Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan Headshot

Comedian • Actor • Writer • Producer

Birth Name: James Christopher Gaffigan

Birth Date: July 7, 1966

Age: 57 years old

Birth Place: Chesterton, Indiana

Jim Gaffigan established a distinctive show business imprint in the 1990s and 2000s as a kind of mild-mannered Middle American everyman, both as a stand-up comedian and a prolific character actor. Playing up his lily-white Indiana roots, Gaffigan took an Old School route onto the stand-up circuit as a plainspoken, self-effacing observational comedian, leading to prominent roles in national television advertising, such as his stint as the lawn-chair-philosopher pitchman for Rolling Rock beer.

His would-be-big-break, "Welcome to New York" (2000-01), a sitcom in which he essentially played himself, fizzled, but he became a regular on Ellen DeGeneres's second sitcom "The Ellen Show" (CBS, 2001-02). Along the way, he earned ever-more-frequent stand-up spots on network late-night showcases such as "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (NBC, 1993-2009) and "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS, 1993-2015), appearances he rode out of the comedy clubs and into showcase theaters.

In 2006 he landed a steady TV gig as one of a retinue of amiable, wise-cracking Chicagoans on the sitcom, "My Boys" (TBS, 2006-2010), and in fall 2010 was cast in a Broadway revival of the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play "That Championship Season." A walking archetype of comedic vanilla, Gaffigan became not only one of the top draws in stand-up, but a go-to actor for parts requiring, as he, himself, explained it, a "balding, doughy white guy."

Gaffigan was born July 7, 1966 in Chesterton, IN, into a buttoned-down, middle-class family. He attended the Catholic preparatory school La Lumiere School in LaPorte, IN, but in his adolescence, he aspired to leave the Midwest for New York to pursue an entertainment career. He opted for a conservative educational path, studying business at Purdue University in Lafayette, and after a year, transferring to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Graduating from Georgetown's business school in 1988, he took a job with a financial litigation firm in Florida. But he languished in the job and, two years later, the 24-year-old moved to New York City, where he secured work in the advertising trade. He worked both in account management and copywriting, but as he began following his muse in comedy clubs at night, the ad game would prove propitious for him in more ways than one.

Gaffigan's common man's ethos and penchant for dry-wit delivery made him an ideal everyguy for TV commercials, which he began popping up in with some frequency, scoring an appearance in a national campaign for GM's Saturn division in 1997. As the 1990s drew to an end, he began a prolific run of minor parts in a string of indie films - and netting his first studio film, albeit in a bit part, with "Three Kings" (1999) He also scored some guest shots on forgettable TV series such as the ill-fated Dan Aykroyd vehicle "Soul Man" (ABC, 1997-98) and similarly short-lived Al Franken sitcom "LateLine" (NBC, 1998-99).

In 1999, he turned up in another carmaker spot, this time for Kia Motors, and won a flight of TV ads for the Latrobe Brewing Co.'s Rolling Rock beer, playing a kind of high priest of Rolling Rock fans, musing about the crafting of the beer while fishing in a lawn-chair. In 1999, he also landed his first national TV stand-up spot on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS, 1993-2015), which began a portentous relationship.

Letterman, a fellow Indianan, took a liking to Gaffigan, inviting him for a second appearance later in the year and tapping him to develop a new sitcom via Letterman's production company, World Wide Pants. On "Welcome to New York," Gaffigan paralleled Letterman's real-life résumé by playing a former Indiana weatherman who scores a job on a major network morning show in NYC and finds his aw-shucks personality an easy target of the big-city sneers and showbiz machinations of his producer (Christine Baranski) and anchorman (Rocky Carroll). The show premiered to positive reviews in fall 2000, but it failed to draw enough of an audience and CBS axed it after just 13 episodes.

In spite of the show's failure, Gaffigan became much in demand, issuing his first stand-up album, Luigi's Doghouse, followed by a second, Economics II, in 2001, as well as landing roles in the hit indie comedy "Super Troopers" (2001), and on the HBO series "Sex In the City" (1998-2004), and NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999- ), before landing his next sitcom the following fall.

"The Ellen Show," CBS's attempt at rebooting comedian Ellen DeGeneres's primetime career saw the comic as a showbiz big shot escaping the rat-race to her small-town roots, with a Gaffigan playing a neighbor and high school beau hoping to rekindle things, though her character is out of the closet. In spite of an impressive cast that included Cloris Leachman and Martin Mull, the show failed to draw an audience and shuttered after 12 episodes, leaving six unaired.

