I really wanted to love Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up comedy CD / DVD set Doing My Time on Comedy Central Records.

Jim Gaffigan is a very personable comic, the kind of stand-up you like just because of the character he projects on stage and the kind of comedy he does. Unfortunately, what is a great act in a short 5 to seven minute clip on TV and on DVD can get a little tiring on an entire comedy CD, especially when the sound guy can’t keep up.

Gaffigan’s shtick is a whispered interior monologue, play-by-play commentary aside of his act as he does it.

This is fun for a while but the sound quality on Doing My Time makes it you soon want him to stop the commentary and do the damn jokes. The experience is akin to watching a movie and having someone behind you constantly yakking away. It gets so irritating that I can rarely listen to this stand-up comedy CD in one go.

This is unfortunate because Jim Gaffigan is a very good and sometimes original stand-up comic. His take on modern beauty standards is definitely fresh. It is also sound harmless but is, in reality, quite scathing.

This is also true about his bit about Hot Pockets although this comedy routine does go on too long His routine about eyeglasses is something few comics have ever tried while his observational comedy and relationship jokes are as good as any other comic’s.

There is something slightly surreal in this mostly clean but adult-oriented comic that is highly enjoyable yet the stand-up comedy CD version of his act, perhaps because I am such a stickler for great sound and sometimes barely audible whispered asides make for a stressful listening experience (unless you do not mind constantly adjusting the volume) that does not to him justice.

The comedy DVD that is included in Doing My Time has somewhat better sound (although you do hear a few scratchy sounds here and there) so the play-by-play is more enjoyable though it still loses its novelty after a short while.

Interestingly, this interior monologue shtick is not very much present in the Comedy Central Presents but very much there in the two World Stand Up clips. Perhaps the people at Comedy Central told Gaffigan to cut that shit out?

I like the Comedy Central comedy CD / DVD combo pack idea, although many independent stand-up comics now seem to feel obliged to offer their fans the same thing, but it would be nice to be able to tell which is the comedy CD and which is the stand-up comedy DVD in the Doing My Time set.

Comedy Central Presents runs about 24 minutes plus two extra bits, World Stands Up One and World Stands Up Two that run about 6 minutes each. The material on the comedy DVD has some of the same bits as the CD.

Jim Gaffigan
Doing My Time
CD 60 minutes
DVD 37 minutes
Comedy Central Records 2004


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