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Comedy's everyman Jim Gaffigan brings show to Riverwind Casino

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If you are what you eat, comedian Jim Gaffigan must be sneaking in something more substantial than Hot Pockets.

Gaffigan performs 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. July 8 at Riverwind Casino, 1544 State Highway 9, in Norman. He has risen to represent the comedy world’s middle-aged everyman, a loving father who often catches himself contemplating the virtues of cake or the thrill of finding the last french fry in the fast-food bag.

His relatable humor and clean, family-friendly act have made him into a marketable figure. When Chrysler needed a celebrity face to sell the point that its Pacifica minivan is as much for dads as it is for soccer moms, Gaffigan was an easy pick.

The Manhattan-based comedian was also a natural fit to play Colonel Sanders in Kentucky Fried Chicken’s oddly self-referencing campaign featuring a rotation of spokesmen. Gaffigan took over as the colonel in February, replacing Saturday Night Live alum Norm Macdonald, who replaced Darrell Hammond, another former SNL comedian, six months before.

KFC rotates Colonel Sanders pitchmen so often, even Gaffigan is not totally sure about his status with the company. In a June interview with Uproxx, he said the fried chicken chain will likely move on to a new actor soon.

“I think then they’re moving on to another person. I don’t know who that might be,” he said. “It was always presented to me as a temporary gig. And I thought that was appealing, and I’m a huge Darrell Hammond fan and a huge Norm Macdonald fan, so it was great to follow in the footsteps of those guys.”

Gaffigan does not have to worry about being replaced on The Jim Gaffigan Show, a fictionalized account of his own life. The sitcom is often compared to a tamer version of Louis C.K.’s Louie on FX. The Jim Gaffigan Show is in its second season on TV Land. His show has seen a mostly positive critical reception, though its ratings in its first season were not particularly strong.

Critics had especially high praise for “The Trial,” the second episode of the newest season, which aired June 19.

The episode revolves around the satirical aftermath of a mildly sexist Tweet by Gaffigan. He is put on trial and has to explain why his jokes should not be so heavily scrutinized.

The A.V. Club gave the episode an A- rating, saying “on paper,” the premise of the episode should not work. It praised “The Trial” as a tasteful commentary on political correctness in comedy, a topic some comedians approach maybe too dismissively.

“It’s cute and funny, and a little bit cheesy,” The A.V. Club wrote. “But that’s where Jim Gaffigan’s strength lies as a sitcom lead. He has the ability to take these subjects — the concept of the sitcom dad, faith — and reframes them in a way that doesn’t feel rehashed or even expected.”

Gaffigan’s Norman stop is part of his Fully Dressed tour. It coincidentally comes the day after his 50th birthday. It is assumed the comic will enjoy a slice of cake to celebrate his golden year. Gaffigan professed his love for the celabratory staple on his 2006 DVD Beyond the Pale.

“Pie can’t compete with cake,” he joked. “Put candles on a cake, it’s a birthday cake. Put candles on a pie and somebody’s drunk in the kitchen.”

Print headline: Cake king, Always funny (and hungry) Jim Gaffigan brings his Fully Dressed tour to Riverwind Casino.

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