Jim Gaffigan now joins Louis CK and Aziz Ansari in the recent trend of releasing stand-up comedy specials as $5 downloads online.

It looks like this delivery method is here to stay, and that is a good thing indeed.  Despite being self-produced and self-released, the production values of this special is nothing short of what you would receive from a studio-produced comedy DVD.

I am going to flip the script a bit and start this review with the conclusion: this stand-up special is amazing!  Go buy it now.  You will not regret it.

I do not typically like to “group” comics according to content.  But, if you had to identify Gaffigan with a specific group, I would put Gaffigan into a very narrow group of comics who, like Brian Regan, work almost completely clean and are still able to tear it up and leave you laughing uncontrollably.

Mr. Universe may very well be Jim Gaffigan’s greatest work to date.  Gaffigan has always had a knack for dissecting a bit into the greatest of minutiae and, just when you think he couldn’t possibly have anything more to say on a certain subject, the bit goes on for another 10 minutes.  Who could forget Jim Gaffigan’s famous “Hot Pockets” bit, or the more recent bit on bacon.  Here, topics such as McDonalds and exercising get that treatment.

For me, the McDonalds bit is an instant classic.  Jim Gaffigan skewers McDonalds.  Yet, at the same time, he admits to eating there himself.  He walks the line between destroying the company and praising the company so well that even McDonalds would have to stop and think about whether they should be upset with the critique or appreciative of the praise.  He concludes by pointing out that even people who claim they “never” eat at McDonalds have their own version of McDonalds — whether that be reading US Weekly, or watching Glee.

Another bit that particularly stood out to me is Jim Gaffigan’s bit about exercise and fitness.  Gaffigan has a voice he uses whenever he creates a character that runs scams or rips people off.  The voice is sort of an overly cartoonish stereotype of a New Yorker.  Using that voice, Gaffigan hysterically discusses how absurd it is that people are able to sell fitness equipment such as stairs “dat never end” or a bike “dat don’t go nowherez.”

I could go on and on.  But, really, you should just go get this yourself, and appreciate it firsthand.

Brett Watson

Mr. Universe
Jim Gaffigan
Stand-up Comedy video download

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