In an age where the doughy white man demographic is gripping onto its waning dominance upon Western culture with ivory white knuckles, it should come as no surprise that comedians like Jim Gaffigan and Louis C.K. tend to walk a fine line. They look like they could be just ordinary, average guys, the kind that singer Joe Walsh caterwauled about in the early ’90s. So yeah, Jim Gaffigan is probably a guy who has to pick up his dog doo doo and hopes that it’s dry, but he’s also a pretty successful guy with his own television show.
As Vulture points out, referencing a recent piece in The New Yorker profiling Gaffigan and his wife, fans tend to see Gaffigan as an approachable, goofy everyman. That’s part of what makes The Jim Gaffigan Show connect with its audience moving into its second season, but Jim’s goofy, average guy thing doesn’t mean that he shares the views of every doughy white guy out there. There isn’t a doughy white guy solidarity, essentially, so fans approaching Jim with racist jokes seems to be an ongoing annoyance.
Jeannie said, “The look he has, the God-given look that he has—”
“People think I’m a Republican,” Jim said.
“—is conducive to people coming up and telling him a racist joke. Or, if a hipster like Sky wears a polo shirt, it’s ironic. But if Jim wears a polo shirt he just looks like an outgrown fat guy. A frat guy. He’s not gay, he’s not an atheist—there’s nothing that’s not vanilla about Jim,” she said.
It’s an interesting look at how they assemble the show and keep Jim’s image as normal as possible, but actual Jim is different than television show Jim, even if the lines are blurred at times. So Jim Gaffigan might look like you, face the same dilemmas as you, but that doesn’t mean that he will always be willing to field weird, racist jokes just because he’s a doughy white dude.