For the first time in a long time, when I got on the phone with famous comedian Jim Gaffigan, he did not have a new baby to tell me about.
You see, Gaffigan — performing standup Friday at The Mirage — has five kids.
Yes, Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan are raising their handful of small Gaffigans in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City.
“We’re reaching that point where bedtime is a crisis,” Gaffigan says. “When you have a lot of kids, space is like: ‘Where are we going to put these?’ ”
But Gaffigan assures me he still finds time to be alone with himself — thanks to phone interviews such as this one.
“I’ve got this interview, and the kids are in the other room,” he says. “Directly after this interview, I might ‘accidentally fall asleep’ until someone screams and wakes me up.”
The impressive thing is, Gaffigan and his wife, who also is his writing partner, still find time to write jokes, books and a TV show.
Most of his Mirage gig will be new material since last year. And they are working on a TV comedy pilot for CBS, which is based on his new best-selling book, “Dad is Fat.”
How do they get all this stuff accomplished?
“Time is the big problem. I would rather be late with delivering my book than ignoring my kids, right?
“But it’s good. It keeps you out of trouble. And it all feeds into each other — the standup and the writing. You’ve just got to fill the tank with comedy ideas.”
Gaffigan already has been contracted to write a follow-up book on food because he is the king of food jokes about Hot Pockets and bacon.
But he and his wife are trying to set a better culinary example for their children.
“We use a lot of the healthy stuff — the noodles that are made of proteins or beans or whatever,” he says.
“I definitely spend a lot of time acting like I eat healthy in front of my kids. But then later, I eat a bag of pretzel nubs filled with peanut butter.”
Anyway, the Gaffigans are looking for a new place in New York, because their apartment pales in comparison to Vegas hotel rooms.
“When we come to Vegas, it’s like we’re moving into a mansion,” he says.
Before Gaffigan came to Vegas last year, he asked me for recommendations for places to entertain his family.
“We went to Mandalay Bay Shark Reef, which was amazing. And we saw Mac King’s comedy magic show. You suggested a bunch of the stuff we saw,” he says.
But he and his wife couldn’t scrounge up the energy to do a couple’s night out at The Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier Bar.
“We never got to that fancy bar at the chandelier thing. It’s hard to get a pregnant woman motivated for nightlife.”
There is no telling, yet, whether the Gaffigan kids appreciate the sacrifices by their mommy and daddy.
“That’s the calculation of parenting, right? You do all this work, you get no sleep and no pay, and the likelihood is when they turn 18, they’re just going to find you annoying.”
WHO’S UP, WHO’S DOWN
■ “Peepshow” will close Sept. 1 at Planet Hollywood Resort.
■ Film director Eli Roth’s haunted house “Goretorium” issued a statement saying they are still open and fun on the Strip, after news broke of Chapter 11 restructuring.
■ And Matt Goss extended his show at Caesars Palace through September. Decca Records will release Goss’ album “Life You Imagine” in the fall in the U.K.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.