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Jim Gaffigan On Kids, Comedy And Apartment Living
May 21, 2013 1:39 PM   Subscribe

"The comedian and actor lives with his wife, Jeannie Noth Gaffigan, and five children — that's not a typo — in a two-bedroom apartment in lower Manhattan." An NPR interview with Jim Gaffigan on kids, comedy, and apartment living.

"In an urban setting, when you live in an apartment building, you hear everything. But if you could imagine living under five little kids, it's a crisis ... we're now on our third set of downstairs neighbors, but when our two preceding neighbors were moving, they asked us to hide the fact that we had children from prospective buyers, and the only polite thing to do, really, is to hide your existence so you can trick the next set of downstairs neighbors. But there's been moments where we've had to hide our children in a bedroom, and it feels like a scene from Sound of Music, you know."
posted by SpacemanStix (179 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
In the interview, he's constantly reminding us how hard it is to have five children. It's a shame, both for him and for the rest of the planet, that he doesn't know what causes pregnancy-- having five children is actually very preventable.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2013 [51 favorites]


Yes, if only comedians would quit making wry observations about the difficulties of their lives and instead dedicate their creative energies to eliminating the source of their material. It's like they don't care about saving the planet from overpopulation or something.
posted by The World Famous at 2:02 PM on May 21, 2013 [57 favorites]


Five children under 8 named Marre, Katie, Jack, Michael, and Patrick.

Wikipedia says:

Gaffigan has stated on stage that he is a Catholic.

Citation not needed.

(Raised by the older of 8 with a brother named Patrick.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:04 PM on May 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's a shame, both for him and for the rest of the planet, that he doesn't know what causes pregnancy

Can you share with the rest of the class?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:06 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a shame, both for him and for the rest of the planet, that he doesn't know what causes pregnancy-- having five children is actually very preventable.

I think for a while he was working under the assumption that a pasty complexion was the solution.
posted by one_bean at 2:10 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's not that he has a bunch of kids that is really the problem. It's that he apparently hasn't taught them to be respectful of the fact that they share a building with other people. He thinks it is comedic fodder that he has driven two sets of neighbours out of their homes.

But I guess he got some comedic material out of it so it's all good.

[as I type there is a basketball being dribbled above my head by a child who is also stomping around in what sounds like high heels while daddy engages in very clumsy weightlifting. Thank spaghetti I am a renter and only have 70 more days of this to go!]
posted by srboisvert at 2:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


Five children under 8 named Marre, Katie, Jack, Michael, and Patrick.

Gaffigan has stated on stage that he is a Catholic.


Marky, Ricky, Danny, Terry, Mikey, Davey, Timmy, Tommy, Joey, Robby, Johnny and Brian.
posted by Melismata at 2:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [24 favorites]


Melismata, say it again.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's not that he has a bunch of kids that is really the problem. It's that he apparently hasn't taught them to be respectful of the fact that they share a building with other people. He thinks it is comedic fodder that he has driven two sets of neighbours out of their homes.

Everything's material if you're a comedian and you think it'll get laughs. Even unflatteringly distorted resyntheses of more normal, boring, complicated feelings about things that happen in your life. Deciding Gaffigan's a jerk or a bad parent because he's doing material that makes him sound like a jerk or a bad parent is maybe not the best approach to ferreting out the truth, basically.
posted by cortex at 2:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [68 favorites]


And Willy.
posted by chimaera at 2:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's material. I think he really does live in an apartment with his family.
posted by basicchannel at 2:17 PM on May 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


The NYTimes featured him in the Sunday Routine column a few weeks ago- something about that third picture (of what appears to be their living room) gave me the impression that the apartment is probably on the larger size.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:18 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's material. I think he really does live in an apartment with his family.

It can be both material and also grounded in true facts. That's pretty standard.
posted by The World Famous at 2:20 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


That sounds like hell on Earth.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:20 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The recent episode of Modern Comedian where they interview him is quite good, as well, for those who might like to see video of his apartment, kids, etc.
posted by The World Famous at 2:22 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


[as I type there is a basketball being dribbled above my head by a child who is also stomping around in what sounds like high heels while daddy engages in very clumsy weightlifting. Thank spaghetti I am a renter and only have 70 more days of this to go!]

The problem is that what's actually happening is probably something more like: kid and dad are having a fun, quiet game of roll a small fabric-covered back and forth, that is amplified by the MAKE ALL THINGS SOUND LIKE ELEPHANTS ON TRAMPOLINES rule of apartment floor construction.

I live on the second floor of a two unit apartment, and I have a puppy. I was worried for my downstairs neighbors (a lovely little family with two kids roughly 11 and 15 years old) that they'd have puppy noises to deal with all the time, especially since my dog likes to play "soccer" and kick tennis balls all over the house for chasing and pouncing on.

But then they enrolled the 11 year old in band and he's been learning the saxophone this school year, so I don't feel so bad any more.

Dealing with other people's noise is just a fact of apartment life. It's not like his kids (at least one of whom is a baby) are blasting death metal at 2am. They (and I will note again that at least one is a baby) are probably just being normal kids.
posted by phunniemee at 2:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


It's not like his kids (at least one of whom is a baby) are blasting death metal at 2am.

yet
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


We live in a small place with three under the age of seven. It's a bit too small for us, and we try to be very courteous of the neighbors. We teach the girls to be sound appropriate and respectful. But we do make quite a few jokes about how the neighbors must suffer at times (even though in our own minds, we know it's actually not too bad.) I guarantee if I was a comedian I would be working over this concern about noise a bit for some good material. Kinda like when he said that it'll be spring before they get all the winter gear on. Not strictly true, but everything about getting out the door certainly hit the right note.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:27 PM on May 21, 2013


Five kids was a standard sized family in my youth; many of the families on my street growing up were bigger than that, some as big as ten or eleven. As a kid it seemed normal but I can't quite imagine it now. And yes, the neighborhood was 95% Catholic.
posted by octothorpe at 2:27 PM on May 21, 2013


Even as a child I didn't like children. How do people not learn their lesson after the first one?
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 2:30 PM on May 21, 2013 [13 favorites]


Yeah living in a 9-unit building I have to say that 20-somethings three apartments away are far worse than even an army of small children directly overhead.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:31 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


That Modern Comedian interview is great, The World Famous; thanks for posting.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's material. I think he really does live in an apartment with his family.

