Jim Gaffigan Didn't Expect New Stand-Up Special to "Resonate the Way It Did"
"When I started touring this special, I was really surprised because I was talking about my wife’s brain tumor, but it became apparent that it resonated with people," the comedian said of his latest special, 'Noble Ape.'
When Jim Gaffigan’s wife of 15 years, Jeannie Gaffigan, discovered she had a brain tumor the size of a pear, they turned to humor to aid in the long recovery process.
"This four-month experience inspired a lot of comedy for Noble Ape," Gaffigan told The Hollywood Reporter of his new stand-up special, which was directed by his wife.
With Jeannie being the comedian’s writing partner, the two found humor in the most "unique and odd" situations that inspired his latest stand-up.
"Humor was really important in the recovery process and as a care taker, you have to have a sense of humor about it. I mean, she had a tracheotomy and a feeding tube, so we built some humor around that, but this special was…it’s just very odd," Gaffigan said.
What surprised him was the way his jokes about his wife’s brain tumor actually affected his audience. “When I started touring this special, I was really surprised because I was talking about my wife’s brain tumor, but it became apparent that it resonated with people because we all have had loved ones that have gone through medial crises and we’ve all spent three to four weeks in a hospital,” said Gaffigan.
He added: "I mean, I wanted to talk about it anyway, but I didn’t expect it to resonate the way it did."
Gaffigan stepped in to be the care taker for Jeannie during her recovery, which led to the couple teaming up with Tylenol for their #HowWeCare campaign, that acknowledges and supports caregivers with the small tasks that can be overwhelming.
"We were more than happy to team up with Tylenol because caregivers are really under acknowledged. There's nothing sexy about it," he said.
The comic also spoke about his wife as a director of Noble Ape, calling her his "secret weapon, because she understands my mentality and my point of view so well that she can say, ‘You’re trying to say this, but people are hearing this.’
“Every comedian needs that skill to understand that, because it is a conversation with the audiences, but having someone who happens to be your spouse, it’s amazing," Gaffigan continued. "It’s a real gift.”
Noble Ape is now available to purchase or download.