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Jim Jefferies – Edinburgh Festival review

Tuesday, August 07 2012

Parent-to-be Jim Jefferies certainly hasn't gone soft in his new show, he still makes vital, near-the-knuckle humour look so easy, says Jay Richardson

Jim Jefferies

Looking relaxed and leaning back in his chair for a significant chunk of this show, sharing the benefits of his experience, Jim Jefferies could yet become a good father. No matter that the Australian hopes to become a swiftly bereaved single parent in order to exploit naïve waitresses. He wields a fierce, contrary intellect and persuasive wisdom, borne from 13 years traversing the globe as a comic, trying to snort and fuck everything he could lay his hands on and making countless mistakes for future offspring to learn from.

No matter either, that Jefferies emerges as the tarnished white knight, in an episode he relates of the attempted rape of two teenagers by a more famous comic. Such is the effortless brilliance of the storytelling and the honest foregrounding of his role in the sordid affair, that you dismiss his culpability in the crime and right to share it. That’s a dubious feat, certainly. But it’s one he achieves with audacious skill, scarcely registering that a line of offence has been approached.

He cruelly savages the western tendency to indulge childhood stupidity and gleefully satirises the concept of God’s unconditional love with a houseparty tableau in which the Almighty is decidedly unwelcome, and another standout routine involves a fracas he found himself in over an airline seat armrest. Retaining his mischievous and self-righteous streaks in the face of mounting racial and sexual tension, he makes such vital, near-the-knuckle humour appear so easy.

4 stars

Jim Jefferies – Fully Functional is on at 9pm at the Assembly Hall

Review written by Jay Richardson


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