Jim Gaffigan Doesn’t Actually Eat Hot Pockets

(falsetto sing-song) Hot Pockets!
Jim Gaffigan Doesn’t Actually Eat Hot Pockets

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“What’s your guilty pleasure food?” Mike Birbiglia asked comedian Jim Gaffigan on the Working It Out podcast, but Gaffigan didn’t quite understand the question. Guilty pleasure in that it’s garbage but you still eat it? Exactly, said Birbiglia, searching for an example. “Like are you still eating Hot Pockets?”

“I never ate Hot Pockets,” confessed Gaffigan. “That’s the whole irony.”

What the what? Gaffigan never ate (falsetto voice) Hot Pockets? His bit about the savory, destroy-your-mouth favorite of NASCAR fans everywhere has more than 8 million views on Gaffigan’s YouTube channel. It’s the routine that put the comedian on the map. And all this time, it’s been a lie?

Birbiglia couldn’t believe it either. “Wait, you never ate them?”

“I never said that I liked them,” Gaffigan replied. “That’s what’s interesting. If you look at the Hot Pocket material, I never said I liked them.” That’s undeniably true. The whole bit is about an instant meal that will make “everything taste like rubber for a month.” But we assumed that the comedian was at least speaking from experience. 

“This is hilarious to me,” said Birbiglia. “You are famous for being the Hot Pockets person!”

“I made fun of them for diarrhea and stuff like that,” corrected Gaffigan. “And people were like, ‘Oh, you love Hot Pockets.’ But no.”

Birbiglia, whose guilty food pleasure is the extraordinarily delicious Cinnamon Toast Crunch, wasn’t going to let Gaffigan off the hook. And the pasty comic didn’t disappoint. “My wife is from Wisconsin so she’s kind of a cheese snob,” he said. “And I love this port wine cheddar, which is essentially processed cheese. And she’s like, ‘You don’t eat that! Just get real cheddar. You like cheddar, you like cheese. Why are you getting that?’ And I’m like, ‘I just like the tang of it.’” 

The podcast host could relate. “That’s how I feel about the macaroni and cheese with the powder cheese,” Birbiglia says. “I make the joke on stage: It’s not even cheese, it’s like a press conference for cheese. Like, ‘Cheese couldn’t be here this afternoon. I’m here on behalf of cheese.’”

As long as we’re clearing up Hot Pockets myths, Gaffigan wasn’t eating one in Steven Soderbergh’s Full Circle either. When we meet the comic’s character, he’s eating a convenience store burrito, a scene that gave Gaffigan pause. “I’m like, ‘People are going to think this is a Hot Pocket.’ And Steven Soderbergh is like, ‘Does it matter?’ ‘Well, it’s a Hot Pocket.’”

But Soderbergh had never heard his joke, Gaffigan told Rich Eisen, “and then I just appear like a narcissist. He looked at me politely, like ‘The world is not about you, Jim.’” 

Which is funnier if you imagine Soderbergh saying that as Gaffigan’s falsetto alter-ego.


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