Jim Gaffigan is that pale blonde comic who uses sotto voce to comment on his routine as he goes along. On his latest stand-up comedy CD Beyond The Pale, a shortened version of the comedy DVD that goes by the same title, this works.

In an interview Jim Gaffigan recently gave us thanks to the nice folks at the Comedy Network he explained the title was to suggest he wanted to go beyond his image as the pale stand-up comic and also suggest his material was getting a bit edgier. Listening to Beyond The Pale one can say mission accomplished.

Gaffigan is not and never will be an edgy or blue comic (the expression, by the way, comes from vaudeville days when acts would perform their routines for management and receive a blue envelope or sheet with the bits the owner thought too risqué for his customers).

He does get a bit more serious on this stand-up comedy CD and his observational comedy has a bit more bite than on past releases such as Doin’ My Time.

This stand-up comic’s forte, and it is obvious on  Beyond The Pale is the segue. The core of this release is food but from there and back Gaffigan manages to talk about our foibles, our attitudes, our expectations, the holidays (where he gets at his edgiest and an absolutely solid bit), presents, and, more to please his long time fans than anything, Hot Pockets.

Jim Gaffigan’s set on Beyond The Pale closes with new ground for this comic. He talks about Catholics, Heaven, and Mary and Joseph. Being the kind of stand-up comedy fan I am I preferred those tracks to the previous ones though the entire CD is absolutely solid.

One thing you have to give Gaffigan is the guy is absolutely seamless and he can exhaust a topic, here it is food, without exhausting the audience with it or going for easy or ordinary stuff you’ve sort of heard from other comics, even with stuff like Mary and Joseph.

The difference between the Beyond The Pale CD and DVD are three tracks on the DVD: Film Director, Do Nothing, and Email. I have no clue why they are not on the CD as they are not particularly visual routines but there you go.

Jim Gaffigan Beyond The Pale is beyond solid.

Jim Gaffigan
Beyond The Pale
Stand-up Comedy CD
Comedy Central Records 2007
56 minutes

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    Good comedy CD with some excellent bits especially one on bowling.
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  • 80
    Pretty good, better if you lioke 420 comedy
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    If you?re a real fan of stand-up comedy, this album is a must buy.
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  • 79
    MacDonald has something and something original to say and it is funny too
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