The former doesn't follow from the latter, though. Making material out of your actual daily experiences is totally normal for a ton of comedians; my point is not that it's fundamentally fictional, but that it's unlikely to be literal and documentary. If the only funny things comedians said on stage were verbatim, uncolored recitals of true life events, observational humor would wither and die as a form awfully fast.
posted by cortex at 2:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


Isn't the bigger issue here really 5 kids under the age of 10 in a FIFTH-FLOOR WALKUP? Or does schlepping that stroller (and the scooters, and, you know, the children) in the article photo ThePinkSuperhero linked up 5 flights only seem like a Sisyphean punishment to the non-Manhattanites among us? I know you can get used to anything, but sheesh.
posted by kickingthecrap at 2:36 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Oh, you have five kids and live in an apartment? Let me tell you what you're doing wrong and let me preface this by saying all my knowledge comes from not having kids and disliking them in general.
posted by stltony at 2:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [145 favorites]


We live in a fifth-floor walkup with one kid, and rarely use the stroller (he's small enough that the Ergo is still convenient enough for most things). It wouldn't be the end of the world, though, schlepping it up here. You get used to it. And it's possible there's stroller parking in the lobby of their building.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:42 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


The fact that I have never lived in an apartment is directly related to the fact that I have never developed a death ray and destroyed the entire planet. Because I would. One month in an apartment and I would kill you all.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:45 PM on May 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's that he apparently hasn't taught them to be respectful of the fact that they share a building with other people.

5 kids in a 2-bedroom apartment. It's not a question of "being respectful" at that point. 5 kids running and playing are going to drive the neighbours insane no matter what.

Dealing with other people's noise is just a fact of apartment life.


If only people were reasonable about this. I lived on the 4th floor of a building with no elevators for a year and a bit. The fourth floor was just us on the roof, and the staircase we used was basically only used by us. The building was located on a busy, high-traffic street next to a hospital (with ambulance sirens at all hours), near the hospital's helicopter landing pad, which was in frequent use as well. While moving in, one of the downstairs neighbours complained about the noise and asked if we planned on being this noisy all the time. While me and a friend were lifting a fucking sofa up the stairs, and a moving truck is parked outside. About a month after we moved in, "someone" put a note in the stairwell with a picture of an elephant on it "politely" asking us to use the stairs more quietly. I'm a 200+lbs man, wearing shoes, and I have to carry groceries up the stairs sometimes too. They also used to bang on their ceiling for such infractions as dropping the remote off of the arm of the sofa or putting the glass I was drinking from onto the floor.

I took up jumping rope in response. Being respectful is a 2-way street, and I get to live my life in the space I pay for too.
posted by Hoopo at 2:46 PM on May 21, 2013 [24 favorites]


I don't think it's material. I think he really does live in an apartment with his family.

I have it on good authority, however, that the man's never eaten a hot pocket in his life.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:46 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Even as a child I didn't like children. How do people not learn their lesson after the first one?
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 5:30 PM on May 21 [+] [!]


The lesson being ... that you don't like children? I can't imagine how people keep failing to learn that.
posted by The Bellman at 2:48 PM on May 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


You don't eat hot pockets. You lob them at your enemies or fall on them to protect your brothers and sisters in arms.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:48 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


We live in a third-floor flat, and while we don't have kids, we do have cats. The cats think it's awesome to gallop up and down the hall, and one of them really really like to play fetch.

Fortunately, our downstairs neighbor is also a crazy cat lady, and the sound of thundering little cat feet makes her happy. Whew.
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on May 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


You don't eat hot pockets. You lob them at your enemies or fall on them to protect your brothers and sisters in arms.

Relevant
posted by shakespeherian at 2:56 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ronnie, Bobby, Rickey, Mike, and Ralph.
posted by hmo at 3:02 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


And it's possible there's stroller parking in the lobby of their building.

To this non-urbanite, that idea is both completely surreal and ...yeah, totally reasonable. I love shit like that.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2013


Watch out! He'll put you in one of his skits!
posted by dr_dank at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


You don't eat hot pockets. You lob them at your enemies or fall on them to protect your brothers and sisters in arms.

This will show up in book seven, but it's the real story behind Sandor Clegane's burns in Game of Thrones. His brother threw a hot pocket at him.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:12 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Having lived downstairs from people with toddlers, let me just say that I am glad he acknowledged how horrible that is.

(The only way I made it through that was by convincing myself the situation was ultimately worse for them.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a good thing this guy lives somewhere dirty and gritty. Can you imagine the hate on MeFi if he had kids AND a yard?
posted by DU at 3:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


(P.S. Dogs are worse.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine the hate on MeFi if he had kids AND a yard?

More like pity.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:26 PM on May 21, 2013


I like Gaffigan a lot, but this five-kids-in-a-small-apartment thing is not at all funny because it's not very relatable. It's as unfunny as buying a house you can't afford and then building a set around, "Take my $8,000 mortgage payments! Please!" Har har.

Everyone in the audience just goes, "Don't buy a zillion-dollar house you can't afford." And they don't laugh.

I know that family size is deeply personal, and having a child isn't like buying something, but five children in the US today is, for many, a huge luxury. It often means you have money (and maybe more important) time. People make the choice to not have more children all the time, even people who want more, because they evaluate whether they can fulfill the needs of the kids they have. So to then do jokes kinda complaining about your large family comes across like ... Jay Leno complaining about his huge motorcycle collection. The Weekend Edition interview made me want to roll my eyes and tell the radio to move out of the city. It's not a good set up for funny. (I think I'd like to hear Gaffigan do a zany, Cheaper-by-the-Dozen take on a large family, but that's not really how he's coming across. If you love having a big family enough to have five kids, you have to own it.)

And I like Gaffigan.
posted by purpleclover at 3:31 PM on May 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


Marky, Ricky, Danny, Terry, Mikey, Davey, Timmy, Tommy, Joey, Robby, Johnny and Brian.

Who are the Ramones, including all the drummers, Alex?

posted by scody at 3:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


Not to derail from the grar, but I really liked his closing point about how bringing kids up in cities exposes them to difference in a way that suburban or rural living may not.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:36 PM on May 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


Who are the Ramones, including all the drummers, Alex?

I'm picturing Brian Ramone like Brian Wilson but with more solvents and less cocaine.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 3:55 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's not that he has a bunch of kids that is really the problem. It's that he apparently hasn't taught them to be respectful of the fact that they share a building with other people.

That's the best thing about kids, really--that they're like little, programmable robots who will suppress every natural instinct in response to a little "teaching." Right now my kids are painting the living room and doing their calculus homework.
posted by mecran01 at 3:59 PM on May 21, 2013 [55 favorites]


Fortunately, our downstairs neighbor is also a crazy cat lady, and the sound of thundering little cat feet makes her happy.

My late cat made so much noise when he ran back and forth that one set of downstairs neighbors actually thought I had a monkey.

And I think the fact that his kids are all still under the age of 10 and still all in the same bedroom is going to be a rather temporary situation - at least I hope so. 5 kids growing into their teens and still sharing a room would be creepy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:01 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


People make the choice to not have more children all the time

I like to assume being pro-choice means being pro-choice about the rights of others to reproduce as well as to choose not to. I respect that spawning feels irresponsible to many people, but accepting babies is part of the whole point behind having this greater society business. Even celibate cults generally adopt if they want to have any sort of generational continuity.

