Jim Jefferies: "The Only Time I Find Humor Offensive Is When It's Not Funny"
If something is funny, it's funny. I don't care what the subject matter is.
Aussie comic Jim Jefferies is best known for his ability to deliver true (yet truly unreal) stories in a "tell it like it is" manner through his raunch-fueled stand-up. Toning it down a bit (but not much), Jefferies is also going into the second season of his hit show Legit on the FXX channel. Whether on TV or on the stage there is one thing that remains the same, Jim is fucking hilarious and this Friday through Sunday you'll have the chance to see him at the Irvine Improv. Just a heads up though, if you prefer the word vagina over cunt or happen to enjoy praying more than making jokes about god, you might just want to sit this one out. For the rest of you who like a good no holds barred comedy set, Jim Jefferies is riiiight up your alley!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): All of your fans know that you joke about everything and anything but, have you ever heard a joke that actually offended you?
Jim Jefferies: Not really. The only time I find offensive humor offensive is when it's not funny. Anything that I've said can be said in an unfunny way you know? I really dislike when someone says something horrible or nasty and then tries to market it like, "I was joking! It's just a joke! Can't you take the joke?" No. You were just being a cunt in that situation. Sometimes people just say cunty things and just try to write it off as a joke but if something is funny, it's funny. I don't care what the subject matter is.
I totally agree. If it's unfunny it's pointless because then it turns into trying too hard to be shocking.
Yeah the more offensive the joke, the more humorous it has to be in order to get away with it. If you don't get that balance just quite right, it's pretty horrible. At the moment I'm writing this thing for the TV show about pissing on a person. It could just come off as gratuitous and not funny but as long as we hit it just right, it should be funny. The thing is with jokes, they don't always hit.
Ha. I'm sure you'll get it just right. Congrats on "Legit" getting picked up again by the way. What does moving from FX to FXX mean for the show?
It's the same writing and show but all I can tell you is that the difference with FXX is, it will be more comedy based and they're bringing out a lot of new shows in the upcoming year. The FX channel basically did so well in the last few years with its comedies and dramas, now they want to put out even more content so, FXX is a new channel because they needed space for all of that new content.
Will the whole cast be back for season two?
They should be! Jim, Billy, Steve, the parents, Ramona, and Rodney will all still be in for this season. There will be a few new players too. We're negotiating for some big named actors right now for a few small parts but I can't really say too much about it. But, there will be a good chance that there will be some people that you'll definitely recognize.
I can't wait to see it! Now that you're a dad, do you ever fear that when your son is old enough to understand what your comedy is all about that he'll cringe?
No. Not really. I just think that one of biggest fears about being a parent is that no matter how much I teach him about right from wrong, there is so much footage of me out there that he can easily access. It'll be very hard for me to tell him to not take drugs, don't swear, be respectful to women, and all that father stuff I want to teach him. I just hope I can teach him the difference between me and the things that I say on stage. The thing about comedy is, they are my beliefs and thoughts but maybe some of them are just my beliefs and thoughts from an argument I had five years ago. It's not how I walk around all day thinking. I always find it weird when people walk up to me and they go, 'Hey cunt! You're fucking this person and fuck that!" You're just like, 'holy shit! You can walk around like that all day mate? [Laughs.] I have to work myself up to feel like that for an hour!'
People do have trouble separating real life and stage life sometimes...
Well I'm not even saying that it's a stage persona, because it is me. But it's only me for part of the day. It's not me for twenty-four hours of the day.
Do you think you'll turn into the type of comic who tells stories about how your kid shitting is adorable and stuff like that?
I've already become that comic a little bit. [Laughs.] I've always been a guy who talks about what's going on in my life. I don't have an agenda on stage. I think a lot people think I'm in a box where every show I'm going to talk about religion, a story about depression, and some sex stories. It's not the case. I try to write my shows so they aren't too heavy on one subject, they're sort of like three or four big subjects. But at the moment, yeah I'm doing a good ten to fifteen minutes on having a kid. But it's not like a Ray Romano version of having a kid. It still sounds like me so it's pretty gross and all of that stuff. But I don't think I'll ever get to the stage where I'm saying, "and then my child said something so cute!" Look, I find Ray Romano funny but I'm only going to talk about my life myself. I think it would be pretty sad if I'm in my forties still talking about one night stands with girls and taking coke. That could look sad all of the sudden. My hope is that I age appropriately and that my audience ages appropriately with me. My comedy with children will be more about my own disappointments and my own agility. [Laughs.]
Nicely put! I know your newest DVD "Fully Functional" was just released this year but, are you already working on a special?
I only just started putting out feelers for my new special now so I'll be doing all of the new stuff in Irvine. Everything I'll be doing in Irvine will be what the DVD will be.
Catch Jim Jefferies at the Irvine Improv August 30th through September 1st, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618, (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. Also be sure to check out Legit when it returns January 2014 on FXX, get more info on Jim's website www.JimJefferies.com, on his Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @JimJefferies.
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