jim gaffigan
Miro Vrlik Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Faith: Christian - Catholic
  • Career: Comedian
  • Birthday:  July 07, 1966

Jim Gaffigan is an actor, stand-up comedian, writer, and producer. His material usually addresses laziness, fatherhood, religion, food, and general observations. He’s regarded as a “clean” comic, using little profanity in his routines, although he uses it from time to time. He’s released several successful comedy specials, including “Mr. Universe,” “Obsessed,” “Cinco,” and “Quality Time,” all of which have received Grammy nominations. He co-created and starred in the TV Land series “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” based on his life. He also collaborates extensively with his wife, Jeanie, with whom he has five children.

Gaffigan was born in 1966, the youngest of six children born to Marcia and Michael Gaffigan. He was raised in Chesterton, Indiana, and usually jokes about growing up in a big family. His mother was accomplished at needlework and received a national award for original design and craftsmanship from the American Needlepoint Guild in 1985. Sadly, she died of cancer in 1990 at 53 years old. Gaffigan’s father was the first in his family to attend college and encouraged his children to seek careers that promised job security. However, when he was five years old, Gaffigan announced that he wanted to be an actor. As a teen, Gaffigan watched “Saturday Night Live.” He attended La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, where he played on the school’s football team.

Gaffigan attended Purdue University for one year before transferring to Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he graduated in 1988 with a degree in finance. He played football at Purdue and Georgetown. Although he “hated” studying finance, he worked as a litigation consultant for a short time after graduating and “was horrible at it.” Gaffigan moved to New York in 1990 to pursue comedy, a move that was inspired by his admiration for fellow Hoosier David Letterman. He worked in advertising during the day and took acting classes at night. During this time, he was cast in Blockbuster Video’s “Entertainment Squad” series of commercials. His career started in earnest when a friend from his acting class dared him to take a stand-up seminar that required a live set at the end.

He fell in love with stand-up and started playing comedy clubs nightly, after his evening acting classes, until the early hours of the morning. He was typically found sleeping at his day job. His boss had to wake him up to fire him. For the first seven years of his stand-up career, Gaffigan tried various styles, ranging from angry comedy to impressions and voices. Live comedy was in decline after its peak in the 1980s and was further affected by the increased popularity of cable television. After periodically auditioning for “The Late Show with David Letterman” for six years, Gaffigan did a successful stand-up routine on the show in 1999, and his career took off.

What religion is Jim Gaffigan?

Jim Gaffigan is a practicing Catholic who avoids working on Sundays, though he’s joked that his wife is much more devout than him and that she seems like a “Shiite Catholic” in comparison. He and his family attend Mass at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Manhattan, which is also where he and his wife were married and where their children were baptized. In May 2016, he and his wife delivered the commencement address at the Catholic University of America. They also delivered the commencement address at his wife’s alma mater, Marquette University, in May 2018. They both received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees as part of the graduation ceremony.

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