Don’t let the opening moments of Jim Gaffigan’s fifth stand-up comedy special — playing out like a modern horror movie — fool you. The stand-up comic, whose previous works (King Baby, Mr. Universe and Obsessed to name a few) helped launch him into the stand-up stratosphere, brings nothing but laughs in his most recent Netflix offering, Cinco.
Kicking things off with some good old-fashioned self-deprecating humor, Gaffigan sets the tone of his latest special, poking fun at his increasing weight with the help of his iconic high-pitch-voiced, soft-spoken alter-ego. “Let’s see how fat this bastard got,” says his feminine second self. “The answer is ‘fatter,’” he retorts bluntly. Gaffigan spends the remainder of his 73-minute special pulling comedy from a host of topics including the weather, transportation, travel, religion, family and, of course, food.
If anyone knows how to make food funny, it’s Jim Gaffigan. After all, he explains early on in Cinco that his 2017 New Year’s resolution was to eat pasta every single day (and he’s kept good on it). He has an affinity for donuts, which he later details in a humorous airport bit, and always chooses steak over fish, declaring the latter as “disgusting.” “’Fishy’ is an indication something’s wrong,” pleads his alter ego.
While food is front and center throughout, Gaffigan proves, yet again, his ability to pull laughs from just about any topic. One of Cinco’s funniest moments comes from an examination of the changing seasons, from the harshness of winter to the highly-anticipated, but far too brief, beauty of spring. “That’s a fun day,” he says of the latter, accusing the season of being dishonest. The bit peaks during his analysis of the changing colors and descending foliage of fall, painting a hilarious picture from the POV of a dying leaf. “Ahhhh, get me chlorophyll,” he shouts! “Why are these people driving by and smiling at me? You monsters!”
Other standout moments from Cinco come in the form of material inspired from Gaffigan’s own family. His three-year-old son, with his constant unpleasant facial expressions, and his escape artist five-year-old, whom he calls the El Chapo of children, make for good fodder, as does his brother Mike, who in part prompted his recent realization that most pickup truck owners aren’t actually picking anything up. Gaffigan’s better half, Jeannie, who directed, exec-produced and co-wrote Cinco, is also thrown into the mix… although, lucky for her, mostly only to better setup a handful of priceless punchlines aimed back at the comedian himself.
Gaffigan makes great use of his latest hour-long. Whether lamenting the death of the landline phone or championing Jesus’ impressive bread-making skills, viewers will be hard-pressed to find a dull moment. Staying true to form, the comedian continues to delight with his observational style and endless arsenal of jokes that are fresh and always funny. He is one of the kings of clean comedy and, with zero reliance on sex or vulgarity, certainly defends his crown with Cinco.
Jim Gaffigan: Cinco, produced by Comedy Dynamics, is streaming now on Netflix.