Jim Jeffries: Porn Idol

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Like pornography itself, there is nothing clever nor subtle about Jim Jeffries' debut show. He prides himself upon dishing out lashings of the most explicit and, often offensive punchlines of the festival, simultaneously managing to produce one of the more riotously funny hours on offer.

The show is actually deceptively well structured, with material about pornography perhaps only making up about half of the hour. This portion is bookended with more general observational material that regularly climaxes with Jeffries ranting, becoming increasingly angry with his subject matter (albeit the A-Team or general offence at the word 'spastic').

His nasal-like voice and on-stage posture, leaning forward towards his audience as if shouting at one particular member, service to make these tirades increasingly hilarious as he withholds absolutely nothing.

His material on pornography is interesting and funny, as Jeffries attempts to normalise the industry by representing it as any other profession. His, er, hands-on experience is limited to one day, working as a presenter on a Sex In Their Eyes special for The Adult Channel, but that is undoubtedly more than most and so Jeffries can portend to offer a unique view.

Undoubtedly, his strongest moments are when discussing his outsider's view into the on-set atmosphere, surrounded by professionals who had seen it all before. There is something he does not find quite right about having a conversation with the male lead who is masturbating in preparation for the final scene, and his articulation of the odd juxtaposition of curiosity and fear creates much of the comic thrust for the show.

Despite making his trade from overtly explicit and offensive material, Jeffries somewhat surprisingly comes off as good-natured, vulnerable, even. When he takes an audience members' phone after it rings, he does not just hang up but calls his little nephew for his birthday in Sydney to allow him to hear the show. Yet, when returning the phone, he kindly asides, "Thanks for being such a good sport", to the woman, making sure that all is forgiven, it was only a joke and everybody can remain friends.

His final, cringeworthy story involving a vibrating egg, Amsterdam and his colon simply confirms this vulnerable image with self-deprecating humour at its most low.

Obviously, there are many other more witty or intelligent shows to be found on the Fringe, but, for all-out laughs at any expense, Jeffries show has to come highly recommended. Much like pornography, this is a highly guilty pleasure.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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