Why Comedian Jim Gaffigan Is Jealous Of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Whom He Calls His 'Doppelgänger'

Stand-up comedian and Hot Pockets connoisseur Jim Gaffigan has made quite the career for himself. By discussing family-friendly topics like food, laziness and fatherhood, he’s managed to earn seven Grammy nominations and become a household name in the process. Despite this, we always want what we don’t have, and for Gaffigan, that’s a career more like that of his late doppelgänger, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. 

I recently connected with Jim Gaffigan to discuss his amazing new film Linoleum. In it, he plays two characters: Cameron, the square family man who never really achieved his dreams, and Kent, a suave and successful scientist, and the object of Cameron’s envy. When I asked Gaffigan if he himself could relate to the idea of an antithesis he’d always wanted to emulate, he said the following:

Like on a personal level, yeah, there is part of me that like, I mean, I've always loved acting. I remember, you know, Phil Hoffman, he was kind of like my doppelgänger who was this huge Academy Award winning actor. Where people were like, ’are you related to him?’ And I'm like, ‘No, I'm not. I just look like him.’ But again, it's perspective, which is, you know, among the many questions that this movie asks is like, do you have a positive perspective on your idea of success? There’s moments when I feel like I'm filled with gratitude and there's moments when I feel like, how come I can't get, you know, more opportunities?

While he may be one of the biggest comics around, Gaffigan doesn’t simply see himself as a comic. He loves to act, and it sounds like constantly being compared to an Academy Award-winning doppelgänger made him reevaluate his idea of success. While Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away in 2014, his memory lives on through his son Cooper Hoffman, who starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Licorice Pizza. 

Not that there’s anything wrong with Gaffigan’s acting career. The Jim Gaffigan Show was praised by both critics and fans, and while it ended before Season 3, this is not because it was cancelled. Gaffigan and his wife Jeannie, a frequent collaborator, simply thought it was time for the show to end. He’ll also be starring in the upcoming Disney+ movie Peter Pan & Wendy, helmed by renowned filmmaker David Lowery. Gaffigan, who will be playing Smee, seems rather excited about the project, and even name-dropped Jude Law when telling us what to expect from the film. Thankfully, in all of the anticipation, there’s already some quick things we know about Peter Pan & Wendy, such as the fact that it will be coming out sometime in 2023. We’ll of course continue to keep you updated with all upcoming 2023 movie releases.

While Jim Gaffigan continues to act and strive for that level of success reached by his doppelgänger, he’s still first and foremost a comedian. He’s currently on his Dark Pale tour, which will culminate in a comedy special. He doesn’t yet know where the special will live, but told me that there’s a strong chance he will be returning to Netflix, in case you still need the lowdown on Netflix subscriptions and what are included in them. And, of course, make sure to check out Gaffigan’s truly fantastic, heart-wrenching sci-fi film Linoleum, which will be in theaters on February 24.

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.