Jim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust

DVD review by Steve Bennett

The title of Jim Jefferies’ second DVD is apparently a lot more than a pun with the potential to cause offence. It signifies, he says, the end of alcohol as he’s promised to quit drinking. ‘This might be the last DVD I record when I’m drunk,’ he says. ‘So the next one is going to suck balls…’

Whether premium-strength lager to Jim is like spinach to Popeye remains to be seen, but abstinence won’t sit easy with this wilfully offensive Aussie’s image as the epitome of the hard-living rock-and-roll comic. He swears profligately, is brutally frank on the subject of sex and his refusal to pay even lip-service to the ideas of political correctness gets him branded, not entirely unreasonably, as a misogynist.

But there’s a lot of depth behind this crass, blokish posturing. Sure enough, some of his philosophies seem reverse-engineered to allow him to justify his most outrageous assertions, but some of the material – such as his take on the folly of ambition – is genuinely thoughtful. Even on the drink, he paints himself as something of a victim of the bottle, albeit a willing one, rather than completely celebrating the binge culture.

Primarily, though, he’s a very talented storyteller. A gripping yarn about entertaining the troops in Iraq proves that; but the tour-de-force is the single, hilarious half-hour tale that comprises the last chunk of this disc in which he tells of taking his schoolboy friend to a brothel – even though he is severely disabled by muscular dystrophy.

There is an instant shock factor to that combination, though Jeffries brings such a unprepossessing humanity to it that you wonder why anyone should be shocked at the premise at all. Here I could get all high-falutin about challenging taboos and the like, but he bottom line is that while this might not be for all the family, it is an outrageously funny yarn, told with consummate yarn-spinning skill. Get the man on Jackanory – or Jack-a-fucking-nory, as he’d have it – now.

Jim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust
Recorded at:
Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, London
Running time: 76 mins
Released by: Comedy Central, out today
Price: £19.99. Click here to buy from Amazon at £11.99

Published: 8 Nov 2010

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