(Of course child free suits other people, and that is a respectable choice too!)
posted by Phalene at 4:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [20 favorites]


"Hah I'm a dick to my neighbors!" is about as fun as the time he punched a heckler.
posted by basicchannel at 4:21 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like to assume being pro-choice means being pro-choice about the rights of others to reproduce as well as to choose not to. I respect that spawning feels irresponsible to many people ...

You've seriously missed my point.

I have a child, a source of constant and wondrous delight.
posted by purpleclover at 4:21 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Deciding Gaffigan's a jerk or a bad parent because he's doing material that makes him sound like a jerk or a bad parent is maybe not the best approach to ferreting out the truth, basically.

I am only sounding like I am only thinking he is a jerk for only joking about driving his neighbours out.

It is also probably best to leave the ferrets out of it. They're innocents!
posted by srboisvert at 4:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can I get in on hating Gaffigan because he's a racist, sexist, anti-intellectual shit-bag, or is this thread devoted solely to hating him because he has five kids?
posted by tzikeh at 4:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know that family size is deeply personal, and having a child isn't like buying something, but five children in the US today is, for many, a huge luxury. It often means you have money (and maybe more important) time.

"Often" is a very wiggly term. Is it your contention that richer families have more children than poorer families?
posted by Justinian at 4:25 PM on May 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


I can't wait until all the comedians' books are published.
posted by mullacc at 4:26 PM on May 21, 2013


"Hah I'm a dick to my neighbors!" is about as fun as the time he punched a heckler.

Huh. I was under the impression that Louis CK was fairly popular on MeFi. I guess I was mistaken.
posted by The World Famous at 4:30 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rorschach's Journal: May 21st, 2013. Tonight, a comedian killed in New York.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:31 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Can I get in on hating Gaffigan because he's a racist, sexist, anti-intellectual shit-bag

You already have! Care to elaborate on that? Because most people know him as the hot pockets guy
posted by Hoopo at 4:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


agreed that just living with reasonable amounts of noise from neighbors is necessary when living in the city. and that is why I left NYC and live in the suburbs of Ohio.
posted by jpe at 4:39 PM on May 21, 2013


"Often" is a very wiggly term. Is it your contention that richer families have more children than poorer families?

Surely you can Google this yourself? It should be easily found in Census data. My contention, really, is that financial pressure is a reason women limit the size of their families. (Cite).

There's definitely such a thing as a large family as status symbol, which San Francisco magazine called the "Woodside four" a few years ago. (Woodside is a rich horsy suburb.)

For me, personally, having another four children would be a huge luxury, as it would mean that I had a lot more actively fertile years and a ton of money. Both pretty fortunate things.

My point is not that people shouldn't have big families. Big families are swell. My point is that having a big family, living in an absurdly cramped apartment and then trying to peddle your book while taking a mostly grumbling tone isn't very funny.
posted by purpleclover at 4:44 PM on May 21, 2013


You seem to think that by "grumbling" he is asking you for help, or trying to avoid responsibility for his problems.

And.... well, not necessarily. It's totally possible to be like "I chose a tough path in life. It's worth it, I stand by my decisions, and nobody else owes me anything. But holy shit, this sure is hard!" And in that kind of situation it's pretty reasonable to blow off some steam.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 4:52 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


having a big family, living in an absurdly cramped apartment and then trying to peddle your book while taking a mostly grumbling tone isn't very funny

Sure it is. It's a classic. The real problem is that Gaffigan doesn't have nearly enough children to really make it pay off. This gag needs at least 12 children to really play. Also, it's better if the absurdly cramped apartment is an old water tank on a rubbish tip. And the Hot Pockets should be a handful of hot gravel. Other than that, it's gold.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:52 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Deciding Gaffigan's a jerk or a bad parent because he's doing material that makes him sound like a jerk or a bad parent is maybe not the best approach to ferreting out the truth, basically.

'struth. If people actually took at face value a lot of what Louis CK has said about his kids and parenting over the years, the kids would've long since been taken away by child protective services. But all reports from people who actually know him indicate that he is in fact a devoted and loving father.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:55 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have a child, a source of constant and wondrous delight.

Hm, I didn't mean to imply I thought you were a baby-hater. But my point holds, that the cap on having babies is not something we control in the same sense that we don't cap the max number of abortions someone can have and so forth.
posted by Phalene at 4:56 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The pictures of his family are gorgeous. His kids are cute. His wife is beautiful and their apartment looks lovely. Having the kids share a room is charming. But, man, when I think about being the baby-maker in a contraception-free marriage. Whoo-ee. Doesn't it sort of take the lustre out of things? I mean, you'd go to wiggle your eyebrows at your spouse and have to catch yourself because otherwise...BAM! 40 weeks of baby-brewing. Also, I think the comedy world is remiss for not having a comedienne sharing her side of these tales.
posted by amanda at 4:56 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the comedy world is remiss for not having a comedienne sharing her side of these tales.

Wouldn't that belabor the point?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:59 PM on May 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


while taking a mostly grumbling tone

Huh. Did you watch the video? I didn't think his tone was grumbling in the least.
posted by The World Famous at 4:59 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread is super weird.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:00 PM on May 21, 2013 [32 favorites]


Huh. Did you watch the video?

I listened to the radio story? Didn't this link to a radio story?
posted by purpleclover at 5:01 PM on May 21, 2013


Video.
posted by The World Famous at 5:02 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


tzikeh: Can I get in on hating Gaffigan because he's a racist, sexist, anti-intellectual shit-bag

What?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:07 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Maybe tzikeh confused Gaffigan with Gallagher? That's all I got.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe tzikeh was in the front row when Gaffigan hit the Hot Pocket with the sledge hammer. I heard several people lost their eyesight that night.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:17 PM on May 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


I believe that was his twin brother, Gaffigan II.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:20 PM on May 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


Gaffigan's brother Noel is the guitarist, right?
posted by The World Famous at 5:25 PM on May 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


One month in an apartment and I would kill you all.

The only thing keeping me from leaping over Murder Cliff into Genocide Bay is the fact that it seems like an awful lot of work.
posted by elizardbits at 5:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Traditionalist Catholics actually reject the teaching of Gaffigan II and prefer how things used to be.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:53 PM on May 21, 2013 [19 favorites]


God, what a lot of ugly hate is in this thread about a comedian and his family. From Mayor Curley and his 23 anti-family favoriters to the deeply misanthropic ishrinkmajeans, tsikeh's claim that the comedian is a "racist, sexist, anti-intellectual shitbag" (which is curiously a complete surprise to Google and the rest of the internet) (and by the way, why is OK to slander celebrities on Metafilter without proof?)...

Seriously, what is up with you people?

EDIT: At least Google knows about the "punched a heckler" claim: "Then the asshole gets Gaffigan on the ground and gets a couple of good shots at the Hot Pockets guy!" ... Wait, that means Gaffigan was getting hit, not the heckler...
posted by IAmBroom at 5:59 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Favorites are not necessarily "upvotes" or endorsements.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:09 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the interview, he's constantly reminding us how hard it is to have five children.

