Why comedian Jim Gaffigan loves Seattle

“I think people in Seattle care more for substance than the fancy trends,” Gaffigan said. He brings his “Noble Ape Tour” to KeyArena on Sept. 16.

Seattle was an early friend to comedian and actor Jim Gaffigan.

For years, his nasally Midwestern snarl was a stalwart of the “5:20 Funny” segments on the now-defunct KMTT, better known as “The Mountain.”

When the segments came alive onstage at the annual “5:20 Funny Festival,” Gaffigan was the guy. The headliner. The star.

COMEDY PREVIEW

Jim Gaffigan: ‘The Noble Ape Tour’

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, KeyArena; $31-$81; (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).

So it was a low-risk move to book the 17,000-seat KeyArena for his “Noble Ape Tour,” which comes to Seattle on Sept. 16.

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“Touring around, doing clubs and theaters, you develop a relationship with certain cities,” Gaffigan said the other day. “I’ve not connected with many cities the way I have connected with Seattle. I don’t even want to categorize it because I don’t want to diminish it.

“It was the first place I ever did a theater,” he remembered. “My manager said ‘You should do a theater’ and the idea was to do it in Seattle. I thought it was pretty insane. At the time, Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy were the only ones doing theaters.”

He arrived to find the place packed with fans eager to hear his consistently clean material about his appearance (“extremely pale” and slightly overweight), his kids and his absolute obsession with food — including his signature snack, Hot Pockets.

“There is something about Seattle,” Gaffigan said. “Maybe it’s the sensibility. People in Seattle are similar to my stand-up. We curse in every day life, but probably not in front of 3,000 people.

“I’m considered a substance comic rather than a flash,” he added. “And I think people in Seattle care more for substance than the fancy trends.”

Gaffigan is getting fancier by the day, having completed several feature films that will be released over the next year: The comedies “You Can Choose Your Family” and “Drunk Parents”; the animated family picture “Duck Duck Goose”; and the drama “Chappaquiddick,” in which he plays Paul Markham, the U.S. attorney who was with Ted Kennedy the night he drove his car into the water, killing campaign staffer Mary Jo Kopechne.

Until last year, Gaffigan…

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