Comedian Jim Gaffigan Back to Being Funny After Wife's Health Scare

[photo: Robyn Von Swank]
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Jim Gaffigan's known for his stand-up comedy shows on Netflix where he cracks wise about his weight and living with five kids in a New York City apartment.  But earlier this year his life as a touring comedian was in jeopardy when a tumor was discovered in his wife's brain.

"She had this tumor the size of a pear.  We discovered it the week before Easter.  It was in a very precarious position. It was right on these cranial nerves which control just about everything you do," Gaffigan said.

Jeannie Gaffigan is not only the mother of his five children, she's also Gaffigan's co-writer and producer.

"There was definitely a contemplation, with five children, [where] it was like, 'Well I might be done touring as a comedian," Gaffigan said.

Fortunately the tumor was benign and the surgery to remove it successful.

So now that his wife has recovered, Gaffigan's able to get back on the road for his new Noble Ape tour.

But there's one major difference to Gaffigan's comedy this time around.  The comedian known for his hilarious routines about bacon and Hot Pockets is doing a show without any food jokes.

"I feel as though I've exhausted a lot of the food topics.  It's part of me, food and self-effacing humor.  It's a reference point but it's not as if I'm sitting there going, 'Alright now we're going to discuss the panini!" jokes Gaffigan.

Meanwhile, Gaffigan is taking a detour professionally in a series of serious film roles.  Coming up he'll be seen as a district attorney in the film Chappaquiddick and then as the best friend in a movie about boxing legend Chuck Wepner.

"I'm somebody who's always loved acting but the process of getting an acting role is so humiliating.  Auditioning is like stripping but you don't get a dollar," Gaffigan said.

Jim Gaffigan performs Friday night at the Cleveland State University Wolstein Center.

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