White man's burden.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:10 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


23 anti-family favoriters

It's 29 now, actually.
posted by elizardbits at 6:10 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's promoting a book of essays he wrote about fatherhood. Why wouldn't he talk about his kids?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:12 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Where's the sympathy for his wife? That NYTimes piece implies that he's barely even home more than a day a week, so she's actually wrangling them by herself most of the time.
posted by jacalata at 6:32 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


(And I favourited Mayor Curley's comment to piss off easily offended people who go and count favourites on comments they find mean and find it necessary to call out other people as misanthropic).
posted by jacalata at 6:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


There's going to be a lot of haters because a lot of people strongly disapprove of the idea of having large numbers of first-world, privileged(*) children because of your religious beliefs, beliefs that glorify exponential population growth while simultaneously condemning all personal choices, like birth control, abortion and homosexuality, that might prevent the geometric explosion of humanity and its subsequent trashing of the world we live in.

And you can count me with them.

(* - as in, "consuming more of the world's goods than 95% of humanity.")
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:36 PM on May 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


At least Google knows about the "punched a heckler" claim: "Then the asshole gets Gaffigan on the ground and gets a couple of good shots at the Hot Pockets guy!" ... Wait, that means Gaffigan was getting hit, not the heckler...

I don't know anything about Gaffigan, but your reading comprehension is terrible.
Jim Gaffigan looks like a bull when charging from the stage to grapple with a heckler. Even while Gaffigan and the drunken asshole are wrestling up the ramp near the emergency exit, some part of you still wants to believe it's a joke. Then the asshole gets Gaffigan on the ground and gets a couple of good shots at the Hot Pockets guy! The management steps in just as sane audience members and the loudmouth’s beefy pals move past their shock to get involved. According to one of the Gotham workers afterward, the guy said something to Gaffigan's wife. So one more piece of learning: Don't talk shit to Jim Gaffigan's wife.
(emphasis added)
posted by leopard at 6:37 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


That reminds me, I won the neighbor lottery here. My upstairs neighbor, although I can hear her walk back and forth and hear her talk on the phone, also tends to enjoy the evening on her upper back porch playing music we LIKE. Even the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. I have to stop myself from singing Man of Constant Sorrow along with her stereo at times.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:38 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


"I'm actually one of six kids, Catholic. You ever notice people from big Catholic families, they always throw in 'Catholic' after the number? Six kids,Catholic. Like if you didn't hear the Catholic part, you'd think, six kids?? His mother's a whore! Ohhh, she's Catholic."
posted by kat518 at 6:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


He was good in the Law & Order episode where he played a dad (with a recently murdered wife) of a bunch of cute kids trying to land a reality tv series. Not a fan of his comedy, tho.
posted by maggieb at 6:54 PM on May 21, 2013


aren't there rules where kids can't share rooms like that over a certain age depending on gender or does that only apply if you are receiving government housing assistance of some sort? ( yes yes debbie downer...I swear I've heard people talk about this rule tho but maybe it's just a Pennsylvania thing.)
posted by sio42 at 7:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


You think there's like... a law... on who can share rooms in a house?
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:17 PM on May 21, 2013


When I was young, our town minister retired, and a replacement was assigned to our small local Anglican parish. The new rector was a younger man, recently ordained, who was married with five children*. So during the first few weeks after he arrived I overheard this exchange several times:

"Married with five kids? Wow! The church salary isn't very much; I wonder what he does when he's not ministering?"
"Oh, I think we know what he does when he's not ministering..."


* The requirement that clergy be single, and abstain from sexual intercourse has not been demanded of Anglican clergy since 1559.
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:18 PM on May 21, 2013


My parents were awesome, they never had kids.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 PM on May 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


In the interview he said his wife wanted to have kids, so they had kids. World killing bastard.
posted by mecran01 at 7:40 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Favetrolling? Sounds like something my five year old would do; he loves to push buttons. Luckily we don't have to count favorites since metafilter conveniently uses maths to count them! And I thought large family size often correlates with low income? But don't let it stop your two minutes' hate. I do tend to object to large catholic families in general, in part because it just seems outrageous to see sex as solely intended for procreation when you know many of them enjoy it and are compelled to "aw, shucks" new people into existence just to enjoy one of life's greatest gifts and I fear a demographic backlash of Catholicism, especially if the right is able to whip sufficient numbers of them into a social conservative frenzy as we saw with Falwell et al. These fears may be rooted in reason but certainly there is prejudice, because I don't want to have five kids nor do I want my neighbor with regressive beliefs to either. But we know things about Real Catholic People's attitudes to birth control and there is hope...the theocratic history is something to fear IMHO. But I love Gaffigan for the most part as a comedian. He can say a terrible thing here and there, but doesn't cross the line so far as to disgust me like many comics do. I kind of want him speaking on behalf of Real Catholic People but damn if he isn't on the Mel Gibson baby making track.
posted by lordaych at 7:46 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm far more curious about his wife than him.
posted by discopolo at 7:54 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Come back to where you are from, Jim. Chesterton, Indiana. We're waiting for you with open arms. You could probably get a nice 4-bedroom house for the price of the Manhattan apartment.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:07 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You think there's like... a law... on who can share rooms in a house? posted by RustyBrooks at 7:17 PM

State laws regarding foster kids often include regulations against different gendered room sharing.
posted by HMSSM at 8:08 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm far more curious about his wife than him.

His wife is his co-writer. He has said many times in interviews that she's responsible for as much of his material as he is, if not more.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:10 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


aren't there rules where kids can't share rooms like that over a certain age depending on gender or does that only apply if you are receiving government housing assistance of some sort?

Yeesh, this again. There was a long conversation about this in a previous thread, and ultimately someone cited laws specifically about kids in foster care and respite care, but as far as I can tell, no one turned up anything about public housing or what other parents are allowed to do with their kids.
posted by naoko at 8:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, people who have kids and also want to live in places are so lame.
posted by Kale Slayer at 8:17 PM on May 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


I can't think of anything worse than hearing noise caused by others.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [13 favorites]


Yeah, it is terrible to be a human forced to live on the same planet as these other humans.
posted by Kale Slayer at 8:28 PM on May 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah, it is terrible to be a human forced to live on the same planet as these other humans.

Hell is other users Metatalk.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:56 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stupid planet.
posted by The World Famous at 8:58 PM on May 21, 2013


His wife is his co-writer. He has said many times in interviews that she's responsible for as much of his material as he is, if not more.

I think she is, or was, also his manager?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:59 PM on May 21, 2013


I know that family size is deeply personal, and having a child isn't like buying something, but five children in the US today is, for many, a huge luxury. It often means you have money (and maybe more important) time.

This is ridiculous. My parents had five kids and we were shit poor, it's a personal choice whether you have money or not. And I have "often" seen large families of a variety of income levels, for many different reasons. I thought the stereotype about poor people was that they were horrible baby-shitting idiots, not that they were too broke and unfortunate to have more than one kid? Now we're righteously angry at middle-class people for their baby rabies, too? (Jk, I guess I knew that already.)

