On April 8, students and community members packed the Bryce Jordan Center to see comedian and Grammy nominee Jim Gaffigan. Tickets for the event were sold out, largely thanks to a sale that allowed students to purchase them for just one dollar. The crowd was a mix of Penn State students and the general public.
Before Gaffigan came out, the crowd was treated to an opener by fellow stand up comedian Ted Alexandro, who told the crowd he had performed at the BJC 15 years ago. It didn’t take long for him to get big laughs, and he told the crowd, “You guys warm up fast!” After a well received stand up routine, Ted made way for the headliner.
Known for being a family friendly comedian, Gaffigan is famous for jokes about fatherhood, his own laziness, eating and Catholicism. At the BJC performance, he followed this formula.
Early in the set, Gaffigan told the audience that he had recently been in Japan. He said that it was for a modeling gig, and after getting a big laugh remarked, “I wish that wasn’t so funny.” He also joked about how “Japanese people are just better,” especially compared to his five badly behaved children.
A recent aspect of his life Gaffigan has incorporated into his work was a colonoscopy he had done in February after his wife decided to make him an appointment. From the doctors to the serum to the anesthesiologist to the results, Gaffigan had something to say about every step of this unpleasant process.
Another personal experience he drew from was opening up for Pope Francis when he was in Philly. Gaffigan recounted that he’d tried to make a joke about an infamous incident involving Eagles fans throwing snowballs at Santa. He said that he was booed for it by about 100,000 spectators. Later, when he was privately introduced to Pope Francis, Gaffigan advised him not to bring up the incident.
The night of comedy ended with Gaffigan tearing into Hot Pockets, a favorite food of his eleven year old son. The set saw Gaffigan repeatedly singing the food’s famous jingle in a mock high pitched voice. He also joked that the three minutes needed to microwave a Hot Pocket is the same length of time that the food stays in your system.
Gaffigan left the stage to thunderous applause and a happy crowd. Attendees had the opportunity to buy merchandise outside, which many of them seized. The concessions stand also gave away free, albeit stale, hot pretzels. Hey, at least they weren’t Hot Pockets!