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Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed (2014)
Comedy Central/Paramount Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 4/29/2014
All Ratings out of
Extras: No Extras
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 5/7/2014
Many artists will tell you that they hate the notion of being typecast or pigeonholed. They want to feel free to explore many different forms of art and personalities. But, showbusiness is a very tough world and since so many fail to achieve their dreams, finding success doing something is a thing to be cherished. That is why some performers find the thing at which they excel or the thing for which they became famous. Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan has been telling jokes professionally for over twenty years. During that time, he stumbled onto the fact that people liked his jokes about food, as eating is a global constant. From there, Gaffigan has built a career telling jokes about various forms of sustenance. While this sounds ludicrous, it's true, and his latest offering, Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed, shows that he has no intention of stopping.
This new show was recorded in Boston, and it feels like Gaffigan picks up right where he left off with 2012'sMr. Universe. And, as one would expect, he immediately launches into his act and begins to talk about food, and he adds a new twist of discussing food in art. He then changes things up by talking about how silly weddings are and some of the rules of marriage. But, he then goes back to food, by brining up trendy health foods. Personal grooming habits and how this relates to cats is up next, followed by a rousing examination of how men behave in Victoria's Secret. Gaffigan brings things back to Boston by disclosing his distaste for seafood, when leads him to Chinese food. He rounds things out by talking about the behavior of drunk people, which of course leads him to restrooms and finally children.
It would appear that the days of stand-up comedians acting like and being treated like rock stars are behind us, but a few still command a loyal following and Jim Gaffigan is one of them and it's easy to see why. His material typically stays within subjects to which everyone can relate. Again, he's made his mark with his food material, but his observations of relationships and odd things in everyday life also ring true with his fans. Gaffigan has also created a niche by being a "clean" comedian. While he's never been particularly dirty, he has basically removed all profanity and crude sexual references form his act. He's also maintained his laid-back, everyman persona, and he's never afraid to take shots at himself.
All of this may sound quite dull to some, but the truth is that Gaffigan is very clever and many of his jokes carry a needed amount of cynical truth with them. While he's never rude or edgy, he doesn't pull any punches with his views on the world. For example, his jokes here about how gross oysters look may seem like a no-brainer, but to hear someone say it out loud with a nice dose of judgment in their voice makes for one of the funniest parts of the show. And while Gaffigan does tell some stories in his act, the bulk of it is simply one observation about life after another, with many of his comments attacking everyday items and activities in ways which most audience members have never fathomed.
The most surprising thing about Jim Gaffigan is how consistent he is. If you've seen him before and you've noted that I've mentioned food jokes, then you may have assumed that you've seen all of this before. But, Obsessed contains all-new material. Sure, it's the same themes that he's addressed in the past, but he's offering new thoughts on life in this show. Obsessed originally aired on Comedy Central, but the version featured on this Blu-ray Disc runs about 20 minutes longer and features some material which is definitely worth hearing, especially the Chinese food jokes. Fans of Jim Gaffigan will find this to be more quality material from this funny man. Those who aren't familiar with Gaffigan, but would like to see a comedian who can be viewed by most everyone in the family from teens on up will appreciate his take on the world.
Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed couldn't be bothered to shave on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Comedy Central and Paramount Home Entertainment. The show has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 18 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source material. The picture is stable and the level of detail is good. The colors look fine and the image is never overly light or dark. The Disc carries a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.5 Mbps. This is exactly the kind of track which one would want for a special like this. Gaffigan's voice emits from the center and front channels, offering some mild stereo effects, while the laughter and applause from the crowd comes from the rear, placing us in the middle of the act.
There are no extra features on the Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed Blu-ray Disc.
Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long