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Jim Gaffigan on How Not to Eat

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Courtesy of TV Land Digital

Comedian Jim Gaffigan’s latest project, The Jim Gaffigan Show, premieres Wednesday, July 15 on TV Land. The show is a fictionalized account of his life off-stage, much of which, according to Gaffigan, is spent eating, pretending to eat vegetables, and taking his kids to a deli (to watch him eat). We sat down with Gaffigan to talk about eating wrong, and why avocado toast is going to take over the world (and must be stopped). 

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"When I have sushi, it’s like, I can’t find a cheeseburger."

You are, quite famously, not partial to seafood. Why?
"No, it’s disgusting. But a lot of people love it. It’s all relative. Like a hotdog is disgusting, but delicious. I mean, look, I love New England. I was in Maryland yesterday, and two days ago I was eating crab." 

So you do like crab?
"I think it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of work. First of all you have to break it open, you’ve got to fish it out, and that’s like maybe a half a bite. So that’s one of my gripes about seafood. But mostly because -- they’re monsters, right? They are like tiny monsters. There’s never like, 'Oh that’s such a cute crab!' It’s like a George Lucas film. He wouldn’t have that as a character in Star Wars." 

How often do you eat sushi?
"When I have sushi, it’s like, I can’t find a cheeseburger."

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We heard that you tried eating sheep’s head? Is it a yes, no, or maybe?
"I did have sheep’s head -- you did your research. It wasn’t bad. I was in Iceland. It was much more frightening to look at than it tasted. You have to cut the head, and then it’s in like, in a deli container, with cellophane. It tasted a little bit like venison. It tasted like head. I’m like, I don’t know if I want head... Let's keep it clean."

You like to eat in bed. What food absolutely does not belong there?
"Hmm, Triskets and hummus -- it’s a gamble bringing that in bed; that could be messy. Pretzels filled with peanut butter. Those are a good size, but very dry. Look, I love pasta, but you don’t want to bring that into your bed. That’s going to be a mess. So I would say a sandwich is usually a safe choice. But not tuna. You can’t bring tuna into bed."

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"I don’t understand the appeal of cooking. I enjoy sleeping in beds; I don’t enjoy making them." 

You love pancakes and talk about them often. How, in your opinion, can those ever go wrong?
"I’m not a syrup guy. I don’t like syrup. Butter. Just butter. I think it’s got enough sweet in there. Now I sound like that guy in Breaking The Waves: 'Nothing fancy!' But I just put butter on my pancakes. Is that just me?"

So you like to eat, but do you like to cook?
"I try not to. I don’t understand the appeal of cooking. I enjoy sleeping in beds; I don’t enjoy making them. I’m very grateful that there are people who are passionate about cooking, because…they can make me food." 

Sarah Anderson

You’re a big fan of Katz’s Deli in New York and have described pastrami as “beautiful.” Are you a hot or a cold guy?
"Some people are like, 'Oh yeah, it’s cold pastrami,' but I don’t want cold pastrami. I want they take it out, they cut it, they hand it to me, then I eat it. Any more than ten minutes? I don’t want that pastrami. It’s kind of like guacamole; you see guacamole that’s been out for an hour and it turns all brown and moldy." 

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You don’t strike us as a guy who is swayed by food trends. What is bugging you presently?
"Let’s talk about avocado toast. Avocado is, first of all, a magical thing. I love avocados. But avocado toast? “Oh there’s this new trend – avocado toast.” It’s just avocado on toast. It’s not even a Croque Monsieur where there’s ham and some spread on there. Avocado toast…it’s huge! Avocado toast is going to take over the world."

We’ve established that you hold strong opinions on food. Which drinks do you avoid?
"It’s not that I have anything against hard alcohol. It’s just that I don’t think I can handle it. Like when I have occasionally gone out -- not that I’ve gone out in 100 years – if I’m drinking shots, it’s not a good idea. It’s not a good idea for anyone. As I say in one of my jokes: no one’s ever taken a shot, and then done something they’re proud of."