I've lived in apartments for a significant portion of my life now and I am continually amazed by how bitchy people get about having to coexist. Chill out.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:01 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's that he apparently hasn't taught them to be respectful of the fact that they share a building with other people.

You chose to live in high population density. The sounds of juvenile humans are part of that.
posted by 256 at 9:03 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


So the guy's Catholic. So he has possibly wacky views on procreation. So what? He's not cramming his lifestyle down anyone else's throat, from what I can tell. And Gaffigan is hardly complaining in this interview. For god's sake, the guy's dream was to be a successful comedian, and he has by all measures achieved it. Let the guy have his five kids.
posted by deathpanels at 9:05 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Look, I have nothing against heterosexuals, I just wish they didn't have to be so open about their lifestyle.
posted by elizardbits at 9:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [18 favorites]



His wife is his co-writer. He has said many times in interviews that she's responsible for as much of his material as he is, if not more.


I don't care about the writing or the comedy. I just want to know how she feels about having five kids.

Did she have a moment like Sharon Sedaris, David Sedaris's mom?

It wasn't until she announced her sixth pregnancy that I grasped the complexity of the situation. I caught her in the bedroom, crying in the middle of the afternoon.

"Are you sad because you haven't vacuumed the basement yet?" I asked. "I can do that for you if you want."

"I know you can," she said. "And I appreciate your offer. No, I'm sad because, shit, because I'm going to have a baby, but this is the last one, I swear. After this one I'll have the doctor tie my tubes and solder the knot just to make sure it'll never happen again."

I had no idea what she was talking about--a tube, a knot, a soldering gun--but I nodded my head as if she and I had just come to some sort of a private agreement that would later be finalized by a team of lawyers.

"I can do this one more time but I'm going to need your help." She was still crying in a desperate, sloppy kind of way, but it didn't embarrass me or make me afraid. Watching her slender hands positioned like a curtain over her face, I understood that she needed more than just a volunteer maid. And, oh, I would be that person. A listener, a financial advisor, even a friend: I swore to be all those things and more in exchange for twenty dollars and a written guarantee that I would always have my own private bedroom. That's how devoted I was. And knowing what a good deal she was getting, my mother dried her face and went off in search of her pocketbook.
:
posted by discopolo at 9:25 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


I just want to know how she feels about having five kids.

Tired, is my guess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:30 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


God, what a lot of ugly hate is in this thread about a comedian and his family. From Mayor Curley and his 23 anti-family favoriters

I'm not sure where you get "anti-family" from. I have a kid and I feed it and remind it that I love it. That's a family, right?

However, I don't have five kids because I'm not some narcissist who thinks reproduction is a contest to see who can spread their DNA the best while 4/5 of the world is starving to death whilst simultaneously drowning in our shit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:31 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


My neighbours are so quiet it's the best thing about my apartment. MAY THEY NEVER MOVE.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:36 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


My neighbours are so quiet it's the best thing about my apartment. MAY THEY NEVER MOVE.

I had neighbors like that. I blatantly courted them - I would bring them snacks and ask after their families and give them Christmas cards. I would have married them if it would have made them stay.

Alack, they moved and as always seems to happen the next neighbors were insane drug addicts who smoked much weed while they listened to jam bands at ear-splitting volume as they screamed at each other about the CIA hiding in the dumpsters to watch them. The only way I could fall asleep was to imagine them all dying of Ebola.

God I hated those people. I still hate them. I still live in hope they all get Ebola.
posted by winna at 9:43 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I feel like I've paid my noisy neighbour dues. I still hate the guy who lived below my first apartment more than anyone else I've known as an adult, and that was going on 15 years ago. I hope someone shot him with a sound cannon.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:47 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've now watched some of his bits and I gotta say, for me, his kid stuff is his funniest work. Maybe there are other bits that are funnier but you get a lot of mileage out of too many young kids. Which is good, because he's the poor sap who needs to support them.

It really is unusual to have more than a couple kids these days. Maybe just among so-called "middle class" folks who are feeling the pressure of lower wages, caring for elderly family, high childcare costs, the pressure to maintain two incomes, etc., etc.. We can't all be the Queen of Versailles. But, yeah, you go beyond two and the world seems to start judging.

Brag: I'm seeing PATTON OSWALT this weekend and I'm hoping to laugh my ass off. I think he had a kid last year? It should be pretty funny.
posted by amanda at 9:51 PM on May 21, 2013


amanda: "But, yeah, you go beyond two and the world seems to start judging."

You'd be amazed (or maybe horrified) at what people feel like they just have to share with you when you've got a larger-than-average family size and you deign to take them out in public.

DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT CAUSES THAT? THAT'S SOME FUNNY SHIT RIGHT THERE AMIRITE?
posted by jquinby at 10:01 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


The only way I could fall asleep was to imagine them all dying of Ebola.

When Stompy McTweaker decides to drag all his furniture around or indulge in his hammer fetish or stand nude on the fire escape screaming obscenities at 3am on a tuesday, I like to read wiki articles about medieval torture methods and smile blissfully imagining his prolonged agonizing death at the hands of grim fanatics. The screamy pterodactyl creatures from Pitch Black also play a big part in these giddy musings.
posted by elizardbits at 10:31 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Mayor Curley and his 23 anti-family favoriters

My biggest disappointment was not being able to catch them at Coachella this year. Maybe ACL fest. MC23AFF has a very unique sound.
posted by birdherder at 10:38 PM on May 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


I like his comedy a lot and I like his approach to parenting. He thinks it's worthwhile, and there wasn't a bunch of other stuff he really wanted to do, so he likes it. It doesn't sound like he is complaining to me in the real life interview, and of course the persona he projects in his standup isn't necessarily real.

Boy looking at the expanses of (beautiful!) uncovered hardwood floors in his living room, kitchen and dining area did make me really sorry for the folks downstairs though. Even when there was carpet it looked really thin. Tasteful but thin! Whether your neighbors are complaining about the noise or not, if you have five kids would it kill you to put down a bunch of padding and some nice thick carpet for a few years while the kids are bouncing balls and dropping utensils and racing cars on the floor? Carpet sucks up noise like a boss.

Gaffigan's face really reminds me of Joss Whedon's.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:38 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boy looking at the expanses of (beautiful!) uncovered hardwood floors in his living room, kitchen and dining area did make me really sorry for the folks downstairs though.

Wait...they have five kids in an upstairs apartment and they have uncovered hardwood floors?!

I love floorboards and hate carpet as much as the next person, but c'mon. That's just selfish.
posted by Salamander at 11:31 PM on May 21, 2013


However, I don't have five kids because I'm not some narcissist who thinks reproduction is a contest to see who can spread their DNA the best while 4/5 of the world is starving to death whilst simultaneously drowning in our shit.

