Jim Gaffigan Explains Why He Doesn’t Act In Comedy Films

Jim Gaffigan is one of the few modern stand-up comedians who managed to become a household name by just grinding the old fashioned way, and he managed to earn seven Grammy nominations for his comedy specials in the process. But, of course, he’s not only a comic, but also a successful actor/producer. Despite his success, you won’t see him appear in many straight-comedy movies. While other comics may ride their success into a stoner-comedy franchise, Gaffigan dabbles in a surprising amount of drama, and he’s now explained to us his thought-process behind choosing those projects.

Jim Gaffigan’s new film Linoleum is a wonderful, thought-provoking sci-fi drama that one might not expect from the guy whose most famous work is dissecting the Hot Pockets theme song. I spoke with the comedian in celebration of the film’s release, and when the subject of how he chooses his projects came up, he told me this:

It's about, does the character have a point of view? Does he propel the story? Can I add some value to this? And I know that sounds very esoteric, but there is stuff that I've turned down where I'm like, you know, would I have fun on set? Sure. You know. But I've got five kids. I'm pretty busy. I want the character to provide some depth. That's why I probably steer away more from comedies just because I have fun doing them, but like they're not as fulfilling as playing a character that has a lot of things going on.

Jim Gaffigan has always had a lot of integrity when it comes to his projects, so it makes sense that he would be a little choosy. For example, he chose to end The Jim Gaffigan Show before Season 3 simply because the story was done in his mind. He also seems to take acting very seriously, and even stated later in the interview that the source of his greatest professional envy was Phillip Seymour Hoffman because of his acting accolades.

Not that Gaffigan refuses to do comedies across the board, as he will be in the cast for Jerry Seinfeld’s upcoming film Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story. Plus, among the quick things we about Disney's upcoming Peter Pan & Wendy is he's playing Smee, and he’s already getting us hyped on what we can expect.

In the meantime, you can see Linoleum in select theaters now! Jim Gaffigan also continuing on with what he does best by performing stand-up comedy on the Dark Pale Tour, and he has upcoming tour dates available. He says it will culminate in a special, which right now doesn’t have a home, but Gaffigan says there’s a chance it will end up on Netflix. If you’re not subscribed yet, we have the lowdown on Netflix subscriptions and what’s included.

Jeff McCobb
Senior Video Producer

Jeff started his career producing television commercials in his hometown of Fresno, California. After a few years, he came across the opportunity to make a living talking about his favorite thing: movies. Jeff is a film buff who is full of gratitude that he gets to spout opinions about them for a living. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he spends his time complaining about Los Angeles.