Actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan touches on his wife's brain surgery in an exclusive trailer for his Comedy Dynamics Network special "Noble Ape." COMEDY DYNAMICS NETWORK
Jim Gaffigan’s fans are about to see a more personal side of the Grammy-nominated comedian than ever before.
In his sixth stand-up special, Noble Ape, Gaffigan gets real about his wife Jeannie’s brain tumor a year ago and dealing with the possibility of retiring from acting and comedy. The first trailer for the special premieres exclusively at usatoday.com, and Noble Ape will debut July 13 in theaters and via on demand/digital platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Dish TV and Verizon.
“Any comedian has the approach that they can make anything kind of funny,” says Gaffigan, 51, who's written two books and starred on TV Land's The Jim Gaffigan Show. “I’m not talking about wanting to take a nap or my insatiable appetite, but that’s tied into how I dealt with this family medical crisis.
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“I’m not trying to bash the Kardashians, but people expect a certain exhibitionism out of entertainment people,” he adds. “So talking about this and doing it in a constructive, honest way and not taking advantage of this sacred moment in my family is a fine balancing act.”
Some of the humor comes from his fans knowing that Jeannie is not only his writing partner but also bears a lot of the day-to-day responsibility of raising their five children, Gaffigan says. There were moments when he thought about the fact that if she became severely debilitated or died, he might have to retire. “That also brought a certain weight to it and rejuvenated some of the excitement around doing stand-up. I always love it, but when you’re faced with the reality — ‘Oh, my gosh, I might not be able to do this the way I’ve been doing it’ — there’s a greater appreciation.”
In addition to the health scare, Noble Ape finds Gaffigan tackling massages, traveling with his kids in Asia, and the time he opened for Pope Francis in Philadelphia (“I essentially didn’t do that well”). His goal for the special was to tell more stories and “steal away from id-focused kind of things,” he says.
“That being said, my point of view is this guy who would rather sit in bed watching TV and eating bacon, but taking that and going further.”
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