“It’s like, you know, is it St. Augustine who said ‘the best way to convince someone is by an example rather than telling them’?” muses Jim Gaffigan as he sits in his home office in Manhattan. His wife and writing and producing partner Jeannie has just stepped out to welcome their five young children home from school, and Gaffigan is trying to describe the couple’s “non-preachy” approach to their Catholic faith. After briefly pausing to consider that he might be out on a bit of a theological limb with the Augustine reference, he tries to backtrack for a moment before finally giving up and admitting with a self-deprecating laugh, “He didn’t say that!”
Granted, the doctors of the church may not be his stock-in-trade; but make no mistake, Jim Gaffigan has turned thinking out loud into a very successful career. On topics ranging from God, marriage and fatherhood to bacon, Hot Pockets and overeating, the 51-year-old’s eccentric brand of observational humor has made him one of the most popular stand-up comedians working today… [MORE]
Bill McGarvey of McG Media is a culture columnist for America magazine. Check out his previous columns via the links below:
Startling Strangeness and The Shape of Water
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Jann Wenner made Rolling Stone in his image. Now he doesn’t like what he sees
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An Epiphany with Sir Paul: Music as Communion In the era of Trump
Stay Positive–Craig Finn, Punk Rock and the Longing for Something Bigger (w/video)
Are We Living in an Al Franken Moment?
Are there lessons to be learned from Bernie Madoff in the Trump era?
What can WWII propaganda films teach us in the era of fake news?
What can one black man’s outreach to the Ku Klux Klan teach us about healing? “How can you hate me when you don’t know me?”
5 tips for students engaging in politics on campus: Anxiety is the new reality for undocumented students across the US
In Defense of Institutions: has President Trump awakened a giant?
Moonlight and Manhood: A meditation on manhood, suffering and the boundless ache for human connection
You Don’t Do God Alone: America’s greatest contribution to religious thought, the 12 steps of AA
Help Your Brothers: In Defense of Suffering
A Rite of Service: Why have we become abstractions to one another as citizens
Misinformation Age: Changing the narrative regarding Islam in the United States and Europe
College Orientation: An overview of both the ever-evolving issues and the evergreen ones
Traces of The Transcendent: The hurdle to belief has more to do with imagination than information
Credo…: I Don’t Believe in That God Either
Sinatra’s Century: The legacy of a tough guy with a heartbreaking voice
Deep, Dark Truthful Memoir: Elvis Costello’s new memoir Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink
Data-Determinism: In the age of Big Data, metrics and efficiency are the lifeblood of our technocracy
Our Moment of Zen: Saying Goodbye to Jon Stewart
Gazillions of Mockingbird Fans Might Be Wrong!
No, No, No…The Short Life and Tragic Death of Amy Winehouse
‘God Only Knows’: Brian Wilson’s teenage symphony to God
Black is…Huh?: I get the feeling that Dolezal aches to be the poster child for a conversation on race
Four Questions Before College: The last year of high school has become a battleground…
Full Immersion Therapy: It’s spring break time; do you know where your college age children are?
A Requiem for Truthiness: Stephen Colbert we hardly knew ye…
I Watched ‘The Interview’: So that you won’t have to…
The Moviegoers: Calvary is the film Camus might have made if he were Irish Catholic and still held onto some vestige of belief.
An Age of Consent: How have you reconciled a one-dimensional rule with your three-dimensional life?
A Fellowship Grows in Brooklyn: a Rabbi, a Jewish Painter and a Catholic Musician Walk into a Coffee Shop…
A Revolution Recalled: When The Beatles Came to Town
Phone calls, Postcards & Pete Seeger, or: How I once wrote a song with an American icon without him really knowing it
Post-Clerical Catholics: Who are these people giving clericals too much power?
Ray Davies…Rock’s Binx Bolling: The Kinks frontman in New Orleans
Signal/Noise: The Tower of Babel in the digital age
‘Who Am I to Judge?’: Alongside America’s historic interview with Pope Francis!
The Sexual Devolution: An epidemic of bad sex flourishing across the board among young adults…
Post-Christian Rock: On Mumford & Sons and God-haunted music NOT Christian rock…
Boom and Bust: Dear Baby Boomers, On behalf of Generation X, I want to formally say thank you…