The following is a reprint of my November 2006 interview with Comedian/Actor Jim Gaffigan, who spoke with me for Savvy.com regarding his new television show at the time, “My Boys” on the TBS Network He would go on to appear in projects including “Flight of the Conchords,” “17 Again”, “The Daily Show,” “Portlandia,” “Chuck,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Chappaquiddick,” “Super Troopers 2,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and star in 23 episodes of his own 2015 TV series, “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” a comedy about a husband and wife trying to raise their five kids in a NYC two-bedroom apartment.
Jim Gaffigan – Just One of the Boys
Comedian/Actor Tells Savvy About His New Series on TBS, ‘My Boys’
You may recognize Jim Gaffigan from his roles in shows like “Ed,” “That ‘70s Show,” “The Ellen Show”, “Sex in the City,” and “Law & Order: SVU” among others, or maybe from his acting in such films as Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers and 13 Going on 30. As a stand-up comic, he’s had his own “Comedy Central Presents” special. And you never know when you’ll see one of his commercials for Sierra Mist on TV.
When I caught up with him, Gaffigan was preparing for the world to see him in the role of Andy Franklin, the brother of female sportswriter P.J. Franklin, lead character on the TBS show “My Boys“, which premiered Nov. 28, 2006.
On the show, P.J. (Jordana Spiro) is a sportswriter who doesn’t like playing the dating game. Instead, she loves hanging out with the guys. Her boys are her family, which sometimes hinders P.J.’s dating life, as the men she tries to date don’t know how to react to the all-important men in her life. Her brother Andy is a married “kept” man whose wife puts limits on how much time he can spent away from her.
Jim took a moment to tell Savvy about the show…
Savvy: On “My Boys“, you play the brother to a woman who loves beer, poker and hanging out with men platonically. Do you have any female friends who are actually like that in really life? Do you prefer women who do “guy stuff” or ladies who give the boys their space?
Jim Gaffigan: I am a huge fan of women in general.
Savvy: We are too. But are most women actually as cool as P.J.?
Jim Gaffigan: Well, in real life, my female friends are mostly not that into guy stuff.
Savvy: We tried to imagine the dramatic possibilities on this show. Following the typical formula, usually one or more of the male friends secretly wants to become her boyfriend. Is that true of this show? Any sexual tension between characters who will be kept apart by the writers until they finally hook up during Sweeps?
Jim Gaffigan:Well, considering I play the brother that would be a really well “weird” storyline. I’m the married brother, so I believe sexual tension is something that will rarely come my way on the show.
Savvy: Television is packed with wildly attractive people. Is Jordana the kind of actress who will have some guys tuning in just to drool while they laugh?
Jim Gaffigan: Hmm. I think there will definitely be guys who will be tuning into drool and some to laugh, but I think a lot will tune in because Jordana’s character is so likable and relatable.
Savvy: I like her already. You’ve been in a lot of great movies and TV shows, usually getting the funniest bits. What work are you most proud of? What character of yours is most famous or remembered?
Jim Gaffigan: I like a lot of the shows and movies I’ve worked on. “Ed” was one of my favorite experiences. That was a great cast, and I played such a fun character, Toby.
Savvy: Is that the character you are most remembered for?
Jim Gaffigan: If I had a nickle for every time someone “meowed” at me (from Super Troopers) I’d be a nicklaire.
Savvy: You’re a world famous comedian. Any plans to become one of those actors who does heavy drama or are you content getting the laughs for now?
Jim Gaffigan: I really do love acting. I’d be lying if said I don’t love doing drama as well as the comedic parts.
Savvy: How is standup comedy different from acting on a comedy show? Which is harder?
Jim Gaffigan: They are very different in so many ways. When I do stand up, I’m the writer, director and performer. Acting is so fun and collaborative. For stand up, you have to peak at night. Acting on a show, you have to get up at 6 a.m. Two different worlds, really. I’m starting a big Comedy Central Theater Tour in January, going to 30 cities. I’m sure by the end, I’ll really want to get back to acting. I also love writing and performing Pale Force episodes.
Savvy: You’ve done a lot of episodic TV before this. How did shooting “My Boys” compare to that?
Jim Gaffigan: “My Boys” was fun and collaborative. That is rare from my TV experience. If you have a good line, the writers seem open to it.
Savvy: Sounds like “My Boys” is a fun set to shoot on.
Jim Gaffigan: Very fun. The show is really about never-ending adolescence, so the whole cast kind of fits right in.
Savvy: The other guys in P.J.’s life include Kyle Howard (“Related,” “Orange County”), Reid Scott (“American Dreams”), Michael Bunin (“Scrubs”), and Jamie Kaler (“The Family Stone”). Kellee Stewart (“Guess Who?”) plays her only female friend. Bottom line… Our readers are mostly guys who think farts are still funny, so they should find the premise of your show hilarious. Give us a selling point for tuning in.
Jim Gaffigan: I would say just read the reviews. The reviews seem to be giving enough reasons to watch.
Savvy: You grew up in a very conservative family of Indiana bankers who thought you were nuts when you moved to New York to start your career with no contacts or connections in the entertainment industry. What’s been the sweetest vindication for having made that choice?
Jim Gaffigan: Well, going into acting or attempting to make strangers laugh is crazy really. I consider myself very lucky. I don’t take any of my success for granted. I’m thrilled and grateful for every acting job I get. After every theater show, I do a “meet and greet” where I thank anyone wants to say “hey” after the show.
Savvy: Your comedy routine includes a lot of observational humor. As someone who writes the same type humor in columns, I am interested in knowing where you get ideas for material?
Jim Gaffigan: Oh, if I could figure that out, I would have more than two CDs. I write a lot with my wife, who is also a comedy writer. As you know, writing original, creative observational material is not easy. I pride myself on always having new material though.
Savvy: Thanks for speaking with us and best of luck with the show.
“My Boys” enjoyed a 49-episode run over four seasons, ending Sept. 12, 2010. Gaffigan’s character moved to China for a job at the beginning of the final season. The show was one of the major anchors of TBS original program during the 2000s, airing alongside “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” “Lopez Tonight,” and “The Bill Engvall Show.”