His cameo in Super Troopers makes up for this and his many other personal faults.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:38 PM on May 21, 2013


> My point is not that people shouldn't have big families. Big families are swell. My point is that having a big family, living in an absurdly cramped apartment and then trying to peddle your book while taking a mostly grumbling tone isn't very funny.

Is it funnier when people of color do it? Or "hotter-blooded" Europeans like Italians or Greeks? Is it funnier when the comedian is relating the experience of being one of the many kids, rather than being the parent? Is an apartment really absurdly cramped? Because kids don't actually each need their own separate bedrooms, and while the traditional old-school layout has three bedrooms (boys', girls', parents') we don't know the square footage of this place. Plus, the two youngest may both still be co-sleeping anyway.

I'm not posing these as questions to snark on you personally, my point is similar to cortex's -- comedians mine their personal lives for the bits that they can make funny as a performer. And it's usually a skewed view of their lives that relies as much on playing with the assumptions of their audience as it does their own baggage.
posted by desuetude at 11:40 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


You'd be amazed (or maybe horrified) at what people feel like they just have to share with you when you've got a larger-than-average family size and you deign to take them out in public.

Don't worry, when you have only one child they also feel the need to comment, question and tell you how you are doing it wrong. Overtly or not. People judge parents, it seems regardless of family size.
posted by Megami at 11:57 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everyone judges everyone. That's OK. You just have to learn to keep it to yourself (or write comedy about it).
posted by pracowity at 1:01 AM on May 22, 2013


However, I don't have five kids because I'm not some narcissist who thinks reproduction is a contest

I guess, yay for the one child policy then?
posted by FJT at 2:21 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


No kids do I have but I have:
1) Three cats, one who announces each poop, all of whom chase little plastic balls
2) A guitar that I badly play. A scratchy screechy singing voice.
3) Frequent loud playing of music including NWA Public Enemy Biggie and Tupac
5) Two alarm clocks set at full volume across the room from my bed so they blare for a while before I get to them

Luckily, I live on the ground floor. But I know I irritate sometimes because my upstairs neighbor plays gospel music REALLY LOUD I think to drown out, say, Biggie going on about all the sex he's having.

So, in sum, I have no children, but I would not blame my neighbors for carving me up and eating me.
posted by angrycat at 2:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I lived in an apartment, the guys upstairs liked to watch The Hunt For Red October on a regular basis. Loudly.

It was...interesting.

Now I live in a Edwardian factory worker mid-terrace with ridiculously thin walls. Next to a family with two small children and no parenting skills to speak of.

Pro tip: Yelling "Waaaaaah! Waaaaaaah! Shut up!" at your crying child does not stop him from crying.

(But they beat the wannabe gangsters and their parties. And the drunks who would have screaming matches at 3am.)
posted by Katemonkey at 3:28 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


He should trade in his kids for some Pallas cats.
posted by AnnElk at 4:29 AM on May 22, 2013


However, I don't have five kids because I'm not some narcissist who thinks reproduction is a contest to see who can spread their DNA the best while 4/5 of the world is starving to death whilst simultaneously drowning in our shit.

Okay. So one kid is definitely okay. Which kid, exactly breaches the narcissism threshold where I should not so much love and cherish them as gaze upon them with an overwhelming sense of guilt and despair, knowing that their mere existence (unlike the existence of their apparently equally privileged older sibling) is materially degrading the quality of life of millions of people in the third world? Is it the third kid? I bet it's the third kid. That's the Guilt Kid. I bet two's okay in case one of 'em dies. But you should definitely feel better about just one, of course, since that's less people in the succeeding generation than in your own, and obviously the point of having kids is to demonstrate to the world how righteous and sensitive you are.
posted by Diablevert at 4:46 AM on May 22, 2013 [22 favorites]


Preemptive caveat: I have one kid, she's not genetically linked to me outside of a similar number of chromosomes. I'd like to have more, but I'm middle class enough to think that this might be a bad idea, both because I generally work 60+ hours a week and have a need for personal time that do not necessarily combine appropriately with the rearing of well-adjusted children.

I used to live in a second floor apartment with a medium sized dog. Let me just say that it was bad enough that I stuck this out for four years.

At the time I had some downstairs neighbors that would complain to the complex managers about my dog barking. Turned out my dog only barked when they ran their overly large stairstepper-type exercise machine. It was missing either a guard or some sort of safety thing and actually banged into the floor every time it made a complete rotation. Karma's a bitch though, because a couple of months after I compromised and moved to a different unit (with no future complaints from my new neighbors I might add) a tree fell on the building. Thankfully nobody was home at the time, but the tree landed EXACTLY where the exercise machine lived.

These days I live in a two-bedroom duplex in a neighborhood full of two-bedroom duplexes. It's not that bad with one kid, but I'd say that a good 30% of the other places harbor multiple children of differing genders and ages. One of my kid's friend is a 9 year old girl, who shares a room with her 20-something year old brother. I've never really asked how that works, but I have seem him bring dates home on his moped.

But whatever, the world is a big, crazy, often messed up place. If the worst thing someone has to put up with is the sound of kids playing in the upstairs apartment then I know a couple hundred million people that would gladly trade places with them.
posted by Blue_Villain at 5:23 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like I've paid my noisy neighbour dues = AMEN. We're about to move away from our noisy neighbors. Sick of listening to their screaming fights and their late-night bass thumping music. How two people with children (they have two in elementary school, plus maybe a newborn baby- still trying to figure out if the baby is theirs' or belongs to the sister) live like that is beyond me. Meanwhile, we never, ever hear the children.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:29 AM on May 22, 2013


Can I get in on hating Gaffigan because he's a racist, sexist, anti-intellectual shit-bag

>>You already have! Care to elaborate on that? Because most people know him as the hot pockets guy


If you can't find a sexist subtext in his constant complaining about "hot pockets" then you, my friend, need more graduate literature classes.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:02 AM on May 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


I don't have five kids because I'm not some narcissist who thinks reproduction is a contest to see who can spread their DNA the best while 4/5 of the world is starving to death whilst simultaneously drowning in our shit.

No, you're not a narcissist, you're a hero who is always thinking of others.
posted by leopard at 7:12 AM on May 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


We have a toddler and live on the ground floor, so y'know, Nobel Prize in neighboring right there. We will probably move eventually, but will try to stay on the ground floor forever. We're not good neighbors so much as we really like being able to roll the stroller right out the door.

For whatever structural reason, our upstairs neighbor - who is a small young woman - sounds like a stampede of bison whenever she walks around. And our building is wall to wall horrifying beige carpet. And the worst thing about horrifying beige carpet is how often it needs to be vacuumed. And the worst thing about vacuuming is that, much like cats, it terrifies the tot. Not in any kind of cute "oh, he's hiding under the couch!" kind if way, but in SOUND THE ALARMS IT'S MORTAL PERIL.

I had a nice chat with said neighbor and politely requested she not vacuum after 7PM so as to not have the I WAS SLEEPING AND THEN I DREAMED I WAS BEING EATEN BY A HELLBEAST AND I WOKE UP AND OH G-D THE SOUND IT IS COMING FOR ME. She has been wonderfully compliant and I dunno if it would be weird for me to send her flowers or chocolate or chocolate flowers or whatever, but she's pretty much the greatest.

