Jim Gaffigan may be lazy, but the self-proclaimed “lazy” comedian sure knows how to keep himself busy.
Performing July 31 at Humphrey’s in San Diego and Aug. 1 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, the pale comic is back on the road following his successful Comedy Central Live Tour, “Jim Gaffigan: The Sexy Tour.” The tour, which ended last December and aired on Comedy Central in March under the name “King Baby,” had Gaffigan performing 50 sold-out shows across 25 cities, cementing the comedian’s place as one of the top five most successful touring comedians in the country today. And although the funnyman admitted he has yet to come up with a completely new stand-up routine for his SoCal shows, loyal fans will be treated to a slightly different act than the one he performed in “King Baby.”
“I’ve got about a half-hour of new stuff that I plan to mix in with older stuff,” Gaffigan told SoCal.com. “Hot Pockets, things like that--stuff people want to hear in a live show.”
Having made a name for himself largely off of routines centered on the things he eats (Hot Pockets, bacon, cake…the list goes on and on), one would think that Gaffigan would get tired of telling jokes about food tour after tour. Surprisingly, though, the comedian said that he never feels like parts of his act are getting stale, as no matter how many years he’s been telling certain jokes (ahem--Hot Pockets), he always manages to keep the bits fresh for both him and his fans.
“In reality, stand-up jokes are never done,” he said. “Like with Hot Pockets, they’re always introducing new ones, so I can expand on the topic. Plus, my inner voice (one of Gaffigan’s trademark bits where he comments on his own performance throughout the show) and the environment that I’m performing in also have a huge impact [on keeping things fresh]. It’s always nice to be able to tell a joke that relates to a specific community, like at Pechanga, where you’re in that casino environment. Audiences feel like you’re talking directly to them, and really that’s sort of what stand-up is: a conversation.”
Even though Gaffigan likes to tailor certain bits of his show to the crowd he’s performing for, the comedian said that there’s “something cool about seeing a joke work across the country.” Always working hard to find that next classic bit that will appeal to a universal audience, Gaffigan said with his current tour he’s so obsessed with the new material that, just before show time, he’s pre-occupied with looking at his old material so that he doesn’t forget what to say. The constant mental juggling between new and old bits helps keep the comic “motivated the entire time” he’s onstage, although Gaffigan admitted that he needs some assistance with getting pumped up for a show.
“I usually drink two Red Bulls and a coffee,” Gaffigan stated. “I’m always so low energy. I’m one of those rare comics who needs to get some energy [before going onstage]. I truly am that lazy.”
While Gaffigan may need some help getting energized for a show, the comedian wants fans to know that he’s truly having “a good time up there.”
“The fact that I make a living doing what I enjoy, that’s pretty amazing,” he said. “It’s something I don’t take for granted.”
Still, Gaffigan’s the first to admit that his ambition sometimes takes a back seat to his laziness.
“I should be living in California--that would make more sense,” Gaffigan stated when asked where he’s currently residing, “but I’m still living in New York. I should be all ambitious, but I’d rather just be happy.”
When asked if his recent appearance on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” brought up any discussions of doing another episode of “Pale Force,” the weekly animated series he created with O’Brien for NBC.com during the talk show host’s “Late Night” days, Gaffigan said the return of “Pale Force” really had nothing to do with O’Brien’s new gig (since O’Brien took over for Jay Leno, there’s been talk if some of his more outlandish skits and characters could survive in the earlier time slot), but whether or not Gaffigan himself wanted do it.
“With Conan, it’s just a different setting. He’s so quick and funny and selfless, it’s just like talking to an old friend once you’re there,” Gaffigan replied when asked about his “Tonight Show” experience. “Really, it’s just like ‘The Tonight Show’ is this nice, new house he bought and he’s invited a few hundred of his friends over to check it out. I’m really happy for him. Could ‘Pale Force’ air on ‘The Tonight Show?’ I suppose so. There are just a lot of variables that go into making an episode. For one, it’s a lot of work and I’m just lazy. I don’t just want to phone it in. I have a lot of stuff I’m trying to work on, and I know that sounds like a cop-out, but really, if I come up with an idea that’s brilliant, maybe then I’ll be into it.”
One of the many things Gaffigan’s busy with, of course, is TBS’ flagship comedy “My Boys.” When asked about the future of the show, now in its third season, Gaffigan replied, “‘My Boys’ is one of those things that keeps lingering on. It’s weird, because I have a very small role, and it’s so hard to uproot my family to shoot nine episodes at a time. But it’s such an interesting opportunity and just such a great group of people to work with. TV shows come and go, though.”
While fans will have to wait and see what the future hold for “My Boys,” Gaffigan is anxiously waiting to find out when fans can check out his latest project.
“I’m currently shooting a Drew Barrymore movie right now, Going the Distance, but who knows when it’s coming out,” Gaffigan concluded with a laugh. “I just like working; it’s always a marathon, not a sprint.”
Who would have guessed lazy people like marathons?
Jim Gaffigan performs two shows as part of Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay series Fri., July 31 at 6:30 and 9 p.m. and one show inside the showroom at Pechanga Resort & Casino Sat., Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 for the Humphrey’s shows (with dinner and lodging packages also available) or $35, $45 and $55 for the Pechanga performance. To buy tickets online, visit the official Web site for Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay or the ticketing site for Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Catch Gaffigan alongside Zac Efron in 17 Again, coming to DVD Aug. 11. And don’t miss him in Sam Mendes’ new film Away We Go, now in theaters.