“Dad Is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan
2017 Reading Challenge — Book 32: A humorous book
If there’s ever a week I needed to read the memoir of a comedian, this was it! In the midst of one of the hardest weeks I’ve endured in quite a while (including nearly electrocuting myself… long story), laughter was truly the best medicine.
Jim Gaffigan has been a favorite of mine and Laurie’s for several years now. His clean, self-deprecating humor is always appreciated, particularly when he talks about his family. And I love that, while he does include his wife and children in his jokes, he never speaks ill of them. Quite the contrary: it’s rare (and refreshing!) to find a man so obviously in love with his wife and children as Gaffigan is.
In Dad Is Fat, his first book, Gaffigan’s entire focus is on the travails of parenting 5 young children in New York City. For those who’ve seen his hour-long comedy specials on Netflix and elsewhere, it’s predictably hilarious. And while his storytelling is often outrageous, it never seems contrived. In fact, he’s quite relatable, as I think any Dad will find.
And that’s what makes him so good at what he does. While his circumstances and mine bear very few similarities, his writing expresses perfectly what it means to be a loving and devoted husband and father in a culture that doesn’t often honor those things, in such a way that I found myself often identifying myself with even his most ridiculous tales.
Like all the greatest comedians, Gaffigan is funny without being merely goofy. His wit is disarming but sharp, and often cuts to the heart of our personal and societal failures and blind spots in a way that forces us to acknowledge just how ridiculous we truly are. We need that. I need that.
You can grab a copy of Dad Is Fat here. Personally, I listened to the audiobook, read by the author, and highly recommend you do the same!