In a Herculean effort to prove (mostly to myself) that we are well-rounded individuals here at Father of the Millenium, this week’s review will be of an honest-to-God, tactile and holding-down-the-lid-of-my-toilet-tank, paper BOOK. That’s right, one of them old-fashioned things that people used to inform and entertain each other until around 1997. Please fact check that date if you don’t want to sound like a complete git at parties or around your parents.
The F-Yes scale from last week will remain in play here, modified for the alternate medium.
FOTM shall now review FOOD: A LOVE STORY by Jim Gaffigan.
n/a F-Yesses out of Five
This book, written by the actually-not-that-fat but genuinely funny comedian Jim Gaffigan, would be unfairly judged if we were to base it on its story, throughline, and overall plot structure. This is not that kind of book. It is more a collection of Gaffigan’s best stand-up bits, reworked in prose, and separated in loose chapter form. If you’ve read Jerry Seinfeld’s SEINLANGUAGE, or pretty much any book written by a stand-up comedian in the last thirty years, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re in store for with FOOD: A LOVE STORY.
Four point Five F-Yesses out of Five
We here at FOTM like Jim Gaffigan’s stuff. He’s the Hot Pocket Guy, he’s the Fat Dad, he’s the Whitest Man Alive, and his stand-up specials are really quite delightful. He’s a refreshing break from the typical frenetic bouncing around the stage screaming every joke that so many comedians seem to employ, and maintains a stillness and groundedness in his performances that let the jokes shine through. This is reflected in his book, and his writing style is effortless. The jokes flow well, with effective segues and good connectors that make this a fun read and had me laughing out loud more than once.
You want to know something that will get your kids running to the bathroom to see what’s going on? Laughing in your high-pitched man-giggle while sitting on the toilet.
FOOD: A LOVE STORY is testament to the fact that stand-up comedy is so dependent on good writing. The greatest comedian in the world can make crap material only so good, but if you start with good material, the world will lap it up. Jim Gaffigan writes good material. It’s just as fun to read it as it is to watch it onstage. I have watched Gaffigan’s specials, and it does enhance the reading somewhat, as I found myself hearing his voice and his delivery coming through as I burned through the chapters.
The book does include some more familial anecdotes, which gives it a very nice personal touch that the stand-up doesn’t have. Gaffigan has five kids, some of them very young indeed, and his one line about kids being ‘too dumb to sleep in’ rang so true for me I almost started crying.
Four point five F-Yesses out of Five
FOTM simply must recommend Jim Gaffigan’s FOOD: A LOVE STORY. If you like to laugh, and have an appreciation for taking the mickey out of the overindulgent eating culture of North America in general, you could do much, much worse than reading this book. One recommendation would be to watch one of Gaffigan’s specials beforehand so you get a feel of his stand-up style. Two of them are available on Netflix, and are a fun couple of hours well-wasted.
Thank you, and good evening.