Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan established a distinctive show business imprint in the 1990s and 2000s as a kind of mild-mannered Middle American everyman, both as a stand-up comedian and a prolific character actor. Playing up his lily-white Indiana roots, Gaffigan took an Old School route onto the stand-up circuit as a plainspoken, self-effacing observational comedian, leading to prominent roles in national television advertising, such as his stint as the lawn-chair-philosopher pitchman for Rolling Rock beer. His would-be-big-break, "Welcome to New York" (2000-01), a sitcom in which he essentially played himself, fizzled, but he became a regular on Ellen DeGeneres's second sitcom "The Ellen Show" (CBS, 2001-02). Along the way, he earned ever-more-frequent stand-up spots on network late-night showcases such as "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (NBC, 1993-2009) and "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS, 1993-2015), appearances he rode out of the comedy clubs and into showcase theaters. In 2006 he landed a steady TV gig as one of a retinue of amiable, wise-cracking Chicagoans on the sitcom, "My Boys" (TBS, 2006-2010), and in fall 2010 was cast in a Broadway revival of the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play "That Championship Season." A walking archetype of comedic vanilla, Gaffigan became not only one of the top draws in stand-up, but a go-to actor for parts requiring, as he, himself, explained it, a "balding, doughy white guy."