Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hot Pockets!

My friend Bruce e-mailed me yesterday, asking me if I've heard of Jim Gaffigan. I most certainly have; he's probably even surpassed Brian Regan as my current favorite stand-up comedian.

I must've had Gaffigan on my mind, because I went to the Natural History Museum today and saw some things that reminded me of him.

"It just so happens, you live in the ocean because you ain't got no job."

Manatees aside, I think the Aquatic Life exhibit was my favorite part of the museum. After wandering around its four floors for over three hours without a single Ben Stiller sighting, I wandered south along Central Park towards the subway. I passed a Universalist Church which was very pretty, but I couldn't get a good picture of the whole building from the angle I was at. I could, however, see the most important part clearly.

Take that, Jews! Now that's a church service I could really sink my teeth into.

If you've seen Jim Gaffigan's TV specials or listened to his albums, you've probably heard a few of his bacon jokes, but it's nothing compared to what you get when you see him live. I went with Tiffany all the way up to Layton to see his show last summer (much better driving conditions than when Megan and I saw Brian Regan at Kingsbury Hall in January '07), and the first ten minutes--maybe even more--were jokes about bacon. It was deliciously funny.

(Almost as funny: for the first half of the show, Tiffany thought his name was Gordon Lightfoot, because he was performing the next month at the same venue and she saw his name on the marquee. Maybe the Edmund Fitzgerald wrecked because it was overloaded with pork products?)

In other stand-up news, I saw a woman on the subway who I'm pretty sure was Laurie Kilmartin, but she's not nearly as funny as the homeless subway comedian I gave a dollar to on Saturday ("We need to get this train going and get you folks off, because this is my house and I've got to get some sleep...all you people pay thousands of dollars in rent, and your houses don't go nowhere. I pay $2 a day and my house takes me all over the city..."). He had like a ten-minute routine, and it was fantastic. At first, people were covering their faces with their hats or otherwise trying to hold the laughs in, as if they would be obligated to give him money if they were caught enjoying themselves, but by the end everyone was laughing and having a good time. I wonder if he's on iTunes?

If you're looking for comedians to check out, I'm also a big fan of Demetri Martin and the late Mitch Hedberg, and like some of Ron White's stuff. But if you want clean comedy that's largely food-based, it doesn't get better than Gaffigan and Regan.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, it's less than two months until my Apollo performance, and my routine isn't ready. I should get to work on that.


Anonymous said...

"Drinking alcohol, coffee, tea as a spiritual practice"
Take that, Mormon.
Oh, I know, you were only making a joke.
But I have two serious questions for you:

1. How is it you can't have coffee, tea or Mountain Dew because of the caffeine, but it doesn't count in chocolate?

What year did the church change the rules to allow black men to be elders?

jeff said...

My comment about Jews was thoughtless; I apologize if you (or anyone else) found it offensive.

To answer your questions, briefly:

The Word of Wisdom Mormons follow only specifically prohibits alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea and illegal drugs. We are also taught to avoid habit-forming substances, which for many people would include Mountain Dew, chocolate or other caffeinated products.

The revelation allowing all worthy men (including black men) to receive the Priesthood was received in 1978.

Mormon.org is a great resource if you have other questions about what we believe, or I can try to answer them through e-mail (I don't know everything--and I'm not an official church spokesman--but I know a lot).

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jeff. I appreciate both your apology and your answers to my questions. I have two more:

1. Who received the revelation in 1978?

2. Where are you from in Canada?

jeff said...

Ummm...I'm from Utah...Canadians are another group I could see myself taking unwarranted shots at in my blog (calling Canada "America Junior," for example). What have I done/written to give the impression I'm from Canada?

The revelation was received by Spencer W. Kimball, who was the Prophet and President of the Church at the time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding.
Well, I've just looked for the place where I got confused about your being from Canada and can't find it now. I think it was in a link about improvising and I must have assumed you were referring to yourself when you were actually referring to someone else.

Tamara said...

I have heard that stand up guy on the train, but that was over two years ago...it must be working for him. I remember laughing pretty hard and actually paying the guy some money.

Kristina said...

Jeff, you must've been making some joke about Wayne.
Oh, dear Wayne, LOL's token Canadian.

Actually, doesn't the Word of Wisdom specifically refer to "hot drinks" and "stimulants"? Or was that my imagination once?

And Jim Gaffigan is the man.
"But you're not supposed to eat right before bed. And you're not supposed to drink alcohol in the morning. And apparently you're never supposed to smoke crack.
What if after every day after work I like to have my hamburger and crack pipe to unwind? Does that make me a crackhead?
'He's addicted to crack--that must be why he's so pale! He's the fattest crack head I've ever seen!'"

jeff said...

The original Word of Wisdom revelation (Doctrine & Covenants 89) only specifically mentions tobacco, and also prohibits "strong drinks" and "hot drinks".

Over the years it has been updated and clarified (for example, it was about 100 years after the original revelation that obeying the W of W became a requirement for getting a temple recommend), also by revelation; when I was a full-time missionary, the questions in the baptismal interview specified the five things mentioned in my earlier comment. Beyond that, I don't know of any specifics that have been given regarding the Word of Wisdom (though there may be some)--but its name implies that we should exercise wisdom when it comes to putting things into your body. Caffeine is definitely NOT good for you, but at least for now, you don't need to go talk to your bishop if you drink Coke.

Thoroughly Modern Millie said...

Good old Gordon, he sure did have some good bacon jokes.

Yancy said...

love all of those comedians you mentioned in this post.
"Hot Pocket."

Very much enjoy your explanation of the Word of Wisdom as well.

jeff said...

Yay! Yancy's reading my blog. I think I'll celebrate with a BLT.

Megan said...

Woo hoo, I got a mention! Okay, I'll officially link to your blog now. Be excited. Oh, yeah, and driving through blizzards of doom makes the whole re-telling of the Brian Regan story that much better.