Deadpan genius JIMMY CARR, one of the stars of the Glasgow Comedy Festival, talks to Jay Richardson about smut, malicious relish and why ugly, vain people are fair game.
was pleased I got orgasm. Spotted it straight away. And I said ‘ penis at mid-afternoon. 'l'hat’s true joy.’
You may have missed this recent episode of (‘oiorldon-n. which featured Jimmy (‘arr in the dictionary corner. but you can imagine (‘arol Vorderman and Richard Whiteleys titters. ()rdinarily. these might provoke you to poke your mind’s eye out ‘A sharpened “P” please (‘arol‘ but not when Jimmy (‘arr is the studio guest and smut instigator.
You might recognise him from presenting such shows as the [UH llors'r l’o/i Rt’t‘UIZ/S and l()() ll'ors'l Britons. or from the eerily accurate cartoon posters for his sold-out liestival shows. but it‘s on Your lime or .lliue.” that the potato-faced comic has become infamous. 'I know. I can’t believe the bare-faced cheek of someone who looks like me on a show about good looks.' he laughs. 'Shouldn't be allowed.‘
Relaxing on the pltish furnishings of London‘s (iroucho Club. ('arr' is doing himself greater disservice than the waiter handing me his glass of water. His resulting scowl is the only moment in our entire conversation when he fails to balance being funny. candid and well-mannered. even when querying my haircut. Better looking in the flesh. less of the scheming mannequin he sometimes looks on stage. he still suffers by comparison with his brother Patrick sat behind us. ‘A lot younger] he says. ‘()r he’s moisturising too much.‘ Still. dressed in dapper beige suit and red paisley shirt. (‘arr is looking typically sharp hitnself. Middle lingland's most polite. well-brought up peddler of paedophile gags.
"l'he fact that I‘m a nice. middle-class boy. saying things others won‘t shocks people. .\'obody‘s offended if someone says fuck. but if a ntm says it. ooh. that's interesting. Because I sound like I‘ve a stick up my arse. if I‘m a hit racy. people think woo-hoof Brilliant!’
(art was marketing for a big petroleum company when a ‘quarter-Iife crisis‘ prompted a change from dark to marginally lighter arts. 'I looked the part. but the lifestyle just didn’t suit me. I‘m doing the same thing now essentially. telling lies to strangers. but I do miss raping the planet.‘
After studying psychotherapy. 'very' (‘alifornian positive thinking. It works for rnef his therapy itself went psycho. 'l was out 3()() nights a year for“ two years. Very 'l‘ravis Bickle. I went to comedy clubs and tried to get on. and when I couldn‘t. I’d go to the next cltrb and try to get on there.‘ He‘s come a long way since. and is now courted by the rich and stupidly rich. After his Royal Variety performance. Prince (‘harles complimented (‘arr's ‘deadpannery’. ‘Which isn't a real word. But it‘s his mum‘s linglish. so he can say what he likes.‘
Meanwhile. spots for (‘onan O‘Brien and Jay Leno saw his star rise steadily in the LS ‘I think ('ameron Dill! was on the same show as me htit he‘s ||.eno| not impressed by movie stars. As a stand-up he really likes comics. and after the show he took me to see 'Ierminoror .t’ in his (‘orvette V8! He had two aircraft hangers full of maybe £70m worth of cars that were amazing. He isn‘t interested in hookers or cocaine. It‘s his only vice.~
(‘arrz whose condescending presenting style and superior guest turn
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hosting [love I Got News for ion earning comparisons to Angus Deay'ton. claims to be pretty clean living. 'Me'.’ I don't really have a vice. though I might cultivate one for the sake of interviews. My drug hell. My addiction to cough syrup. Mmm. butterscotch.‘
A control-freak. he barely drinks. but is cautious of claiming teetotalism for fear of alienating Scots audiences. Besides. he enjoys inebriation.
‘I)rioik Rer'iew was something I did for [£4 after that Law Review episode with Tracey limin. l was discussing it and someone said. of course. you can‘t make moments like that happen on TV. And we thought. I bet you can with a bottle of fucking vodka. ‘So we got people ripped to the tits. I played it totally straight and sober. saying. “'l'oday. we're discussing gender issues." And they just came out with utter shite. One guy was not only sick and wet himself on camera. but. and there‘s no nice way of saying this. followed through. A hit of a sticky wicket legally. unfortunately. which is why we stopped.‘
Defending his television output. he says of the buuer—urinating and electrocution featured in [ﬁshnet/on. that 'l'd love to make a TV show that stands the test of time. but so far I‘ve only made shows you would call guilty pleasures.‘ He is undeniably proud of Your lime or Mine." ‘A real munter who thinks she’s better looking than Sade is the funniest thing in the world. Jtist that moment of realisation: “Hang on. I’ve only got 1‘)? of the vote. is there a mistake‘.’ Are the machines not working?" Marvellotrsf
Set to perform again at this year’s l‘ringe. he is also looking forward to appearing at (ilasgow's upcoming ('omedy l‘estival. '()n a Saturday night. (ilasgow venues are like a tinderbox. It just feels like something's going to kick off and it‘s certainly one of the places I‘ve been best heckled. That's something you take your hat off to when you‘re playing a small club. when people are really in your face. coming right back at you.‘
Other current projects include acting on a hush-hush film. and co- writing his own romantic comedy. though not with former collaborator Ricky (iervais. ‘He’s a lovely guy. but he's got the attention span of a gnat. Shall we get more pi/za in‘.’ Yeah. Do we want cheese sandwiches'.’ Yeah. I ptrt on half a stone just being around him a couple of hours a day. Tells racist jokes too. 'l‘erriblef
Sharing a similar emphasis of diction. (‘arr then proceeds to practically inhabit his friends delivery describing the recent limpire movie awards. ‘John Hurt tried to give Sigourney Weaver a lifetime achievement award and the autocue stuck. He looked out of his mind on speed and dope.‘ Btrt he completed the speech‘.’ '.\'o. he looked dreadful. It was brilliant.’
And with that penultimate note of malicious relish. he’s closing our interview. assisting a younger brother who‘s been hit upon by a lady of advanced years. Family uppermost in his mind. I lire a parting question about whether the new series of Dislroetion will be humiliating contestants even further. ‘l'p the ante'." he grins. ‘Wc‘ll be fucking the unclel’
Jimmy Carr is at the Academy, Glasgow, Sat 3 Apr. Distraction is on Channel 4 weekly from Fri 23 Apr.