Jim Gaffigan’s Pre-Fame 1990s Commercials

Jim Gaffigan’s Pre-Fame 1990s Commercials

We all love Jim Gaffigan for his stand-up routines about food products that will probably give you diarrhea. But Gaffigan is clearly a man of many talents, as evidenced by the fact that he’s currently earning critical acclaim for his lead performance in the new movie Linoleum, about a children’s science show host who attempts to build a rocket ship in his garage. Presumably because the original title, Bill Nye Has a Complete Mental Breakdown, didn’t test well.

But like Don Draper and Domino’s Noid, Gaffigan got his start in the world of advertising. Back in the early to mid-1990s, Gaffigan was working as a copywriter at the New York ad agency Ogilvy & Mather (if you don’t believe us, just check his LinkedIn page), and only stumbled into the comedy world as a way to ease his anxiety. Reportedly, Gaffigan suffered from an “acute” fear of public speaking, so a co-worker recommended taking an improv class that happened to involve performing a stand-up set for the final class. 

But even after he’d been bitten by the comedy bug, Gaffigan was still very much a part of the ad business, starring in a number of amusing commercials for now wildly dated products such as Moviefone and the Kodak Advantix. 

He also appeared in ads for companies like ESPN and Megabucks — and, oddly, he was a part of the so-called Blockbuster Video “Entertainment Team” along with future Son of the Mask star/bitter documentarian Jamie Kennedy.

This gig found Gaffigan chilling in the Scottish Highlands with Braveheart and hopping train cars to promote the home video release of Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.

And the less said about this Christmas-themed U.K. spot, the better:

Gaffigan, who was on the cusp of comedy stardom, seemingly grew tired of the commercial pitchman business — at least, that’s the vibe we get from these hilarious, profanity-laced outtakes from his Saturn car commercials.

Not since the days of Orson Welles has a commercial blooper video seemed like such a cry for help.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).

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