Watch out world, the Gaffigan family is coming for you.
“I have five because I’m secretly starting my own nationality,” he jokes.
Or, Gaffigan says, he keeps adding to his brood to make himself a better person.
“I used to have this joke that each of kids has made me a more decent person and a better person, and based on that, all I would need is 34 more to be a decent guy,” Gaffigan, 50, says. “But I think there’s a patience you learn. Parenting — I don’t want to say it’s a cure for narcissism, but you can’t really be that obsessed with your self-interest when somebody’s screaming at night.”
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But Gaffigan gives most of the child-rearing credit for the five of his kids, Marre, 12, Jack, 10, Katie, 7, Michael, 5, and Patrick, 3, to his wife, Jeannie.
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” Gaffigan says. “I think it’s my wife, she’s Wonder Woman. But it’s just fun chaos. I come from a big family and my wife comes from a big family — I think there’s a lot of value in sibling chaos.”
“But it’s a lot of organizing, it’s like a circus,” he adds.
And Gaffigan says he’s constantly learning as a parent, which means there isn’t a parenting mistake he would redo.
“There’s too many,” he says, “parenting is all about making mistakes and dealing with a certain level of guilt.”
But it also means constantly being surprised by the people his kids are turning into.
“It’s amazing because they’re five kids and they’re so different,” Jim says. “Like you’d think that there’d be some overlap by our fifth kid. I thought Patrick would be like Marre, or Jack or Katie, but he’s very different. And Michael’s different too.”
“And they have varying interests. One’s hand-eye coordination developed so much earlier, one’s into music, one’s not. It’s really amazing.”
The finale of The Jim Gaffigan Show airs Sunday at 10/9c on TVLand.
For more from Jim Gaffigan, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
— Julie Mazziotta