You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

kate tuttle

Reading tours: Jim Gaffigan

Jim Galligan.

david wilson for the boston globe

Jim Galligan.

A stand-up comedian perhaps best known for his intimate understanding of gluttony and sloth, first-time author Jim Gaffigan takes on fatherhood in “Dad Is Fat,” from which he’ll be reading BEFORE A SELL-OUT CROWD Thursday EVENING at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline.

The book’s title comes courtesy of Gaffigan’s oldest son — it was the boy’s first full sentence — and pretty much captures the author’s disarming self-deprecation and blunt self-assessment. Asked whether he sees himself in the tradition of comically bumbling fathers, Gaffigan admits that he is “pretty befuddled” — it’s not entirely an act. But underneath it all, this dad, who describes himself as the family’s second-banana “Vice President,” is a very involved father to his five children. That’s right. Five. All under AGE 8. And all living with Gaffigan and his wife in a two-bedroom New York apartment.

Continue reading below

“It’s strange,” Gaffigan told me. “I never thought I’d be a comedian that talked so much about food, and I never thought I’d be married.” The youngest of six children, Gaffigan says he was “very comfortable with the idea of being the weird uncle that went out and did stand-up every night.” Then he met his FUTURE wife, Jeannie, got married, and before he knew it the former loner became “a loner with a chronic and acute case of children.”

Reading his book, it’s clear that while Gaffigan adores his kids, a state of shock still lingers — or maybe that’s just sleep deprivation. Expectations for fathers have changed since Gaffigan was a kid. “Previous generations, dads didn’t have to do anything, and they didn’t feel guilty about it at all,” he says. “I’m happy to say I’m an involved dad, and I still feel guilty.”

It took Gaffigan a while to feel comfortable mining his family status for humor — he says he didn’t want to be known as “the dad comic” — but his words come as welcome commiseration for any reader stumbling through his or her own baby fog.

Kate Tuttle, a writer and editor, can be reached at kate.tuttle@gmail.com.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.