Columnist, radio producer, and film school graduate Vito Calise, is reviewing all the comedy specials he can see. You know him from SiriusXM’s Bennington Show, The Interrobang’s Big Brothers podcast, and as the star of the first ever Instagram young adult drama series, The Halls. Born and raised on New York City’s Upper West Side, Vito went to Chelsea’s School of Visual Arts, has danced on bars as a bartender around Manhattan, operated a mechanical bull and was even a doorman for a week. He loves comedy and he’s a straight shooter, sharing his thoughts on comedy specials with you. This week he takes on Jim Gaffigan’s sixth comedy special, Noble Ape. Released by Comedy Dynamics in a limited theater run on July 13th, the special will premiere on Amazon, Comcast, DIRECTV, AT&T, DISH, iTunes, Charter, Google Play and many other platforms as well.
Jim Gaffigan’s latest special Noble Ape is one of the better specials I’ve seen since starting my reviews. As most comedy fans know, Jim’s wife and comedy partner Jeannie had a tumor removed in 2017 and this is his first special since then and he gets right into going material about his experience.
This isn’t a surprise because the best comedians use their worst life experiences to create the best material, look at Pryor for example. Gaffigan does a great job using what he went through with his wife because none of the jokes are at her expense nor do they try to make you feel bad for him. Gaffigan is able to turn it into about 25 minutes of material that veer into great bits about doctor’s surgeons and going to the hospital. You forget that he was able to get here from talking about one of the worst moments of his life but it’s just so smooth and funny that you’re along for the ride.
Gaffigan put out a special a year ago named Cinco, I prefer this one but it’s an impressive feat to be able to do the yearly special thing that comedians love to do in this era and still put out great material. Gaffigan has a great way about getting the audience on his side. All of his jokes are super relatable but he sets them up like he’s the only person going through it. Instead of setting the joke up in that old school “don’t you hate when…” kind of way, he’s talking about his own stuff that he knows you’’’ understand.
One of my favorite bits in the special is when Gaffigan talks about a guy from his town with a peculiar name and business model. I had to pause the special to see if this person really existed or if it was a lie. If it was a lie it wouldn’t’ have made the joke any less funny, I just needed to know because it was so out there. When I found out it was a real name, the rest of the joke impressed me because when Gaffigan continued with another name I just had to believe him because of that first one. It was just really good joke writing and setup that people from the Indiana area will probably be really excited about. My second favorite moment of the special was probably when Jim does a spot on Andy Rooney impression that will delight anyone who has ever seen even a second of 60 Minutes.
Jim Gaffigan’s Noble Ape is a special you should not skip. When you’re looking for something funny to watch on a Sunday and figuring out if you’re going to watch a standup comedy special or something you’ve already seen on Netflix, just watch this. The guy only does one Trump joke, and it’s more about Jim himself than anyone else. No matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on it’s refreshing to not listen to all of that for an hour and just listen to comedy without any sort of agenda. It’s a really fun special that you’re not going to regret spending an hour of your life watching.