Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan on the ‘Bright Patch’ of Raising 5 Children in Quarantine
By Movieguide® Staff
Funny couple Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan know their Catholic faith plays a large role in every aspect of their lives, from how they handled Jeannie’s brain tumor to the jokes they write to how they raise their large family.
The couple has five children and thrived on routine. Then quarantine struck. Gone were the sitters, schools, camps, and various helpers that assisted the family. Yet, the Gaffigans found a “bright patch.”
“I’m the ultimate complainer, but I see how lucky we are,” Jim said.
“We’re safe, we have a roof over our heads, we have food to eat,” Jeannie said. “There are a lot of people in worse situations. And I would never see my teenagers otherwise, so we’re actually experiencing them a lot more, even though I was going nuts — I mean, they eat all the time, the laundry was insane. But we all got closer and became more of a cohesive team than ever before. Sure, there was a lot of sceaming and crying. And sometimes the kids got upset, too. But we had incredible moments with each one of them that we would have never had if they were off at school or if Jim was traveling. That was the bright batch in all this chaos.”
The Gaffigans even virtually opened their home during the pandemic with DINNER WITH THE GAFFIGANS. In the YouTube live streams, the family eats dinner together and discusses what’s happening in their community. Jeannie says the stream was so popular they were approached by about a reality show, but turned the opportunity down.
“There’s a difference between DINNER WITH THE GIFFIGANS, which raises money to feed health care workers, and going full Kardashian,” Jim said of the streams. “And the secret benefit is that we’re forced to have dinner together. It makes the kids behave on some level and educates them to care about the community. We talk about things that are happening to people that are much more serious than ‘I didn’t get to go to a birthday party.'”
These community-minded discussions began when Jeannie battled a brain tumor in 2017.
“I was lying there watching all these people who didn’t even know me saving my life, and it just struck me that there are angels on earth. I knew that we were living a very privileged lifestyle, and I didn’t want my kids to be narcissists, so I made a promise to God to focus on this.”
In addition to DINNER WITH THE GAFFIGANS, the couple also released a stand-up special during quarantine. THE PALE TOURIST is available on Amazon Prime.
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