig, so it was terrifying. But after I was awake for five hours and I hadn’t eaten anything, I wasn’t hungry. I was suicidal. I was so bored. I was like, “What am I” supposed to sit here and feel feelings?” And then at noon and at 6:00 p.m. you have to drink this serum that I believe is made by a collaboration of ex-lax and Taco Bell. Printed on the side of the serum it should’ve just said, “Drink this in the bathroom. Might wanna grab a pillow and a book.” ‘Cause I tell ya, I’ve had diarrhea before… This is the point where everyone acts like they’ve never had diarrhea. “I don’t even know what Jim’s talking about. Do you?” Yeah, I’m the only one who’s had diarrhea… in a hotel hot tub. Okay. [laughter] Like we’re at the same hotel. No, I’ve had diarrhea. I don’t wanna brag. No, I’ve had diarrhea, but calling what this serum did to my body “diarrhea” is an insult to the word diarrhea. My body made noises I didn’t know existed. At one point I thought I stepped on a puppy. [laughter] I was in the bathroom for hours. For hours. Checking email… Ignoring phone calls ’cause serum or not, you can’t answer the phone in the bathroom ’cause you can’t hide the fact you’re in the bathroom ’cause there’s an echo. “Are you in a well?” “Yes! Yes, I’m down here in a well. No kids in this well! “Making sure no kids fell in.” But I kept getting this call from the doctor’s office and I thought there might be important information like someone saying, “Do not drink the serum!” So I answered it and it was just someone confirming the appointment and I don’t know how someone’s supposed to sound when they confirm a colonoscopy, but this person was really casual. They’re like, “Hey, how are you?” So, we’re gonna see you tomorrow?” I’m like, “What? Are we having brunch?” I thought I was getting a camera up my butt.” She gave me the address. The next morning I went there. It wasn’t at a hospital or a clinic, it was at some building. Just picture where you imagine the Black Market would harvest human organs. “What am I doing here?” And I took an elevator to the basement. There was this huge space with all these makeshift rooms with shower curtains. And I was let into one. There was all this talking… You know when you’re nervous and you think you hear things? I thought I heard someone go, “I can’t believe he’s here. I want his kidney.” And I was terrified. And then eventually an anesthesiologist walked in, he gave me a shot and he goes, “Just wanna go through what’s gonna happen.” Right now I’m giving you some medicine which will knock you out and when you wake up, you won’t remember anything. “You okay with that?” And against every instinct in my body, I just went, “Okay.” And the last memory I had is just watching the anesthesiologist leave the room as I heard someone go, “I want his spleen.” And I woke up and I was fine. I mean, I’m pregnant, but I’m fine. I’m not pregnant. My wife? I haven’t talked to her in an hour. You know, and… But we got five kids and that seems like a lot. And, frankly, it’s too many. It’s… It is a lot, but what am I gonna do now? It’s not like they come with free return shipping. I love… I love having five kids. I travel with them ’cause I don’t wanna be away from ’em and also I enjoy the look on waitstaff’s faces when I walk in with my family. ‘Cause my kids are five, six, eight, eleven, and thirteen. And we walked into a restaurant in Dallas and I saw a waitress look at me and my family and quit her job. I mean, she could’ve been getting off her shift, I just saw her look at us and throw down her apron and storm off. And I felt like we won. But I like being a dad, you know? It’s… I try to do one-on-one time with each of my kids, but it’s hard ’cause I travel and there’s a lot of ’em. So sometimes that special Daddy and Me time is just doing something mundane like going with me to the Post Office. It’s like, “That’s right, buddy, just you and me” going to find out why we got this damn slip on our door. “Stick that in the memory bank.” “My dad, always making time for me.” Squeezing me into errands. I remember walking to the Post Office and listening to him bitch and moan about the Federal Government. “What a guy.”

I try to be a good dad. I got my kids a dog. – I rescued a dog. – [cheers] – Thank you. Thank you. – [cheers and applause] Well, it’s not like the dog was drowning. The dog wasn’t a victim of sex trafficking. I just went in a building, gave a guy money, and got a dog. That’s how I rescued it. After that I rescued a pizza. I actually… I had to wait to rescue the dog ’cause the dog was in Jamaica. I don’t know if it was on vacation. But I rescued a dog from paradise so it could live in my crowded. New York City apartment. Sometimes I put the leash on the dog and it looks at me like, “I used to run on the beach…” And now I sleep in a cage. “My only hope is that one day you’ll get rescued.” But “rescue” is the language of today, right? We mean adoption. Now, people don’t even say they own dogs. Now people say they’re a dog parent, but I feel like dogs are different from kids. Like, you never hear a parent say, “You know, my son had” some behavior problems, so we gave him to a friend who had a farm upstate. You know, that way he could run around “and we’ll visit him on weekends.” “Jim, you’re a monster.”

