Published Apr 28, 2017Jim Gaffigan has slowly yet firmly wedged himself amongst comedy's top tier over the past 15 years, thanks to his unique, soft-spoken delivery and uncanny Middle America relatability. That's why at the beginning of Cinco, his latest hour-long special, when he sarcastically demands the audience to "lower their expectations" you can't help but immediately raise your own.
Gaffigan opens Cinco with a layup line of fat jokes that are as predictable as they are funny. He touches on the distressed state of his belt, his increasingly tight pants and his tendency to subconsciously cover his gut with his arm. They warrant a few hearty chuckles, but won't necessarily have you laughing up your last serving of hot pockets (a joke he has finally put to bed).
His self-deprecating banter wears a tad thin on Cinco, especially since at this point it's essentially low-hanging fruit. He even admits to his constant on-slaughter of junk food jokes by claiming fans will bring him donuts when he's performing in their city. That's why he shines brightest when he isn't making fun of his own weight, eating habits and parental negligence.
His astute observation on how people only purchase pickup trucks just so they can be associated with physical labour is next to brilliant and easily the strongest bit in the entire 73 minutes. As he explains it, driving a pickup is "like walking around with a big empty suitcase." In fact, the best parts of the special come at the expense of anything non-food related; a positive sign of variety for the now seasoned comedian.
Cinco isn't necessarily his defining special nor is it a career ender. It's a solid mix of everything we already love about Gaffigan with some new observations sprinkled in that go off with minimal turbulence.
Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.