Gaffigan's bouts with the cold, oft-cynical machinery of the entertainment business increasingly crept into his stand-up; his act, while never edgy, increasingly supplemented with self-critical asides, a high-pitched "inner voice" that channeled a shocked or bored Midwesterner's reaction to his act.

Gaffigan had built enough of a profile for his first feature lead, albeit in the ultra-indie "No Sleep 'til" Madison" (2002), a late coming-of-age story in which he played a Wisconsin hockey fanatic keeping true to his annual pilgrimage to the state's high school tournament, in spite of its alienation from his friends and girlfriend. Gaffigan picked up featured guest work on series TV, as with "Hope & Faith" (ABC, 2003-06), and recurring roles in other small-town-set comedies, "Ed" (NBC, 2000-04) and "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006).

He supplemented his schedule with more periodic guest shots, as well as supporting parts in indie romantic comedies such as "Duane Incarnate" (2004), "The Great New Wonderful" (2005) and "Trust the Man" (2005), and availed himself in more critically considered films like the black comedy "The Living Wake," in which he played the father of a dying, self-proclaimed genius artist who has returned to his hometown to attend his own wake. Gaffigan's rare venture into a major studio comedy proved to be one of the more notorious bombs in recent film history, the Mike Myers flop, "The Love Guru" (2008).

He also picked up the odd dramatic role on television, making it a "Law & Order" trifecta with multiple turns on the original "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001-07; USA, 2007-11). In the meantime stand-up made him a frequent guest "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," affording him the opportunity to create a unique imprint with the cartoon, "Pale Force." Gaffigan premiered the flash-animated shorts - co-produced by New Yorker cartoonist and Gaffigan's brother-in-law, Paul Noth - as a gag on a 2005 episode of "Late Night."

He played all the voice roles, most notably the superheroes Pale Man and a spindly, whiney sidekick Conan, scantily clad to enhance their powers: the blinding reflection off their extremely pale skin. O'Brien, Gaffigan and Noth ran with the bit and went on to make 20 "Pale Force" episodes through 2008, teasing them on the show and posting them on Gaffigan's and NBC's websites. Gaffigan hit the melanin-challenged theme again in his 2006 album Beyond the Pale, and increasingly began trading up to higher-capacity theatrical venues for his stand-up tours.

In 2006, Gaffigan returned to series television in the made-for-TBS series "My Boys." The disarming sitcom followed a tomboy sportswriter (Jordana Spiro) and the entourage of male buddies with whom she played poker, watched sports, drank and navigated the pitfalls of single life. Gaffigan played her amicable, dryly funny brother who had "grown up" and started a family, thus often serving as the foil to the group's social gymnastics.

Gaffigan left the show after its third season, reportedly to focus more on his increasingly lucrative stand-up tours. He played another dry-witted, dutiful husband role in the studio comedy "Going the Distance" (2010), and bolstered his indie bona fides with key supporting roles in a sequence of critically lauded prestige films such as the coming-of-age navel-gazer, "Away We Go" (2009), the quirky sanitarium-set comedy "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (2010), and "Salvation Boulevard" (2011), a comedy thriller set in the pious milieu of America's garish evangelical mega-churches.

In late 2010, Gaffigan was cast in a spring 2011 Broadway revival of "That Championship Season," alongside a cast including Brian Cox, Chris Noth, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland. Gaffigan won the role of George Sitkowski, an unpopular, ethically compromised municipal mayor and a one-time member of a bygone high school championship basketball team who reunites with three other starters to visit their coach (Cox) on his deathbed, only to reveal to reveal their lives have not gone as planned.

