Getting attacked on stage and bombed in Iraq hasn't dented Jim Jeffries' lust for life. As he tells Brian Donaldson, there are other ways for people to vent their frustration

here‘s a common understanding hetueen stand—

tip comedians that the \\orst possihle thing )ou

could do is steal part til. someone clsc\ t‘otltlnc.

So. in the next ten )c‘tti's il' _\ou're at a gig listening to a

comic discussing suhiects such as the tumour the} had

removed from their genitals. heing \shacked o\ er the

head h)' a disgruntled punter. hanging out \sith troops

emhroiled in the War on 'I‘error and heing held hostage

h} armed rohhers in their oun lIat. it had hetter he .Iim Jel‘l'ries standing in front or you

As il‘ that wasn‘t enough. the I.ondon-hased

Australian comic has presented a shim on one ol~ those

adtilt channels. an experience which l‘ormed the hasis

for his 2004 dehut l’om lt/U/. “as a _\oung \ictim ol~

ahuse at the hands ol‘ a scout master and was duhhed ‘sick and repellent‘ h_\ those charitahle souls at ('hristian Voice over the hlasphemtius/l‘unn} poster l'or his follow—up Fringe outing. The Second ('oming. ‘You make a ten decisions in )Ulll' Iil‘e that “ill stop )ttll doing certain things and I'\e reall_\ limited m_\ sell‘ to this career.‘ .Iel‘l'ries tells me \\ hile \\‘olling do“ n a plate of chilli a few days alter his triumphant appearance on More I (in! Stains/or liiu in \xliich he enjo} ed health} comhative hanter \\ith guest host Moira Stuart. "l'he joh I would IlthL‘ Io\'ed to do \\as he an earl} childhood worker or something like that. But no“. he done too much to e\'er he allou ed to do amthing in\oI\ed \\ ith anyhody. I could neVer he a politician or a teacher. I can never become l’ope: that joh’s m er for me.‘

(‘onsidering his deep-seated contempt for all things religious. that last post was prohahl} ne\‘er reaII} on the agenda. But had he pursued a career in politics. it \sould simpl) haVe heen continuing a l'amil} tradition. ‘.\l_\' hrother is in the Young l.iherals in Airstralia \shich is a hit like heing a 'I’or} and as \se're a \\orking class family. no onch too happ} ahout it. .\I_\ l’ather's mm a Very wealth} man; he managed I-‘o\ Studios tor a \shile and used to get the rent ol'I‘ (ieorge Lucas. I think he still has some political aspirations. so I'm kept under pretty tight \s'raps.‘

But Jim Jelli'ies is not a man )titi can keep quiet l‘or long. Back in :\pril. he appeared at the Manchester (‘omedy Store. performing some close-to-the-hone material from his Second ('omi'iig shim \\ hen a drunk heckler came staggering onto the stage. Bel‘ore a number of hra\e souls from the audience came to

Jetl‘ries“ rescue. the gatecrasher had landed a couple ol‘

punches on the comic's head. Hall an hour later .lel‘l’ries. heartened by the crowd‘s chanting ol‘ his name. returned tor a brief encore of sons.

Fist of fun

‘I’eoplc said: “\Vh} didn't sou light hack”; \sell. I didn‘t knou I \\as III a light.‘ he recalls ol the incident which he sa_\s \\ Ill take up ahout a third ol fill. his new shim. '.r\t the time I \\as heing hit. I \\as conl'uscd and lust tr_\ing to think \shat I had said that could ha\e upset this hlokc so much. “all an hour alter I had come on stage. I \\as on the phone to m_\ manager and ahotit III cullllc‘s phoned Ik‘ctttlsc‘ IIIL' tlc‘\\s lltttl spread st) tittickl} on the internet. I said: "\Ve got the tape. put it on You'l'uhe. I \sant it ottt h_\ ’I‘uesda}." .v\ll puhlicit} is good puhlicit) and all that hullshit.’

\Vhilc the reaction ol' the cum d in the altermath “as nothing hut supportixe. some \oices on the internet ha\c heen less s}tnpalhctic. "I‘here are things like: "Jim .Ic‘lll'lcN dries til-lic'llsiu‘ jokes. \U he deser\es a punch in the head Irotn time to time." Do I'.’ Do I reall_\'.’ I'm ama/ed at the people \\ho \\ ere on these Iiit'tlllis. hasicalh sa_\ing: "\Vell. ahout time; \\lsll I‘d punched him m_\ sell." (‘omc on. I‘m just telling jokes. ll~ Miller \\as around toda}. I \xouldnit Icel the need to knock him on a l'orum. 'I'he internet has gix en couards the right to hull_\.'

.Iim .lel'lries certainl} isn't the onl} comic to \\ rite and perl'orni inaterial \xhich pushes hard against the harriers ol' taste. httt there has to he a reason uh) he‘s heen the ohiect til. lttil'l) intense ph_\sical llttls lltcis also heen knocked unconscious h_\ a squaddie in Nottingham \\ho took ol‘l'ence at jokes ahout Weapons ol‘ .\Iass l)estructioni \xhereas someone like .Iimm} (air has all hut a\oidcd threats upon his sal'et}. (‘ould it he as simple as the Iact that .lel'l'ries is a no-lrills .-\ustra|ian \shose act therel'ore is inherentl} more in— _\our—l'ace and tl(i\\ n-to-earth'.’ (’ertainl}. material ahout the se\ual hahits ol disahled women and the mechanics ol \aginas are ne\ er going to tickle e\ ei'_\one.

'\\’hether I like it or not. I ha\e sold in} sell~ doun the _\ears as a misog}nist. .\'o\\. I don‘t think ol‘ m_\ sell' as heing that \\a} and neither has an} girl l‘xe gone out

null and neither does m_\ mum.’ he notes h} \sa} ol‘

e\plaining \\h_\ one ol~ his puhlicit} shots l‘eatures a sc;tntil_\-clad \soman standing o\ct' him ha\ing just

inlilicted a deadl_\ \xound. It seems to he a \\a_\ ol

misting the perception that‘s heen huilt tip around him and ha\ing laugh at it. 'I'\e hecome an titttsiclei“s comic. I‘m still an e\er_\da_\ gu} on stage talking ahout stul‘l‘ that \souldn't change the \sorld. I‘m just an idiot \sho \\ ill tell sou what I know'

What he does knou is that despite the turmoil ol' the last )L‘Ltl' he can count himsell luck} in man} \\a_\s. \Vhen linding it uncomliirtahle to masturhate. Jel'lries recei\ed medical attention \shich e\entuall_\ led to a henign tumour heing cut out l‘rom his pri\'ate pans.

I3} \\a_\ ol‘ a parting shot. he ol'l‘ers some ad\ice l‘or aii_\one \\ ho \sants to ha\e a square go at a comic during August. 'll' _\ou‘re going to get in the paper tor punching someone. \sh} not go up to I.ttc_\ I’oiter'.’ (io on. gi\e Sarah Kendall a good kicking. Il' l.uc} or Sarah are reading this article. I can set it up it _\ou \\ ant to get a hit ol e\tra press.‘

UdderBELLY’s Pasture, 0870 745 3083, 5-27 Aug (not 15), 9.50pm, 5:10-9:12 (918-210). Previews 2—4 Aug, 26.

Jim Jeftries isn't the only comic on the receiving end of trouble from their audience. Brian Donaldson compiles some tales of terror

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