[For The Jim Gaffigan Show‘s “The Bible” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
The Bible. After picking up a large Bible for Jeannie on the way to a show, the paparazzi photographs Jim.
On the way out the door to the comedy club, Jeannie asks Jim to swing by the church and pick up a gift from Father Nicholas. It’s a Bible the Pope blessed, a gargantuan book – biblical proportions, really – with shiny gold page tips. Jim has it on his lap sitting at the bar in the next scene at the club while he guffaws at Chris Rock’s naughty jokes. Then leaving the club a fan asks for a picture with Jim while he still holds the ginormous Bible under his arm. This picture ends up on the front page of HuffPo the next morning with a story about how Jim Gaffigan refuses to be “ashamed of his Catholicism.” His phone rings right after this revelation and let it be known that thus the Gaffigans are now invited to the White House’s annual prayer breakfast.
After his next show the following day, Jim’s approached by a pizza corporation looking for a spokesperson that “represents their values.” It’s a dream come true, a million bucks and all he has to do is represent values like church and family… ahem, and hating gays. Yikes. That last part sends Jim away – none the richer. But on the bright side, suddenly Jim has become THE celebrity Catholic overnight; Joel Osteen wants to take him to dinner, Richard Hawkins wants to debate him, and he even gets to make an appearance on The Daily Show. Unfortunately, Jim decides to try to “set this whole bible story straight” in the John Stewart interview. He calls his wife a Shiite Catholic, mentions that he’d asked for a garbage bag to hide the bible, and thus loses the love of all those pious red-blooded ‘Mericans in a mere two minutes of allegedly explaining himself. The Gaffigans are then uninvited to the White House, he loses a commercial he’d just booked, and uh oh, the phone’s ringing again…
The media goes tasmanian devil on Jim and he’s retreats to bed and wallows slugstyle in his own rapid deterioration of channel flipping. Even Telemundo channel is gossiping about him. His BFF, Dave gets on Rachel Maddow and deflects questions but does use the opportunity to promote his next couple shows. There’s even a rumor growing that Jim’s having an affair with his nemesis, Daniel the real estate broker and Jeannie’s best friend. “The real victim here is Jeannie,” Nancy Grace explains for us all with her usual black and white lack-of-logic. Just as his shame spiral is about to annihilate Jim’s will to live, he enters the denial stage of the grief process and decides to pretend none of this is happening – shake it off, baby. Dust off a donut and go. Jim puts on his trusty comedy cardigan and heads out to do a set at Gotham Comedy club. It actually seems like this could be working for awhile until… the crowd at Gotham turns on him. Then he’s running from the club and into the streets filled with angry mobs holding up various hateful anti-Jim signs, pitchforks, and torches. It’s a witch hunt and Jim’s the one in the pointy hat this time. The clutches of ferocious NYC groupthink villagers descend upon Jim as he backs into an alley corner, certain death and Jim-on-a-stick seems inevitably next.
But then the story shifts, the screen fuzzes a bit, and we find out the episode was all just the fantastical imaginations Jim concocted in the process of answering Jeannie’s request to pick up the Bible in the very first scene. It was all a dream – a mere vision of what could-have-been. So, Gaffigan just tells her he hasn’t got time to pick up the Bible and then leaves the apartment, whistling down the sidewalk to the club, free and unfettered. Ironically, it was the Bible that’s got him feeling grateful and happy. If it wasn’t for the good book, after all, Jim wouldn’t be so happy about not picking it up and thus avoiding the whole spectre of his own personal inferno.
Funny thing about this episode is the perfectly Trumpean timing to it. The story of a celebrity embroiled in controversy about making thoughtless remarks and thus throwing a media sh!*storm into the fan of public opinion. But here on The Jim Gaffigan Show we see the other side of such consequences – here in this TvLand it happens to a man who doesn’t get off on that kind of attention. Truth is that if all the events of this episode really transpired for Gaffigan he would sell so many books, iTunes bits, and merchandise that Jim could become whatever eccentric millionaire dude he liked. In fact, just taking that pizza sponsor deal was the beginning of just such a possible outcome for him. But Jim Gaffigan is a real person just like us, not some cartoon character crazy billionaire who lives for limelight; then will say anything to stay spotlit… and that’s exactly what we love about him.