(How do *I* vacuum, you ask? It can only be done when my husband can take the small human out of the house.)
posted by sonika at 8:44 AM on May 22, 2013


You have five kids and live in Manhattan? Those children are trophies. A tip of the hat to you Mr. Gaffigan.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 8:46 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread is hot pockets.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:53 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading this thread and the OP just lead to a discussion with one of my friends about how we find Jim Gaffigan charming and lovable and sweet enough that, yeah, we'd both probably have five kids with him if it came up.

AND I LIVE IN A ONE BEDROOM!!!!!!!!
posted by whitneyarner at 9:15 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Obviously if he were a better comedian he could have a bigger fucking place and not be such an asshole about it.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:38 AM on May 22, 2013


If you can't find a sexist subtext in his constant complaining about "hot pockets" then you, my friend, need more graduate literature classes.

It's a hot pocket, not a clown car.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:26 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sio42, I also remember my mom telling me that it was illegal for brothers and sisters to share a room fter a certain age.
posted by windykites at 10:37 AM on May 22, 2013


Sio42, I also remember my mom telling me that it was illegal for brothers and sisters to share a room fter a certain age.

I remember my mom telling me that she bought us kids at K-Mart and kept the receipt, and would take us back if we didn't sit down and stop hitting each other right this minute.
posted by phunniemee at 11:15 AM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Relevant
posted by shakespeherian at 11:17 AM on May 22, 2013


I remember my mom telling me that she bought us kids at K-Mart and kept the receipt, and would take us back if we didn't sit down and stop hitting each other right this minute.

That was actually true. Fortunately for everybody involved, the one time she did try to bring you back, it was past the 90 day return allowed by store policy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:22 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom:
At least Google knows about the "punched a heckler" claim: "Then the asshole gets Gaffigan on the ground and gets a couple of good shots at the Hot Pockets guy!" ... Wait, that means Gaffigan was getting hit, not the heckler...
leopard: I don't know anything about Gaffigan, but your reading comprehension is terrible.

Jim Gaffigan looks like a bull when charging from the stage to grapple with a heckler. Even while Gaffigan and the drunken asshole are wrestling up the ramp near the emergency exit, some part of you still wants to believe it's a joke. Then the asshole gets Gaffigan on the ground and gets a couple of good shots at the Hot Pockets guy! The management steps in just as sane audience members and the loudmouth’s beefy pals move past their shock to get involved. According to one of the Gotham workers afterward, the guy said something to Gaffigan's wife. So one more piece of learning: Don't talk shit to Jim Gaffigan's wife.

(emphasis added)
OK, number one: taking the sentence I hotlinked and reducing that emphasis to italics is not "emphasis added"; it's "emphasis reduced".

Two: Are you confused about whom the "Hot Pockets guy" is? That's Gaffigan. And I point out that it's Gaffigan that gets hit in the quote you reiterate. Which is what happens; have someone else explain it to you if you still aren't getting it.

Either your reading comprehension of my words is terrible, or you can't read the article. Either way, pot, meet white ceramic kettle.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:28 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Then the asshole gets Gaffigan on the ground and gets a couple of good shots at the Hot Pockets guy!

So what does this italicized sentence mean?

Solution Key

In the original linked article, the italicized sentence follows "Some part of you still wants to believe it's a joke." The purpose of the italicized sentence is to show how the viewer comes to the conclusion that Gaffigan charging the heckler is not actually a joke.

In IAmBroom's comment above, the italicized sentence precedes "Wait, that means Gaffigan was getting hit, not the heckler..." The purpose of the italicized sentence in this context is to say that the claim that "Gaffigan punched a heckler" is the opposite of the truth.

So in summary, a heckler punched Gaffigan after Gaffigan charged him and started wrestling with him. Gaffigan may or may not have punched the heckler, the linked article does not say one way or another.
posted by leopard at 11:52 AM on May 22, 2013


I'm imagining some of the people in this thread seething with rage as they watch The Cosby Show and contemplate the horror that Cliff and Claire Huxtable were inflicting in the world through the sheer hubris of daring to have so many children. Bill Cosby is a monster. Wake up, sheeple.
posted by The World Famous at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


So in summary, a heckler punched Gaffigan after Gaffigan charged him and started wrestling with him. Gaffigan may or may not have punched the heckler, the linked article does not say one way or another.

Speaking of the linked article...I don't think it's true. The Time Out New York link is borked, and trying to google any other relevant details on this incident turns up nothing but a bunch of comedy nerds on a forum debating whether it happened. Meanwhile the site its on also has posts like "Emo Philips' secret wedding registry revealed!" Which are also filled with borked links. I think this may be some lousy, inside-baseball satire. Could be wrong, but seems like maybe we should hold of on diagnosing him as a raging nutbar for a bit.
posted by Diablevert at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know I am late to the thread, I just wanted to add my perspective since my personal experience isn't all that different from Gaffigan's.

We also have many kids -- not quite as many, but close*. And we also were in the need to rent an apartment in North America, this was for about a year right after escaping Guatemala. Now, my wife has done an amazing job of raising them, we are constantly praised for their manners. But even though we tried very, very hard to be super-quiet and respectful to the neighbours downstairs, we still got complaints.

Like, a lot of complaints. Our building mgmt person went from literally welcoming us with a hug to our apartment to giving us the cold shoulder. I was honestly distraught. I had lived my whole life under the mantra of "treat others right". I had never once in my life been considered a "troublemaker". Believe me, we tried super hard to be as quiet as possible, even to the point of going out, via bus, to find secondhand/donated rugs to mitigate noise (when you're a refugee, in the beginning you can't afford new rugs, or a house for that matter).

I was pretty upset about the whole thing for like six months. Slowly, I came to the realization that it's not like we were going out of our way to piss off the people below. We were even a hell of a lot quieter than the people who lived above us, a couple with no kids. We were honestly doing everything we could to keep it down, short of, you know, getting rid of the kids.

I had to come to terms with the fact that the people below were just apparently very sensitive to noise, and that we were doing everything that we could, and that them complaining was not something we could avoid. I wasn't happy with that, but I could live with it knowing that we were honestly doing our best. Mgmt and the neighbours still hated us, though. But in all honesty when you are a large-ish group of people (most of them kids) in a small space, noise is just un-freaking-avoidable no matter how hard you try. It's one of those things you have to experience yourself to really understand, I guess.

And I think I learned something: Now when I feel like complaining about someone, I try to remember how bad I felt about someone consistently complaining about me and my family over something we had little-to-no control over, in a not-so-great year when we were new and felt lost and lonely and eventually detested.

