A Millennial Take on “The Jim Gaffigan Show”


Do Millennials like dad humor? I think “yes” would be a safe bet. The proof is anywhere from the popularity of all of the loveable, hilarious dads on “Modern Family,” to the “dad jokes” tag on Tumblr.

So, when the opportunity arrived for me (a 23-year-old female Millennial) to review the first four episodes of the second season of “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” I thought, “Hey, I’m probably not the target audience for this show, but sign me up anyway!”

“The Jim Gaffigan Show” is a half-hour comedy on TV Land centered around comedian Jim Gaffigan portraying an exaggerated version of his life with his wife and their five kids (the wife and kids are played by actors, but Gaffigan’s real-life wife, Jeannie Gaffigan, is an executive producer for the show). Coming from a guy who jokes about his “dad brand” on the new Chrysler commercials, I was ready for the usual jokes about aversion to asking for directions or how wives spend too much money. What I got was something unexpected and fresh.

"Ugly" (Airs 6/26, 10pm)

The show made its second season premiere on Father’s Day (smart move) with the episode, “The Calling” that focuses on Gaffigan trying to find his life’s purpose after reluctantly getting to know a priest who left his former life of soccer stardom and modeling to follow his religious calling. While Jim’s first thought is food (he is seen eating something in the majority of the scenes throughout the series), he then comes to the conclusion that his life’s purpose is comedy.

The episode includes fantastic guest appearances by Jerry Seinfeld (presumably for the dad audience) and Macaulay Culkin (whom I’m assuming was purely for me). This is the point when I started to realize that this show is doing something unique by presenting content that a particular audience is not necessarily used to seeing.

"The Calling" (Airs 6/19, 10pm)

In episodes two through four, viewers of the show should continue to expect an intriguing mix of dad humor and surprising pop culture-related jokes that will resonate with the Millennial viewer. Some particular gems included a mention of that one infamous doughnut-licking incident, “Making a Murderer” references, and poking fun at his role as the “Ex-boyfriend who let himself go” in the movie “13 Going on 30.”

Is Jim Gaffigan single-handedly ushering in a new era of the “dad brand?” We’ll have to wait and see. Catch “The Jim Gaffigan Show” on TV Land on Sundays at 10/9c.

You can follow Corisa on Twitter @corisawordsmith.

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