I’m no saint, but nobody is. Nobody even goes for saint today, right? There’s no saints. Nobody’s like, “You know what I’m thinking of, uh, I’m either gonna go graphic design or saint.” Nobody goes for it ’cause, well, there are… There are Latter Day Saints. There’s Mormons. I love the Mormons. I don’t know what Latter Day means. Maybe that means they’re, like, devient till 3:00 p.m. They’re like, “Well, kids are coming home,” let’s get out of these S&M outfits, honey. “Back in khakis.” I’m talking about the traditional Catholic sense of a… of a saint. Nobody goes for saint anymore ’cause it’s too hard. To be considered a Catholic Saint you have to perform two miracles. I don’t know why it’s two. It’s not like half of us would be like, “You know, if it was one I’d go for it. Yeah, ’cause I can do that thing with my elbow.” It’s not like one miracle’s not impressive. You’re never in a job interview, “Let’s see here,” special skills, walk on water, Microsoft Word. “Tell me about the Microsoft Word.” Actually, where I live in New York City is where the soon to be first. African-American Saint is buried. His name was Pierre Toussaint and he was a hairdresser. I didn’t even know you could be a hairdresser and a saint, but he, apparently, got done cutting people’s hair and they were like, “This is a miracle.” And he was a great man. And he’ll… he’ll be a saint. He’ll probably be the Patron Saint of Hairdressers. You know, ’cause saints, they’re in charge of things. Like, “You’re in charge of hairdressers”, you’re in charge of lost objects, “St. Patrick, you’re in charge of Ireland.” St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland. Every March 17th we honor St. Patrick by getting wasted. – [cheers and applause] – Right? But we don’t know. We don’t know. St. Patrick could be up in heaven going, “I didn’t even drink. What are these people doing?” I like the color blue. I made that very clear. Can someone remind God I’m from Italy? I don’t wanna rock the boat here, “but these Irish are degenerates.” ‘Cause they don’t get to choose what they’re the Patron Saint of, right? Like St. Bonaventure? Patron Saint of bowel issues. I’m not making that up. Bowel issues. Talk about a promotion you don’t want. Bonaventure’s in heaven, St. Peter comes and goes, “Bonaventure, you’re a saint.” Bonaventure’s like, “Yes! Yes! Am I the Patron Saint of Scholars?” “Not scholars.” “Wha… What am I the Patron Saint of?” “Bowel issues.” “Bowel issues?” “Yeah, you know when someone’s getting a colonoscopy” or say they’re sitting on the toilet with I.B.S. or explosive diarrhea praying to God. Well, we don’t want them praying directly to God. So… you would be like a conduit. “That way God’s not talking to someone who’s doing number two.” “Uh, okay.”

‘Course I’m talking about Catholic Saints ’cause I’m Catholic. I’m not a good Catholic. Like, if there was a test for Catholics, I would fail. But, then again, most Catholics would fail. Which is probably why there’s not a test. But since I’m Catholic and I’m a comedian, I was asked to open for the Pope when he visited America. And before you’re impressed, it didn’t go well. Like, I opened for the Pope, but the Pope wasn’t sitting there like, “Ha ha ha ha.” I don’t know how the Pope laughs. Hopefully not like Jabba the Hutt. But I did 15 minutes of stand-up and then the popemobile drove into this outdoor amphitheatre space. I opened for an automobile. And that’s not even the first time I’ve opened for a car. I had to cut my honeymoon short so that I could perform at the lowa State Fair where I opened for Kyle Busch’s NASCAR. Kyle Busch wasn’t there, just his car. I did 15 minutes of stand-up and then some stagehands pushed his number 18 on the stage and audience members came up and got pictures with the car. The car did better. But I did open for the popemobile in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, The City of Brotherly Love and if you’ve been there, you know they mean that sarcastically. I love Philly, but saying Philadelphia’s. The City of Brotherly Love is a little bit like saying. “Syria, a place for peace.” But I love Philly. You know, I love the whole Northeast. I’m from the Midwest, but I choose to live in the Northeast because I love the energy and I love the fact that everyone in the Northeast is angry for absolutely no reason at all. – [cheers and applause] – Furious! From Philadelphia to Boston, pissed off. Right? That whole Acela Line. I call it the Corridor of Hate. But that is why we are the United States. Think of those initial 13 colonies. Like, in Virginia, those guys… Like Jefferson and Madison, those guys were like the philosophers. Like, “We’re born with these” inalienable rights. We should have representation.” But it was the people in the Northeast and Boston they were like, [Boston accent] “Screw it.” Dump all the tea in the harbor. Those English are dicks. “They don’t say ‘the’ before hospital.” You know? Don’t you wish you were there when the Bostonians explained to the Virginians, “Yeah, we listened to all that” stuff you said, so we started a war with England. “The greatest superpower on the planet.” The Virginians were like, “Wha?!” We were talking hypothetically.” Even Patrick Henry was like, “When I said ‘Give me liberty” or give me death, ‘ I didn’t mean actual death. “I was talking like death by chocolate death.”

