On the heels of the comic’s recent worldwide stand-up tour, the new two-part special Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, July 24.

Jim Gaffigan riffs as he travels in The Pale Tourist

On the heels of the comic’s recent worldwide stand-up tour, the new two-part special Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, July 24.

The special was filmed on location in Kitchener, Ontario and Barcelona, Spain and features the Grammy-nominated, Emmy Award-winning and New York Times best-selling author, actor and comedian Jim Gaffigan as he embarks on a seemingly impossible quest.

His mission: land in a country with no material, experience the culture and food, and then write and perform all-new material, all in one visit.

Our Bonnie Laufer spoke with Gaffigan about the special, coping with the pandemic and his upcoming role when he will be playing Toronto’s former controversial Mayor, Rob Ford.

ORIGINAL-CIN: Jim, I want to thank you for keeping me entertained during this pandemic.  Your social media updates have been stellar, but I have to say I really look forward to your weekly segments on CBS Sunday Morning. We know you have five kids, a wife who survived  a brain tumor, so you have much to deal with.

How has doing these segments and everything that you have been doing creatively kept you sane during this lockdown? 

JIM GAFFIGAN: “Those segments are a creative outlet obviously. But it’s also the fact that this quarantine update changes week-to-week, right? Plus there was all the  racial unrest in the middle, so there has just been so much going on to deal with.

“Truthfully, it’s been a nice way for me to organize how I’m feeling and hopefully articulate the humor surrounding it.  Every week I think, ‘Well that’s the last one, because I don’t think I have any more ideas,’ and then it’ll be, you know, Tuesday night, and I’ll suddenly come up with an idea and so it varies.

“Everyone’s experience during the pandemic has changed the way they live and how they do things.  It started off as, ‘It’s going to be a couple weeks,’ and then you’re like, ‘This is never going to end!’ And then you’re like, ‘You know this isn’t so bad,’ and then you’re like, ‘I’m gonna kill myself.’”

OC:  For somebody like you who spends most of his time on tour doing stand-up, I am sure it was a huge adjustment. However,  you recently just got up on stage and you did it at a drive-in show front of hundreds of cars (in New Jersey)!  What was that like when you walked out  on that stage? 

GAFFIGAN: “It was surreal  to be honest.  I’ve done it now twice and it was not perfect but it was safe and we made it work. I didn’t have to worry about endangering anyone or myself and my family.