Popular stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Jim Gaffigan shares his hilarious observations on fatherhood
The joys and horrors of raising five young children—and how to cope when you’re outnumbered in your own home.
- Imprint: Crown Archetype
- On sale: May 7, 2013
- Price: $25.00
- Pages: 288
- ISBN: 9780385349055
“Ten years ago, I could barely get a date, and now my apartment is literally crawling with babies. It’s like I left some peanut butter out overnight.”
—Jim Gaffigan, on being a father of five
Jim Gaffigan never imagined that he would have kids. And he definitely never expected to end up married with five young children, living in a small two-bedroom apartment in New York City. But lucky for his fans, Jim’s chaotic life makes for great comedic material. His sharp, wildly funny observations on fatherhood and family life are a hit in his stand-up and have won him over 1.6 million Twitter followers. In DAD IS FAT (Crown Archetype; On Sale May 7, 2013; $25.00), the unlikely father of five shares hilarious stories and revelations from the front lines of parenting, proving why he is one of the top names in comedy today. Jim’s musings on parenthood include:
Going from loner to family man: As a touring comedian, Jim was used to late nights and life on the road, and content to be “that weird uncle who lives in an apartment by himself in New York that everyone speculates about.” But all that changed when he met his wife, Jeannie, and found out she is “someone who gets pregnant looking at babies.” Now, with five kids ages eight and under, he talks about joining the cult of parenting and being “a loner with a chronic and acute case of children.”
Food: Jim is well-known for his riffs on food—you may know him as “the Hot Pocket guy”; his kids know him as the guy who will finish their French fries. As a parent, he concedes the evil genius of McDonald’s, studies the eating habits of toddlers (“there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”), and examines the positive correlation between children looking at animals in captivity and wanting ice cream.
Becoming vice president: Jim doesn’t take credit for bringing his five children into this world, but he would like you to know that he put on more pounds than Jeannie during each of her pregnancies. Not that anyone wanted to rub his belly. How sexist! He confesses to feeling useless during the delivery (“Now where would you like me to stand terrified? That will be my contribution”), and explains why fatherhood is like the vice presidency. You’ll always be second best to President Mom, and in your children’s eyes, “you mostly fulfill a ceremonial role of attending pageants and ordering pizza.”
Big families: Jim grew up in a large Irish-Catholic family, the youngest of six—but he always figured that was just so his dad could have a sufficient lawn crew. These days, big families are rarer than water-bed stores and just as weird. Jim shares on what it’s like to juggle five children (“Imagine you are drowning . . . and then someone hands you a baby”) and reveals a secret bonus to having so many little ones. The TMK (Too Many Kids) factor has the power to get you out of social events and will excuse you from ever having to write another thank-you note.
The Narcissist’s Guide to Babies and Toddlers: Before Jim’s first child was born, he worried that he wouldn’t be a good parent. He’d spent years looking out for only himself, and plus, he always found those Anne Geddes baby-flower photos kind of annoying. He riffs on why babies make for very selfish (but cute) roommates, and explains how becoming a parent taught him to be a little less narcissistic—you try arguing with a three-year-old about who gets the last cookie.
Children have terrible taste: Much of what kids find enjoyable is baffling to Jim, from parades to carousels to songs about other people’s misery (“Old McDonald” is clearly about some poor farmer who suffered a foreclosure). He has to hide in shame when his kids cheer for Yogi Bear (“Shhhh. Save that enthusiasm for a Pixar movie”), and don’t even get him started on their taste in food. What’s not to like about mashed potatoes? Jim also critiques the skinhead look that so many newborns favor, and reveals the perils of taking fashion cues from babies: “I tried to do the ‘onesie’ thing last summer, and I’m not sure but I think people were laughing at me.”
Plus: A taxonomy of babysitter types, from the Warm Body to the Mary Poppins; a critical analysis of children’s literature (“Is it possible to read a Dr. Seuss book and not sound a little drunk?”); tricks for surviving everything from late night diaper changes (“like The Hurt Locker only much more dangerous”) to bedtime (aka “Negotiating with Terrorists”).
DAD IS FAT is a charming and irresistibly candid take on the ups and downs of parenting, from one of the most popular comedians performing today.
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JIM GAFFIGAN is a comedian, actor, writer, and former grocery-store stock boy from Indiana. Mr. Gaffigan lived by himself for more than thirteen years. He presently lives in a small two-bedroom apartment in New York City with his more talented, much better-looking, and very fertile wife, Jeannie, and their five young children.