Credits

UnfrostedStream

Actor
Edsel Kellogg III
Movie
2024
43%

Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale

Executive Producer
Stand-up
2023

Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale

Self
Stand-up
2023

Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale

Director
Show
2023

Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale

Executive Producer
Show
2023

Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale

Screenwriter
Show
2023

Full CircleStream

Actor
Manny Broward
Series
2023
78%

Live with Kelly and MarkStream

Guest
Talk
2023

Peter Pan & WendyStream

Actor
Smee
Movie
2023
64%

Reindeer in HereStream

Voice
Santa
Movie
2022

Access Daily With Mario & Kit

Guest
Show
2022

Above Average PresentsStream

Guest
Series
2022

Hotel Transylvania: TransformaniaStream

Voice
Van Helsing
Movie
2022
47%

LinoleumStream

Actor
Cameron Edwin/Kent Armstrong
Movie
2022
82%

Collide

Actor
Peter
Movie
2022

Susie Searches

Actor
Sheriff Loggins
Movie
2022

Jim Gaffigan: Comedy MonsterStream

Director
Stand-up
2021

Jim Gaffigan: Comedy MonsterStream

Self
Stand-up
2021

Forever Young: Searching for the Fountain of Youth

Self
Show
2021

CBS Mornings

Guest
News
2021

LucaStream

Voice
Lorenzo
Movie
2021
91%

Feasting With the Stars

Guest Star
Show
2020

Jim Gaffigan: Asian-American

Actor
Show
2020

The Drew Barrymore ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2020

Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist

Actor
Show
2020

CMA Best of Fest

Actor
Show
2020

Celebrity Game FaceStream

Self
Game Show
2020

John Legend and Family: A Bigger Love Father's Day

Actor
Show
2020

GMA3: What You Need to Know

Guest
Show
2020

The Red Nose Day Special

Actor
Show
2020

StargirlStream

Guest Voice
Thunderbolt
Series
2020
94%

Friday Night In with The MorgansStream

Correspondent
Talk
2020

Target Number One

Actor
Picker
Movie
2020

Tesla

Actor
George Westinghouse
Movie
2020

The Oratorio

Self
Movie
2020

25 Sets

Actor
Show
2019

A Little Late With Lilly Singh

Guest
Talk
2019
82%

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Jim Gaffigan: Quality Time

Actor
Show
2019

Jim Gaffigan: Quality Time

Writer
Show
2019

Jerry O'

Guest
Show
2019

Lights Out With David SpadeStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?Stream

Guest Voice
Himself
Series
2019

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?Stream

Voice
Jim Gaffigan
Series
2019

Today With Hoda & Jenna

Guest
Show
2019

Strahan & Sara

Guest
Show
2019

Drunk Parents

Actor
Carl Mancini
Movie
2019

Playmobil: The Movie

Voice
Del
Movie
2019

Troop Zero

Actor
Ramsey
Movie
2019

Them That Follow

Actor
Zeke
Movie
2019

Above the Shadows

Actor
Paul Jederman
Movie
2019

Light From Light

Actor
Richard
Movie
2019

The Day Shall Come

Actor
Lemmy
Movie
2019

I've Got Issues

Actor
Movie
2019

Dekle v senci

Actor
Movie
2019

Today 3rd Hour

Guest
Show
2018

Us & Them

Guest Star
Show
2018

Couch Surfing

Guest
Show
2018

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer VacationStream

Voice
Van Helsing
Movie
2018
62%

Duck Duck Goose

Voice
Peng
Movie
2018

Super Troopers 2

Actor
Larry Johnson
Movie
2018

You Can Choose Your Family

Actor
Frank
Movie
2018

Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape

Self
Movie
2018

American Dreamer

Actor
Cam
Movie
2018

Access Live

Guest
Show
2017

Megyn Kelly Today

Guest
Talk
2017

The History of ComedyStream

Self
Docuseries
2017

Jim Gaffigan: Cinco

Actor
Show
2017

ChappaquiddickStream

Actor
Paul Markham
Movie
2017
80%

Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas

Actor
Show
2016

NightcapStream

Guest Star
Series
2016

Today's Take

Guest
Show
2016

Black and WhiteStream

Guest
Talk
2016

ChelseaStream

Guest
Talk
2016
41%

Tinder Takeover

Guest
Show
2016

Celebrity PageStream

Guest
News
2016

Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack

Guest
Show
2016

The Bleeder

Actor
John
Movie
2016

Xiao men shen

Voice
Shen Tu
Movie
2016

The Daily Show with Trevor NoahStream

Guest
Talk
2015

At Midnight With Chris HardwickStream

Guest
Game Show
2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

Guest
Talk
2015

The Jim Gaffigan ShowStream

Actor
Jim
Series
2015
80%

The Jim Gaffigan ShowStream

Executive Producer
Series
2015
80%

Jim Gaffigan Show: Extras

Actor
Show
2015

Star vs. the Forces of EvilStream

Guest Star
Father Time
Series
2015

Star vs. the Forces of EvilStream

Guest Voice
Father Time
Series
2015

The Late Late Show With James Corden

Guest
Talk
2015

The Late Late Show

Host
Show
2015

Walter

Actor
Corey
Movie
2015

Hot PursuitStream

Actor
Red
Movie
2015
8%

Staten Island Summer

Actor
Danny's Dad
Movie
2015

Experimenter

Actor
James McDonough
Movie
2015

Adventures in Comedy

Self
Movie
2015

q

Guest
Show
2014

The Rich Eisen Show

Guest
Show
2014

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: Single Shots

Actor
Show
2014

The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail

Guest Star
Show
2014

Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed

Actor
Show
2014

Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed

Executive Producer
Show
2014

Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed

Screenwriter
Show
2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

Actor
Talk
2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

Guest
Talk
2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

Guest
Talk
2014

Wallykazam!

