‘Law & Order’ Franchise Once Featured a Very Popular Comedian

by Madison Miller

When it comes to the “Law & Order” universe, comedy is likely the farthest thing to cross your mind. From intense deaths to just all-around tragic and creepy situations, the drama series’ goal isn’t to get a good chuckle out of audiences.

That doesn’t mean a comedy icon wouldn’t be happily welcomed if the circumstances aligned. This seemed to happen when popular comedian Jim Gaffigan dropped by for a visit on “Law & Order.”

For those who aren’t familiar, Gaffigan is known for his hilarious stand-up comedy routines that discuss anything from family life to a sometimes toxic love affair with food. During his long career, Gaffigan has accumulated a total of two Emmys, six Grammy nominations, nine Netflix comedy specials, as well as his own sitcom called “The Jim Gaffigan Show.”

He may get awards for his hilarity, but Gaffigan knows how to tone it down and be serious, too. According to NPR, when he was a stand-up comedian starting out in the ’90s, Gaffigan made time to take some acting classes. He would take the classes between his day job and any comedy gigs he had.

Plot of ‘Law & Order’ Episode

Fast-forward to “Dead,” the first episode of Season 2 of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Detective Goren and Eames are investigating the murder of a funeral parlor owner. His body was alarmingly found in a crucifix pose in the embalming room. After following some leads, the two detectives find a very suspicious crematorium owner.

Enter, Jim Gaffigan. He plays the proprietor of this Staten Island crematorium. Not only is he shady, but his business seems to be too. Families have been complaining that the ashes of their loved ones are missing. The detectives notice that the place is sleepy and dormant. As a result, they get a search warrant and find 100 corpses on the grounds.

As it turns out, it’s not only the creepy crematorium owner working alone. His cousin is a mafia hitman that is running the crematorium’s accounts. Gaffigan’s character helped fake cremations in order to use different people’s DNA to deter police away from the mafia’s shady business.

Other Jim Gaffigan Appearances

Gaffigan later appeared again during the Season 7 episode, “Smile.”

The “Law & Order” franchise isn’t the only time the comedian got his feet wet with more serious roles. He was in the war movie “Three Kings” and the historical drama “Chappaquiddick.”

Other roles also include “Troop Zero,” “Them That Follow,” and “Light From Light.”

Obviously, he has also happily jumped into some more traditionally comedic roles too. You can catch him guest appearing in shows like “Rick and Morty,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and “Portlandia.” His most recent role has been as the voice of Van Helsing in the movie “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania.”