Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe

| October 23, 2012

Fan favorite stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan returns to the stage for a new special.  Riffing on a breadth of new topics like how unimpressive it is to become a father for the fourth time, and how Disney Land is a lot like the DMV, Gaffigan is about on par in his new special, so if you’ve been a fan of his previous work, you’ll likely enjoy this special too.  The above bits are definite highlights of the special.  Gaffigan’s musings about how no one seems to care that he just had a baby just because it’s his fourth.  This leads to a funny rant about how ridiculously little a man has to do to have a baby while the woman’s body goes through an endless array of changes in the process of creating life.

Gaffigan’s role as a father of four bleeds into a lot of the act in a variety of interesting ways.  Comparing Disney Land to the DMV because you have to wait in line for an hour to ride the Dumbo ride is hilariously depressing, but fortunately Gaffigan’s stand-up has always been on the dry side, so the idea that he’s exhausted during this special is in keeping with what his fans would expect.

Some fans might know Jim Gaffigan as the guy who does that weird high-pitched voice when he speaks for the audience.  I’m a fan of Gaffigan, but even I feel like his use of this voice as a comedic device tiring.  Fortunately, he doesn’t lean on the voice as a crutch as much in this special as his previous one.  In fact, he even makes fun of its use here.  At the beginning of the special he uses it almost immediately and then follows it with a high pitched “He’s using that voice already…”  It’s funny, and gets a good laugh when it pops up sporadically throughout the special.

While this is a good special, with some good laughs, I found it hard to believe that the audience was enjoying it as much as they seemed.  It almost felt like they were using canned laughter from a bad sitcom.  This could be because this was my second time watching the special.  I watched it on Netflix when it first came out weeks ago, but just now received the DVD from Image and didn’t feel comfortable writing this review without rewatching it.  I just don’t think Mr. Universe is a special that holds up under multiple viewings.

No special features on the DVD.

Available now on DVD from Image Entertainment.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
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