As a huge fan of comedian Jim Gaffigan, I was really looking forward to the release of his first book, Dad is Fat. Gaffigan details the joys and perils of raising his five (yes, FIVE) children, or as he describes them: beautiful, pale creatures.
Gaffigan’s children at the time of book print range in age from infant to 8-years-old. The title for his book, Dad is Fat, originated from a sentence scrawled in messy, childish handwriting on a miniature whiteboard by one of his sons: “Dad is fat.” A keen observation from one of the pale creatures. Anyone who has had the distinct pleasure of listening to or watching Gaffigan’s standup routine is probably familiar with his affinity for Cinnabon, cake, pie, bacon, and food in general.
One of Gaffigan’s trademarks as a comedian is the ability to laugh at himself, breaking the fourth wall by using a higher-pitched voice to simulate an audience member’s thoughts. “He’s a pale fella!” Gaffigan opens his book using italicized text to emulate that tactic, increasing his likability by poking fun at himself. “He doesn’t even seem like he’s read a book before! Well, maybe a cookbook.”
The book goes on to detail the trials and triumphs of raising 5 small children in a 2-bedroom New York City apartment with his wife, Jeanie. While Gaffigan makes fun of his parenting ability – “He has virtually no training, skills or instincts on how to play this role,” he says of himself – the stories shared make it clear that Gaffigan is indeed an excellent father, and Jeanie is a phenomenal mother. Their children, Marre (8), Jack (6), Katie (3), Michael (1), and Patrick (newborn), keep mom and dad on their toes. As Gaffigan puts it, “failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent.”
If you’re interested in a funny, light read, I highly recommend Dad is Fat. Fans of Gaffigan’s standup will be interested to read backstories behind some of his popular bits, such as his explanation of why he and Jeanie chose home birth – “just to make you uncomfortable.” Readers new to Gaffigan’s work will likely catch the bug – check out his standup too! Follow Jim (@jimgaffigan) and Jeannie (@jeanniegaffigan) on Twitter. Follow us too (@thefirstclubcom) and let us know what you think of the book!
Download an eBook version of Dad is Fat from thefirstclub.com