We are really going beyond the pale with TV Land's The Jim Gaffigan Show premiering this week. The stand-up comedian is taking what works for him, talking about himself, and transforming it into sitcom goodness. If you've ever seen his stand-up you know the essence of what makes up a Gaffigan joke — having lots of kids, being lazy, and food. So much food, but especially Hot Pockets. So you know, the really important life events. Though this isn't the comedians first foray into television, he had a notable run on TBS' My Boys, as well as a slew of guest starring roles, this is his first time as a lead, and I think he's up to the challenge,
The show centers around a stand-up comedian living in New York with his family. He has a loving wife played by Ashley Williams (who everyone should recognize as Victoria from How I Met Your Mother), and five (probably precocious) children. To round out the sitcom dynamic we have Adam Goldberg (Fargo) and Michael Ian Black (from everything, but most recently Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) as the friends/sidekicks of the show. All of this should sound very familiar to you because we've seen a version of it before. Much like his stand-up, The Jim Gaffigan Show is inspired by his real life — it's right there in TV Land's description of the series.
It's kind of a bold move to have an entire show that's clearly another version of your life, but it has worked incredibly effectively in Gaffigan's stand-up comedy. It sounds like it will be similar to Louie (which currently airs on FX), only hopefully much less dark — I don't know if TV Land could handle that much cynical humor. With Gaffigan listed as the creator of the show, having it be semi-autobiographical works for him, since he has the power to shape the fictionalized narrative.
Lucky for his kids, the emphasis should also be placed on "semi" and "fictionalized." It's not like we are getting a straight-up documentary about his everyday life, though that may actually be pretty funny. Either way, I'm excited for the show and to see what Gaffigan has been working on. Fingers are crossed it goes more in the Seinfeld/Louie direction, and not at all like the disastrous Mulaney (another fictionalized version of a beloved stand-up's life). If it's half as good as Gaffigan's stand-up routines, the show should be on for quite some time.