[For The Jim Gaffigan Show‘s “In the Name of the Father” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
In the Name of the Father. Jim and Jeannie agree to dine with Daniel and his father in order to act as buffers.
Jeannie’s best friend, Daniel enters Jim and Jeannie’s apartment with a still warm cronut for Jim. It may just be a plea to get Jim to go to dinner with Daniel’s Dad – where he’d make an awesome buffer. So, Gaffigan resists the temptation of the cronut – a mighty feat – and is even about to walk out in a self righteous huff …how-could-you-etc. But then Daniel mentions that the Dad dinner is at Smith and Wollensky’s and next thing you know Jim’s negotiating how many sides he can order at the meal. As many as he wants….
Gaffigan then meets his BFF, Dave at Katz’s, to discuss their next show. It’s set to happen right after the dinner with Daniel’s father. Dave’s nervous because his hyper critical mother will be there, a real treat for Jim who enjoys a healthy dose of schadenfreude now and then – being human and all. Meanwhile Jeannie expresses her concern that Daniel’s Dad always gets everyone tanked on scotch at these dinners and Jim can’t succumb this time with the standup show falling right afterward, “Just one beer,” Gaffigan promises.
Then it’s dinner and everything goes just as expected. Jim plays pleasant buffer and laughs uproariously with Daniel’s Dad while swiftly downing three scotches. After dinner Gaffigan orders four pieces of cake before asking the others, “And do any of you guys want dessert?” So, Jeannie’s already got her horrified wife pants on at the point when Daniel’s Father calls her Jim’s “designated downer.” She does what people do when they can’t beat ‘em and starts sucking down scotches.
By the time they get to Jim’s standup show with Dave everybody’s plastered and Jim, who was just introduced as “The King of Clean Comedy” takes a hard right into F bomb town even though Dave specifically asked him to stick to safe material with the boatload of little old ladies watching. But then it turns out Dave’s never-satisfied-mother and her friends thinks Dave did the best out of all the comics and that completely makes his day. Jim and Jeannie are too drunk to care. Daniel’s still safely in the buffer zone with Dad. Everybody’s a winner after dinner.
They go drinking and dancing at Sardis, where Dave picks up a Hot Old Lady, then ride a ferry past the Statue of Liberty. Everybody’s still having a smashing-smashed good time, Jeannie most of all even though she’s barfing over the side of the boat. “She’s been pregnant five times; throwing up is her second language,” Jim explains.
In the end things get slightly more serious when Daniel’s Father appears to have an actual heart attack after pretending a multitude of times for the sake of laughs. There’s Father/Son bonding at the hospital when Daniel’s Dad suggests maybe they’d connect more if there weren’t always so many people around every time he comes to town. Oh, SNAP, Daniel’s Father! You noticed.
Jim and Jeannie wake up the next morning still wearing night-before-clothes and on top of the covers. Their kids stand at the door shouting to wake them, “Who’s the strange man in the tub?” they wanna know. Turns out, it’s Dave curled up and still wearing a Statue of Liberty foam visor. He asks if anyone remembers his Hot Old Lady’s number. “I think she was seventy,” Jeannie says. It’s a perfect ending to this episode which is the first to focus more on peripheral characters than Jim and Jeannie. Yes, they’ve got the too-much-scotch story and are present at all the evening’s events but essentially this episode proves that The Jim Gaffigan show doesn’t just serve as spotlight on one man’s life. It’s a true NYC story where many characters matter and that keeps things interesting. In other words, this show’s got legs, baby!