Guest Voice
Show
2014

The Social

Guest
Show
2013

Kilimanjaro

Actor
Bill
Movie
2013

Totally Biased With W. Kamau BellStream

Guest
Series
2012

Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeStream

Guest
Talk
2012

Comedy Bang! Bang!Stream

Guest
Series
2012

Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe

Actor
Show
2012

Finding Your RootsStream

Guest
Reality
2012

CBS This Morning: Saturday

Guest
Show
2012

CBS This Morning

Guest
Show
2012

Love Sick Love

Actor
Andrew Blythe
Movie
2012

The Chew

Guest
Talk
2011

PortlandiaStream

Guest Star
Series
2011
94%

The Marilyn Denis Show

Guest
Show
2011

Bob's BurgersStream

Guest Voice
Henry Haber
Series
2011

Salvation Boulevard

Actor
Jerry
Movie
2011

ConanStream

Guest
Talk
2010

Overheard With Evan Smith

Guest
Show
2010

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Going the Distance

Actor
Phil
Movie
2010

Ten Stories Tall

Actor
Simon
Movie
2010

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Actor
George
Movie
2010

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest
Talk
2009

Royal PainsStream

Guest Star
Pete Stanbleck
Series
2009

The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien

Guest
Talk
2009

Jim Gaffigan: King Baby

Actor
Show
2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

The Slammin' Salmon

Actor
Stanley
Movie
2009

17 AgainStream

Actor
Coach Murphy
Movie
2009
57%

Away We Go

Actor
Lowell
Movie
2009

The Bonnie Hunt Show

Guest
Talk
2008

The Love GuruStream

Actor
Trent Lueders
Movie
2008
13%

Shoot First and Pray You Live (Because Luck Has Nothing to Do With It)

Actor
Mart Ryder
Movie
2008

Flight of the ConchordsStream

Guest Star
Jim
Series
2007
94%

The Living Wake

Actor
Lampert Binew
Movie
2007

My Boys

Actor
Andy Franklin
Series
2006

Rachael Ray ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2006

etalk

Guest
Show
2006

Jim Gaffigan: Beyond the PaleStream

Actor
Stand-up
2006

Stephanie Daley

Actor
Joe
Movie
2006

Love, Inc.

Guest Star
Show
2005

Entertainment Tonight Canada

Guest
Show
2005

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Guest
Talk
2005

The Great New Wonderful

Actor
Sandie
Movie
2005

Wtyczka

Actor
Movie
2004

Strip Search

Actor
The Rev. Craig Peterson
Movie
2004

Bad Apple

Actor
Butters
Movie
2004

Duane Incarnate

Actor
Bob
Movie
2004

Hope & Faith

Guest Star
Series
2003

Real Time With Bill MaherStream

Guest
Talk
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

Season of Youth

Actor
Movie
2003

No Sleep 'Til Madison

Actor
Owen
Movie
2003

Crank YankersStream

Guest Voice
Series
2002

Last Call With Carson Daly

Guest
Talk
2002

Hacks

Actor
Arty Hittle
Movie
2002

Law & Order: Criminal IntentStream

Guest Star
Series
2001

The Ellen Show

Actor
Rusty Carnouk
Show
2001

Final

Actor
Dayton
Movie
2001

Super TroopersStream

Actor
Larry Johnson
Movie
2001
36%

Welcome to New York

Actor
Jim Gaffigan
Show
2000

Ed

Guest Star
Series
2000

Cry Baby Lane

Actor
Bob
Movie
2000

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Oliver Tunney
Series
1999
78%

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

Hook'd Up

Actor
Waiter
Movie
1999

Not Afraid to Say...

Actor
Larry
Movie
1999

Comedy Central PresentsStream

Actor
Series
1998

That '70s ShowStream

Guest Star
Series
1998

Sex and the CityStream

Guest Star
Doug
Series
1998
70%

The View

Actor
Talk
1997

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

Soul Man

Guest Star
Show
1997

Just for Laughs

Host
Show
1996

Access HollywoodStream

Guest
News
1996

Late Night With Conan O'Brien

Guest
Talk
1993

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

Law & OrderStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

CBS News Sunday MorningStream

Guest
News
1979

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutJim Gaffigan