Jim Gaffigan: ‘The Show Fulfills A Creative Need’

Comedian Jim Gaffigan stopped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday mere hours before his new series, “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” premiers July 15 on TV Land at 10 p.m. ET.

But first, a little sports talk.

Gaffigan, who was born in Elgin, Illinois, and grew up in La Porte, Indiana, is a big Jets and Giants fan.

Really, Jim? What about the Colts? How do you abandon your home-state team like that?

“Well first of all, I definitely love the Colts,” Gaffigan clarified on Tiki and Tierney. “But I’m an NFL fan. I love any good game. By the way, I’m not an expert on sports. I always get nervous when I call into a sports radio show. . . . (But) the Colts weren’t even there when I was growing up. But I feel like the Colts’ organization is kind of classy. Even the way that the Peyton Manning departure was handled, it wasn’t as scandal-ridden as it could have been. It was an awkward situation, but it was handled with a certain level of dignity.”

Of course, Andrew Luck is a pretty nice consolation prize. . .

Anyway, back to the show – which, as you may have guessed from the title, is about Gaffigan’s life.

“It’s a single-camera comedy,” he explained. “It’s about my life being a comedian who’s kind of trying to juggle the life of being a comedian while being the father of five kids and being married to a crazy Catholic woman. We’re getting some pretty amazing reviews, which is great. But it’s the feedback of some of my friends and comedian peers that really kind of makes me excited.”

Gaffigan said he is not nervous about the premier.

“I mean, look, it’s on TV Land,” Gaffifan said, prompting laughter from Barber and Tierney. “It’s re-airing (Thursday) on Comedy Central, but I didn’t know where TV Land was on my cable system. But then again, I don’t really watch a certain network. I watch shows. I just want people to kind of check it out.”

Gaffigan wrote the 11-episode first season with his wife, Jeannie.

“We’re proud that it’s a show that we would want to watch,” he said.

Gaffifan, 49, then opened up about his early career, with a little help from Tierney, who didn’t always have a show on CBS Sports Radio. In fact, Tierney remembers the days of making $16,000 a year and getting $50 to cover a high school name. Over time, the money and access and fame get better, but even when you’re young and don’t have much money and don’t know where you’re going, life can still be pretty darn cool.

“Yeah, I would say it’s a really cool question, too,” Gaffigan said. “I’m an ambitious guy, but I also have learned (that) it’s not about success; it’s about creative fulfillment. So this TV show, which I’m very proud of – the reason I‘m proud of it is not because I’m going to win an Emmy or it’s going to turn into millions of dollars for me. It’s because it fulfills a creative need. (That) sounds very esoteric, but as a comedian, you go on stage and you get the immediate feedback, so it kind of spoils comedians. To get creative fulfillment from a project is really important.

“I grew up playing sports,” Gaffigan continued. “It’s very similar to winning. You can be the best player on a team, but if you’re not winning, it doesn’t really matter. It’s nice to be on an All-Star team, but you want your team to win. That’s a little bit like creative fulfillment.”

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