is a stand-up comic known, to the extent that he is known, as a talent defined and enabled by self-imposed constraints: a gentle approach and language that barely strays into PG-rated territory. He might be most recognizable as the man in the unnecessarily funny Sierra Mist commercials — y'know, the big, pale guy with the comb-over beard; the vocal skeptic of the Holiday Hawk, upon whose head the Holiday Hawk ultimately alights, singing "Jingle Bells" with tremendous gusto."That's kind of the great irony," he says, asked about the balance of his creative career and the exigencies of earning a paycheck. "We've all looked at people that are much more successful than I ever will be, and you see them in commercials and think, Do they need the check? The spots have been really creatively fulfilling. They don't have a lot of copy points to get across, so there's a lot of freedom. And I get to work with people like [fellow comics] Michael Ian Black and Tracy Morgan."Gaffigan's act, rooted in soft-spoken observation and wired to a keen antenna for absurdity, is punctuated by the meta-commentary of a supposed audience member who doesn't quite understand what's going on. "It's also a bit of my inner critic," Gaffigan says. "And it's also an outlandish point of view — the majority of the audience would never subscribe to that point of view. It's been an effective tool to disarm people, and one that's different from mine. I can take the contrarian view with the inside voice, and that allows me more opportunities."Gaffigan's "The Sexy Tour" comes to the newly restored Midland Theater (1228 Main, 816-283-9921) tonight for his all-ages 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. shows. Tickets cost $42.75 and are available through Ticketmaster. See midlandkc.com
for more details.
Fri., Sept. 26, 8 & 10:30 p.m., 2008