Jim Gaffigan Shows Lower East Side Love in his New TV Land Sitcom

Posted on: August 4th, 2015 at 9:23 am by
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Battle-hardened Lower East Siders understand that, any given day, there is usually some TV show or movie filming on the corner. Living in a constant film set is oftentimes a pain in the ass. And the output isn’t usually worthy of the nuisance caused. Sometimes, however, it’s refreshing to see a local homegrown production use the neighborhood as another character. We see it with Louie, and something similar with Jim Gaffigan’s eponymous new sitcom.

The Jim Gaffigan Show is in a drive to gain and sustain local favor. As residents of the Lower East Side, it was important for the Gaffigans (Jim and wife Jeannie) to keep it in the family, so to speak. To shoot in local haunts and name-check where necessary. For instance, Katz’s Deli features prominently in the script as being Gaffigan’s local hang and refueling station. He spends lots of camera time eating here in the show (you may recall the multiple filming sessions there).

We spent a recent spring evening with the crew during one of the shoots at Katz’s Deli, inhaling the delicious aroma of pastrami grease for three hours. This scene in particular was a bro-dinner with castmate Adam Goldberg (Dazed & Confused, Saving Private Ryan). There’s some witty banter about always eating in the same place and about the hot nanny.

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Filming a scene at Katz’s Deli with Adam Goldberg

In between takes, we had an opportunity to chat with Jim and Jeannie. Our conversation was light, and naturally gravitated toward talk of family. Specifically, family size and sibling dynamics. And rivalries. After all, the plot of The Jim Gaffigan Show relies heavily on such themes. We always see the husband-wife characters juggling life as a seven-person clan; in fact, most scenes see Jim with a child in his arms (or stroller).

In real life, the Gaffigans live in a two-bedroom, fifth-floor walkup on the Bowery where they are raising five children. Bunk beds are essential to the equilibrium. We spoke of our own youth, the third of four boys and the tumult that defined the household. In the show itself, producers created a near mirror of the apartment on a soundstage, but did a great job with the set dress details.

The Jim Gaffigan Show is now airing on TV Land with an eleven-episode order, though select episodes have been available online for months. The series features cameos from several stars like Chris Rock, Michael Ian Black, and Macauley Culkin.

Plus, if you watch closely, you might even see Jim wearing a Bowery Boogie t-shirt around the house…

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