Comedy by the slice

Jim Gaffigan is white. Very white. So white, he’s dubbed his current stand-up tour as “The White Bread Tour.”

“I’ve heard that my style of comedy is kind of white bread, in kind of a derogatory way. So I thought it would be funny to just embrace it,” Gaffigan said. “And I was raised on Wonder Bread, so it is pretty accurate to call me ‘white bread.’” Derogatory or not, he has made a sizable dent in the comedy scene, with top-rated television specials and scene-stealing parts in such movies as 13 Going On 30 and Going the Distance, and, most recently, on TV’s Portlandia.

When most comedians start to attain that level of fame, the standup stops. But not for the 46-year-old Gaffigan.

“I would never give up stand-up.

Stand-up is a unique performing outlet; it’s driven on creating new material, so there’s something always fresh,” he said. “There’s an immediacy about stand-up that I think is hard to give up. It’s too rewarding and fun. Coming up with a new joke is still one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”

For the tour, Gaffigan is traveling across the country on a bus with his wife and five kids. The tribulations of being a family man are among the reasons his brand of humor is so relatable to fans.

“I think that if I relate to people in Middle America, it’s because I come from Middle America,” he said, noting that he grew up in an Indiana town, where he spent summers working in grocery stores and steel mills. “I hope that my point of view seems familiar, because there’s a part of me that feels like I’m not that good at it, being a parent. I definitely want to be good at it. Having five kids is definitely different than most of my comedian friends who are not in long-term relationships, but I’m certainly no saint.”

Having performed in the Oklahoma City metro a few years ago, Gaffigan said he has fond memories of visiting the Sooner State.

“I remember Oklahoma being pretty good,” he said. “I remember the theater being small and rather intimate, which is always great for stand-up shows.”

Louis Fowler

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