But so I was in Philadelphia for the event, at the soundcheck and they had constructed this huge amphitheater next to the Ben Franklin Parkway which is a highway and the amphitheater was empty. And I was up there doing the soundcheck and I looked on the highway and it was already filled with a million people. And I looked at those people and I thought, “Wow”, a million people that don’t want to see me do stand-up comedy.” ‘Cause they were all there to see the Pope and not one of those million people was thinking, “I hope the Pope has a comedian open for him.” But I shouldn’t have been surprised. In the weeks leading up to the event, there were all these interviews. They’re like, “You’re opening for the Pope.” There’s gonna be millions of people there. “Are you nervous? Are you gonna prepare?” And I’m like, “I’m definitely nervous. I’m definitely gonna prepare.” Anyway, I didn’t prepare. So I was onstage at the soundcheck, looking at those million people and I thought, “I gotta come up with some Philadelphia jokes.” But what do I know about Philadelphia? I know cheesesteaks, Liberty Bell, and I had just watched this ESPN 30 For 30 documentary about Eagles fans in 1968 throwing snowballs at someone dressed like Santa Claus. That’s all I knew. So I went off and I tried to think of some Philadelphia jokes. Before you knew it, the event started and I was introduced and I walked out and the amphitheatre was still empty. ‘Cause, you know, the Pope wasn’t there and it was a Catholic event, so everyone was at the bar. So I was like, “All right, I guess I’m just gonna do” my show for no one.” So I go, “It’s good to be here in Philadelphia.” and I heard this roar behind me. [mimics crowd screaming] And it was all the people on the highway. And I was like, “All right, I’ll play to them.” I was like, “Philadelphia loves the Pope.” [mimics crowd screaming] And I was like, “Not that I was worried, but you guys weren’t that nice to Santa.” – Nothing. – [laughter] Silence. And then I heard something that sounded like booing ’cause it was booing. It wasn’t everyone. It was like 10%. So, 100,000 people… booing my Santa joke before they saw their religious leader who was gonna talk to them about mercy. So I did what anyone would do when they’re being booed, I acted like I wasn’t being booed. I did some jokes about being lazy and food and I kinda got the crowd back. And I got off stage, disaster averted. And I pulled out my phone and I started checking Twitter and I saw the most angry, hateful tweets I’ve ever seen. “How dare you bring up the Santa incident!” Never come back to Philly. I wish I could punch you. Bringing up the Santa incident in Philly is like “bringing up the Holocaust in Germany.” That was an actual tweet. Of course, the difference being that the Holocaust happened and Santa has never existed. [laughter] At that moment there was a tap on my shoulder and it was one of the organizers and they’re like, “Do you wanna meet the Pope?” And I was like, “I’m good.” I was like, “Yeah, of course I’d love to meet the Pope.” So I was put in this room with some of the other performers and we were lined up and the Pope came in. And they started greeting people and I noticed people that the Pope was meeting, they were saying something to the Pope. And I didn’t know what I was gonna say to the Pope and before you knew it, the Pope was right in front of me and I just said, “Don’t bring up the Santa incident.” [cheers and applause] And the Pope, he didn’t say anything. He just gave me a look of like, “Dude, I would never do that. This is Philadelphia. They’d crucify me.” All right, that is all for me. Thank you for coming out. [cheers and applause] I will see you soon. [cheers and applause]

[hip-hop music playing]

BOY: That’s Mom and Dad.


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