Jim Gaffigan: From “Loner” to Father of Five (and Counting?)

ChelseaFaith, Family, Fatherhood, Theology of the Body5 Comments


This is a great piece from CBS on comedian Jim Gaffigan about his family life. At the end of the interview Anthony Mason asks Gaffigan if he’s “done” having kids. To which he responds that, because he’s Catholic and his wife is a “shiite” Catholic, “there is no goalie” and he’s, “not opposed to it.”

gaffigan2.png“I know the positives that I can get from each of my children,” he said. Adding, jokingly, that he also wants to create his own nationality: a country called “Gaffghanistan.”

I love Gaffigan’s brutal honesty when talking about how marriage and fatherhood helped make him a better man. In the CBS interview, he admits to being a “loner” before meeting and marrying “a woman who gets pregnant looking at babies.”

In his book, Dad is Fat, Gaffigan reveals that “Getting married and becoming the father of young children has taught me that I am a narcissist…I lived my life as a single man, and even for a few years into parenthood, just looking out for number one.” As a result, he says, “My perceived needs were all-important.” When it came to his career, relationship, or taking the last piece of pizza, “I was only thinking about myself. And, of course, the pizza.”

But, he found that marriage and children change you. Your spouse and kids draw you out of yourself and put your own wants and needs behind those of your family.

Why have more children?

“Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seem uninspiring and superficial. What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair? These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life. I believe each of my five children has made me a better man. So I figure I only need another thirty-four kids to be a pretty decent guy. Each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart. I would trade money, sleep, or hair for a smile from one of my children in a heartbeat. Well, it depends on how much hair.”

Gaffigan’s “revalation reminds me of these words from Gaudium et Spes: “[M]an, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”

We may have each been made for our own sake, but we were not made to keep to ourselves and worry about our own wants and needs. We were created for companionship…and love. “Precisely that love in which the human person becomes a gift and — through this gift — fulfills the very meaning of his existence” (TOB 15:1).

5 Comments on “Jim Gaffigan: From “Loner” to Father of Five (and Counting?)”

  1. All well and good if Gaffigan is sincere. If he is, he will need to purge the semi-blasphemous material from his stand-up routines and stop bowing to the hollywood gods that seemed to have pressured him into making his Catholic routine more “edgy” with its pseudo-religious references. Just be brave brave Jim!! Courage is a gift you were given at Baptism. Read 2 Tim 1:17: “For the spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but one that is strong, loving and wise!” And elsewhere: “You cannot serve God and mammon; you will love one and hate the other.”
    It is possible to be an authentic Catholic and live your faith and be a good father and husband, and comedian. But, if one is threatened to be sacrificed . . . may it be the latter over the former ones.
    God’s peace to Jim.

  2. I was one of the privileged thousand who saw Jim Gaffigan in concert last night, and while there were Catholic references, I do not consider he was THAT edgy, and definitely not “semi-blasphemous” as blarneyman says. As I am not able to accurately remember anything he said, I can’t quote…but believe me, my husband and I always have our radar on for such things.

  3. blarneyman,

    I’m going to keep this simple. Stop.

    No wait. I changed my mind.

    Just who in the heck do you think you are?

    You sound like one of the Scribes and Pharisees from the time when Christ walked the earth with your “authentic Catholic” schlock.

    Do you know what an “authentic Catholic” is?

    Perhaps you should refamiliarize yourself with 1st Corinthians Chapter 13 before you let words come out of your mouth or before you start typing.

    If anything Mr. Gaffigan is like the rest of us non-authentic Catholics that work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It isn’t easy being a father of one, let alone a father of five.

    It doesn’t help when you have the world beating you up on one side and “authentic Catholics” beating you up on the other side.

    I wish I had a dollar for every time I received a snide comment from non-catholics who asked me if my wife and I were done having children. I also wish I got 50 cents from every Catholic who showed his or her lack of support for me and my wife regarding our family size. I would be far richer from the money I received from “authentic Catholics”.

    Please, show a little compassion and step outside of yourself for a moment.

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