* Also, while it's nobody's business why a family is whatever size, I'll add that I adopted and fiercely love these children, something that's never felt "irresponsible" or like a "huge luxury".
posted by papafrita at 1:19 PM on May 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


Can I get in on hating Gaffigan because he's a racist, sexist, anti-intellectual shit-bag


I think you might have misunderstood him...he said CAKE.
posted by like_a_friend at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


* Also, while it's nobody's business why a family is whatever size, I'll add that I adopted and fiercely love these children, something that's never felt "irresponsible" or like a "huge luxury".

I wonder how much of the issue here is that some folks' only exposure to children is from the prologue to Idiocracy.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:26 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder how much of the issue here is that some folks' only exposure to children is from the prologue to Idiocracy.

I wonder how much of the issue here is that some folks' only believe that people could disagree with their attitudes through pure wilful ignorance.
posted by jacalata at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's not how apostrophes work.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:17 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Clearly, everyone on this thread ate hot pockets for breakfast and accidentally dunked their bathrobes in the toilet.
posted by like_a_friend at 2:18 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everyone in the audience just goes, "Don't buy a zillion-dollar house you can't afford." And they don't laugh.

Rotten Tomatoes dislikes "The Money Pit" but Tom Hanks is box office magic.
posted by surplus at 2:58 PM on May 22, 2013


Jim Gaffigan is about as safe and middlebrow as an American comedian can possibly get. Leave it for MeFi to find a way to get angry about him.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


YEAH BUT the Huxtables didn't have any downstairs neighbors.
posted by elizardbits at 3:30 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Unless you count the people they kept locked up under the stairs.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:31 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll add that I adopted and fiercely love these children, something that's never felt "irresponsible" or like a "huge luxury".

Yeah, gotta love the default response that assumes that more kids = irresponsible birth control management, and doesn't consider that it might be a situation that is the exact opposite of selfish.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:46 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a parent with more than one child, I'm baffled by the assertion that having children is selfish at all. If parenting is selfish, you're doing it wrong.
posted by The World Famous at 3:49 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, maybe it's because I only have one kid, but having her did actually feel very narcissistic and selfish. I made it to 34 without breeding and then made the choice not to adopt or send my "spare" cash to the needy but to grow my own mini-me who is the most unique flower in all the world. And I really do think that. She's possibly the most awesome kid ever.

Just because I need to sacrifice and give up and stretch to be a better person in the care and feeding of my unique pet doesn't make her existence less of an act of selfish desire.

YMMV.
posted by amanda at 4:04 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. Maybe the trick is to have more than one or two.
posted by The World Famous at 4:05 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just because I need to sacrifice and give up and stretch to be a better person in the care and feeding of my unique pet doesn't make her existence less of an act of selfish desire.

I think there's a difference between irresponsible selfishness and the legitimate self-interest that comes into play naturally as a byproduct of doing a good thing. I think the thing that rankles a bit is assuming that taking care of five children automatically assumes the former, with no consideration for how it could be the latter.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:08 PM on May 22, 2013


Which is to say that maybe the single-child parents accusing multiple-child parents of extreme narcissism and selfishness are projecting and assuming that multiplying the number of children results in multiplication of the narcissism and selfishness that they see in themselves. It has not been my experience that that is the case, but I can remember when we only had one child and sort of relate to the initial sentiment that seems to be leading to the faulty analysis of others.
posted by The World Famous at 4:08 PM on May 22, 2013


Just because I need to sacrifice and give up and stretch to be a better person in the care and feeding of my unique pet doesn't make her existence less of an act of selfish desire.

Today I wanted a sandwich so I had one. Lots of people are starving. It was a pretty tasty sandwich though, so I didn't feel bad.
posted by Diablevert at 4:16 PM on May 22, 2013


This thread has been turned into a childfree/breeder flamewar. Move along.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:18 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


> This thread has been turned into a childfree/breeder flamewar. Move along.

Seems like a lot of the posters here who are against the very large families have indicated that they personally have kids of their own. Would you like to amend your comment now?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:27 PM on May 22, 2013


This whole thread is a darkly amusing reminder of one of my least favourite paradoxes of liberalism, which is that if someone is Not Like Us the appropriate moral response to their lifestyle choices is to withhold judgement, embrace the cultural differences that are the cornerstone of a healthy and vibrant society, and remember hey, man, it's not your business to decide what makes other people happy or brings meaning to their lives. But if someone is One of Us and they're doing something we don't like, then they're just an asshole. Because we have discerned the One True Path to Righteousness and if someone falters from it we get to throw on our buckled hats and dust off the stocks handed down by our Puritan ancestors, because they are not being a Good Liberal.
posted by Diablevert at 4:34 PM on May 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


Really? If we don't do that, does that make us bad liberals?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:37 PM on May 22, 2013


Seems like a lot of the posters here who are against the very large families have indicated that they personally have kids of their own. Would you like to amend your comment now?

I can mislabel this as a class war thread if you'd like, given how statistically speaking poorer/lower income families tend to have more children than upper income ones.*

*citation needed
posted by Apocryphon at 4:49 PM on May 22, 2013


For folks who know of and already like Gaffigan and are just bemused at how he makes all of this work, I suggest reading Dad is Fat which is I think what he was promoting on this NPR interview. There's a nice little floor plan of their apartment and he answers a lot of the questions that people might privately have but be too polite to actually ask about. I have no kids. I like to think that Gaffigan is raising 2.3 of mine.

And as a mod aside, if people wouldn't make this thread into their own parents vs. non-parents/save the planet vs. having children thing, that would be terrific. Seriously, quit doing it.
posted by jessamyn at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don't understand all of the hate in this thread. How dare people have multiple children and then choose to live in cities where other humans also live!

I mean, I can't imagine having 5 kids, let alone in a 2-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, but I seriously don't understand why people are so enraged that other people might choose to do so.
posted by asnider at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have no kids. I like to think that Gaffigan is raising 2.3 of mine.

Conversely, I have one kid, and hope to have more. Given all the people I know/know of who don't have children, I could probably have 15-20 kids before using up the community credit.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:15 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Although I think of my family as "my own," I have not personally added to the population. Pink, you can have one of mine.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:37 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


How dare people have multiple children and then choose to live in cities where other humans also live!

other people are literally the worst thing.
posted by elizardbits at 5:39 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Diablevert does not understand me at all.
posted by maggieb at 5:57 PM on May 22, 2013


other people are literally the worst thing.

Hell is other people('s children).
posted by asnider at 7:53 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Don't worry, when you have only one child they also feel the need to comment, question and tell you how you are doing it wrong

The trick to avoiding those comments, in my experience, is to have one girl and one boy. At least in modern mainstream America that seems to be the Right Number and Variety of Children to Have.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:14 AM on May 23, 2013


leopard: So in summary, a heckler punched Gaffigan after Gaffigan charged him and started wrestling with him. Gaffigan may or may not have punched the heckler, the linked article does not say one way or another.
So, in summary, your interpretation is EXACTLY the same as the one I expressed from the beginning. Either neither of us can read, or you have problems understanding what is written.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:58 AM on May 23, 2013


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