It’s the dead of summer in southeast Texas, and the humidity in Houston feels thicker than cotton candy. Despite the heat, though, thousands of fans have crowded into an outdoor amphitheater to hear comedian Jim Gaffigan riff on the challenges of raising his five children. Strolling around the stage in his trademark relaxed fashion, Gaffigan quickly takes to joking about stairwells, the possibility of whether Jesus multiplied pretzel bread, and, to no one’s surprise, Hot Pockets. “My favorite is the breakfast Hot Pocket,” he quips, “because I can’t think of a better way to start the day: ‘Good morning! You are about to call in sick.’”

Gaffigan is one of the most successful working comics in the business. His last two albums, Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe and Obsessed, were each nominated for a Grammy. He’s a New York Times bestselling author, and his television program, The Jim Gaffigan Show, is midway through its second season on TV Land. As if his plate weren’t full enough, he’s also currently in the middle of his nationwide Fully Dressed tour.

But while Jim may be the one on stage, his one-man set isn’t the work of just one man. Behind the scenes stands Jim’s wife of 13 years, Jeannie. Not only is Jeannie the mother of those five children at the center of Jim’s jests, but she’s also heavily involved in her husband’s career, working with him on his stand-up material and serving as a writer and executive producer on The Jim Gaffigan Show. One could even make the case that Jeannie is the secret ingredient to Jim’s exploding popularity. Without her, the world just might have a few less jokes about childbirth. Or donuts.

The ...

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