Debauchery. If ever a word summed up Jim Jefferies it’s that. He’s told stories of disabled friends going to brothels, putting vibrating eggs up his arse, and being punched on stage. But has time changed him? Nah…
TNT last interviewed you in 2012 and since then you’ve become a dad. Has that calmed you down a little bit?
Not really mate but the hangovers are definitely worse when there’s a child tapping you on the forehead at 6am (laughs). It hasn’t changed my comedy as such, if that’s what you mean? People think that just because you’ve had a kid you’ll suddenly become Ray Romano – that isn’t how it works. It’ll never happen!
Do you still enjoy winding people up?
Yeah, of course. There are slightly less one-night stand stories and I’m becoming slightly more political than I used to be, I guess, but it I write whatever jokes come to me. I don’t set out with an agenda in my stand-up where I have to do so much about religion, so much about sex, or whatever – those things get in my show because they’re things I think about I guess.
You’re on your way to UK pretty soon and will perform at the O2 Brixton Academy at the end of the month. Looking forward to coming back to London?
Definitely. It is my favourite city on earth. I love London.
In terms of the show, what can we expect?
Expect more of the same. If you have some of my DVDs you won’t be disappointed. I think, in fact, my new show is probably the best I’ve ever done (laughs).
Who’s gonna get it then?
(laughs) There’s quite a bit of anti-gun stuff and I bash the American a bit. There’s a little bit of religion as always and I poke fun at my girlfriend and child – that’s in there. And there’s a bit of name dropping and stories about being in Hollywood and going to parties and that sort of thing.
The Brixton show sold out quickly. How did that feel?
Great, but the second show is taking its sweet time (laughs). We put on the first one and it sold out really quickly so we put on the second and it is just dribbling in comparison. It’ll sell out. But yeah, still tickets available. I’ve never played to a crowd of bigger than 1,000 people – I always used to do the Lyric Theatre in Shaftsbury Avenue – so to do the O2 Brixton Academy is pretty exciting.
Jim, you had an Australia run earlier this year. How was that received? For a long time you weren’t the most popular comedian Down Under – most people hadn’t even heard of you. Has that changed?
Yeah. I’m as popular if not more popular in Australia now. But I don’t know when that happened. A few years ago I couldn’t sell a ticket and on that run I sold 6,000 tickets in Perth, so I guess they like me now, huh? They must have got the internet or something now (laughs).
Still drink in the show?
Erm, I’ll drink in one of the three UK shows. Not sure which. I’ll drink in one. I’ll figure out which one. It is a bit of the luck of the draw. Some people love me drinking up there, others hate it. I try not to do it too much.
Do negative reviews ever bother you?
No, you have to take the good with the bad in this world. You can’t be the type of comic I am and expect everybody to like you, either.
Let’s talk about your US TV show Legit. Much to TNT’s disappointment it was cancelled but there’s talk of a movie?
It might happen. That’s a whiles away though. Now that it is cancelled it’ll probably be seen by more people on Netflix or what have you. So I have to see how the show ages over the next year and whether there is a want for a movie.
Was the cancelation a surprise?
We weren’t doing that badly so yeah. We weren’t the worst rated show. We weren’t the best rated either. People seemed to like it. I’m not sure really. Maybe the head of the network didn’t like it? You don’t really get given a reason. The critics liked it and it did well. I don’t have regrets.
Is TV something you’ll do more of?
Yeah but from idea to getting on TV is probably a year and a half if you’re fast. I’m working on the long game like that. I have an idea which is pretty good. I’ve written the pilot and I’ll be ready to sell it as soon as I’m happy with it.
Earlier on you mentioned America. You live there now. What’s that like?
Well it’s sunny! The weather is nice. I have a big house – for the same money I’d have a two bed house in London (laughs). But I can’t walk anywhere. There is no local pub to go to. I miss living in Crouch End.
Has LA and living there changed your comedy?
Nah! I sometimes treat things with kid gloves a bit more because they’re more sensitive here than the Brits. I say the same jokes but I try to cushion them in (laughs). I think funny is funny – that doesn’t change the world over. Obviously there are different reference points depending on the country you are in, but nothing much changes.
Jim Jefferies Day Streaming comes to London’s O2 Brixton Academy on July 31 and August 1 (August 1 is sold out) and Manchester’s O2 Apollo on August 2. See jimjefferies.ning.com for more info.
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