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Gaffigan provides food for thought

JIM Gaffigan hates fish. Steak, Irish stew, doughnuts – it's all good. But sea creatures are off the menu for the American comic in the orange trainers. Off the menu, but very much part of his set.

How about that full Irish breakfast he treated himself to this week? Yummy. Except for the black pudding, that is. "That's not pudding," he informs us, in that whispery, deadpan delivery of his. "A cooked turd," he suggests.

You might know the New York-based funny man from his supporting roles in a long list of tame celluloid offerings (13 Going on 30, The Love Guru, to name a couple). You may even have bought one of his Grammy-nominated albums. Or perhaps you flicked through his best-selling memoir, Dad is Fat.

Whatever the case, Gaffigan ain't your average US stand-up. He's partial to the odd yelp, but he doesn't shout for effect. Instead, good old Jim (47) holds his cool as he sticks to a sarcastic, self-deprecating manner.

He questions his 'manliness' on a daily basis. He doesn't own a car, and he admits to being useless around the house.

But the married father of five knows a thing or two about weddings and kids, and his skit on the similarities between late-night American bars and your average creche is genius.


Curiously, he rarely resorts to swearing. He makes up for it with cancer jokes and uproarious religious gags (we're all going to hell for laughing at those ones, lads). Good Friday in Ireland? "You'd think Prohibition was starting," he offers.

Gaffigan also does the bare minimum, wrapping up his witty, observational punchlines after an hour and heading straight to the lobby to sign autographs.

It's probably a good thing. An audience can only take so much sarcasm.

Regardless, it's a nifty show – a little too reliant on those seafood jokes, mind (there are lots of them), but you gotta love the moments when Jim Gaffigan realises that an American reference has flown straight over our heads. He beats himself up over it. You wouldn't expect anything less. HHHII