Jim Gaffigan
Beyond The Pale
Image Entertainment 2006
72 minutes plus many extras
Distributed in Canada by Paradox Entertainment Group


Jim Gaffigan is one of those stand-up comics I either really enjoy or do not particularly care for depending on the comedy CD or DVD. Beyond The Pale, his latest stand-up comedy DVD is definitely his strongest release to date. He is in full control of his art and persona so he does not rely as heavily on his interior monologue shtick -it can be fun but can also get tiring– to get a few extra laughs out of a routine.

Gaffigan works clean and sounds fairly harmless but there is a dark side to some of his material if you listen carefully (as in the Alaska / blubber bit).

Beyond The Pale opens with the strongest, and longest at some 25 minutes, series of food jokes food I have heard in a while aside from Gary Gulman’s classic cookie bit. This is a clean stand-up comedy act yet Gaffigan does have adult oriented material such as the Food Network being porn for food lovers. His take on fast food and eating like Americans is very funny but, again, there is something a bit dark about it.

Beyond The Pale then segues into an excellent bit about the holidays and the presents we feel obliged to give. This is good stuff and probably one of those cuts comedy radio stations will be playing around, you guessed it, the holidays.

Jim Gaffigan returns to his fascination with food for a while and does his signature and fan favorite comedy bit on Hot Pockets. If you watch the credits on this stand-up comedy DV, you’ll see his fans bring boxes of Hot Pockets for him to sign.

fans will recognize some of the material from his Doing My Time stand-up comedy CD. This includes the Hot Pockets bit, Film Director, and the Do Nothing bit about his pregnant wife. However, these are just three comedy bits out of twenty-seven or so so if you have everything Gaffigan there is more than enough fresh material to keep you very happy.

Jim Gaffigan does go Beyond The Pale a bit in his closing bits about Catholics, heaven, and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This is some of the more original stand-up comedy about that famous Catholic trio I have heard in a while and Gaffigan has enough experience and is original enough not to go to the myrrh and frankincense to get a few laughs. These bits close the show a bit abruptly.

The dust jacket to Jim Gaffigan Beyond The Pale states the show runs 72 minutes but it definitely feels longer. Not because it is bad but because Gaffigan covers so much material and his material is so rich and funny it feels like much more of an experience.

The only weak point on Gaffigan’s stand-up comedy DVD Beyond The Pale is the opening pre-show bit that is self-indulgent and not particularly funny or original.

There are many extras on Jim Gaffigan Beyond The Pale and they are worth checking out although Mr. Chicago is not particularly interesting. Eat Dinner With Jim is very bizarre. It is basically a one camera home movie of Jim Gaffigan eating a Hot Pocket (of course) while having a conversation with the viewer (insert your own lines kind of thing). This is original.

Jim Gaffigan’s fans will definitely enjoy watching the seven-minute Jim’s First Stand-Up Performance taped in 1991 in New York City. The sound and picture quality is acceptable and the material is pretty decent but very different from the kind of comedy Gaffigan now does.

How To Break Into Stand-Up Comedy is a black and white video with a long-haired Gaffigan as Arty Hittle. Ho hum. A Short Cartoon Of Jim answers the eternal boxers or briefs question and Jim Makes The News is footage from WGN channel 9 in Chicago where Gaffigan and Gilbert Gottfried apply for stand-in parts in a Chicago opera and Gaffigan bugs the weatherman.

Jim Gaffigan Beyond The Pale is a great stand-up comedy DVD for people who like clean but adult oriented comedy. It would make a great gift for any food junkie in your life.

Track List:

Pre-Showtime Ritual
Love Food
Grocery Store
Eat Like Americans
Fast Food
Eating Out
Steak N Salad
Eat Healthy
Hot Pockets
Film Director
Do Nothing
Jesus, Mary N Joseph

Extra Features:

Mr. Chicago 13:00
Eat Dinner With Jim 6:25
Jim’s First Stand-Up Performance 7:18
How To Break Into Stand-Up Comedy 8:15
A Short Cartoon Of Jim 1:19
Jim Makes The News 3:50


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