Jim Gaffigan made a stop at CMAC last night. The comedian brought big laughs with his self-deprecating humor.
Tom Shillue warmed up the crowd with a short, 20-minute standup routine. Shillue’s wiry frame, red hair and Massachusetts Irish Catholic upbringing recalled Conan O’Brien, as did his exaggerated movements on stage — like acting out slow-motion sports replays. He hit basic comedy subjects like aging, ethnicity and the male psyche too.
Though much of his act has been done before, Shillue was funny. The old standby jokes about marriage were at least mildly entertaining, and a few times he really nailed it.
Immediately after Shillue, Gaffigan trotted out, poking fun at himself right away, saying that the walk onstage was the most work he’d done in awhile. He mixed self-deprecation with an enormous amount of creativity, taking on everything from whales to an extended riff on body wash.
His tangents were brilliantly woven together, many revolving around food. One started with a family reunion in Maryland, which led to crabs, lobsters, oysters, Chinese food, fortune cookies, Kobe beef and hot dogs. Gaffigan didn’t miss a beat the whole time.
He took breaks between his food jokes to talk about being a father to four kids (with another on the way), which he compared both to drowning and being vice president — Dads say inappropriate things like Biden, tell boring stories like Quayle and are referred to as a terrifying force like Cheney.
Gaffigan’s creativity was the real strength of his act. Anyone can point out the humorous differences between men and women, but it takes a truly talented comedian to turn even the most mundane things into hysterics.
Originally published in the Finger Lakes Times on July 20, 2012.
REVIEW: Comedian Gaffigan brings laughs to CMAC – Finger Lakes Times