Jim Gaffigan on big families: “Well, why not?”

"What exactly am I missing out on?"

“Is comic Jim Gaffigan the Catholic Church’s newest evangelizer?” asks Michelle Boorstein at the WaPo “On Faith” blog. She continues:

Gaffigan seems to effortlessly embody the idea the Catholic Church and other denominations are desperately promoting: You can be a devout member of mainstream American life. You don’t have to leave God in order to live in the regular world. With many Americans bailing on organized religion, the long-popular Christian maxim to “be in the world but not of it” is being argued a bit less strenuously.

Gaffigan literally symbolizes life at the intersection of tradition and hipsterdom. The guy lives with his wife and five children in the Bowery section of Manhattan (doesn’t get a lot hipper than that), from where they walk with their awesome double stroller to church every Sunday.

Those five kids—frequently referenced in Gaffigan’s stand-up routines and the inspiration for his new book Dad is Fat—are Exhibit A for Boorstein’s thesis about Gaffigan as herald of the New Evangelization. She allows that she may be “going overboard” in her characterization of the comic, but offers this quote from his book, on why he and his wife have so many kids:

Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seemed uninspiring and superficial. What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair? These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life … each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart.

Here’s a hilarious clip of Gaffigan talking about his kids (and homebirth!), back when he only had four:


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About Catherine Harmon 577 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.