Friday, August 28, 2015

Evangelization & The Gaffigan Show

I'll never forget the day when one of my wife's friends told us about Jim Gaffigan. 

After getting her glowing review of his stand up, we immediately stole my brother-in-law's Netflix password, got the kids down to bed early, and sat together in front of the warm glow of the iPad.

After laughing through the entire hour-plus set, we checked out Dad Is Fat from the local library (because we're serious hipsters) and spent the next couple of nights reading it together. 

I know, I know...some couples read Scripture together before bed, but we read Dad Is Fat because we're awesome.

That was it. We were hooked. We were the ultimate #GaffiFans (trademark pending).

We spent more time evangelizing for Jim Gaffigan than we did for Jesus (I think he's cool with it, though).

So, when word of the Gaffigan Show started coming out, we were as giddy as a child waiting in line for their First Communion.

And, as expected, the show has been awesome.

It's laugh out loud funny, and worth staying up for, even though you know all three kids are going to wake up any minute to remind you just how much of a supreme gift they are.

And unlike most entertainment our there, it's noticeably Catholic.

One of the best parts about the success of the Gaffigans, for me, is the fact that they never shy away from talking about their faith (if you haven't heard Jeannie's interview with Jen Fulwiler, stop reading this post and go check it

And the best part is, they are out there showing the world that you can be both authentically Catholic and completely normal at the same time (I know, shocking, right?).

After last night's show (which I realize was the show from two days ago, but for those of us without cable, the Gaffigan Show is a Thursday night thing), my wife and I spent some time talking about how the show manages to be hilarious and Catholic at the same time.

The show walks the line perfectly. Obviously, you don't have to be Catholic to find the show funny. And yet, for those of us who are Catholic, we get to feel like we're in on a giant, thirty minute inside joke. 

And that's why I think the Gaffigan Show is so darned important. Non-Catholics have no idea, because they're just laughing along to the great jokes and hilarious situations, but they are being introduced to Catholicism all along the way. 

It's brilliant.

For me, I see the show as a blueprint for the New Evangelization. 

Remember when St. Paul said, "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some"? That is exactly where I think the strength of the Gaffigan Show lies.

On the surface, it's a funny New York sitcom that focuses on the life of a comic, and everyone can sit back and enjoy that. But if you scratch just a little bit deeper, it's a show about a large Catholic family engaged in Parish life, dealing with the issues that all of us Catholics deal with on a daily basis (aside from the "being a famous comedian" part). 

Let's pray for the continued success of Jim, Jeannie, and this wonderful show. And let's take some cues from the way they spread Catholicism, and try to incorporate that into our daily attempts to evangelize. 


  1. I like it and I think it could be better. It's relying too much on stock characters--everyone apart from Jim and Jeannie. It's a good start though.

  2. I'm really enjoying. I loved this weeks episode with the priest following him around. It was great! You are exactly right he's catholic without really trying it's so subtle it's great.

    I never realized he was catholic until a few years ago when people started talking about him. I saw him in a TBS Comedy a few years ago and thought he was hilarious (he was just a side character). I'd love to see him live one day and eventually I'll get around to reading my dad is fat.