Jim Jeffries: 30

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

In his very first joke, Jim Jeffries crushes the skull of a newborn baby. As a statement of intent, that’s pretty unequivocal. Jeffries is a bad-taste comic, and positively revels in the image.

With 30 – his age as well as the title – Jeffries lays the blame for his brutal sensitivities squarely at the door of his dysfunctional family, and engagingly recounts a series of childhood anecdotes about the sexual and psychotic exploits of his freakish relatives. The material may not be maiden-aunt-friendly, but Jeffries delivers it with an unlikely charm and a nice way of setting a scene.

Given a background like the one he describes – and he insists every story is true – standing on stage and cracking gags about breasts, vaginas and cerebral palsy victims seems the most well-adjusted outcome he could have expected.

Of course, not everyone takes well to such debased subject matter, and Jeffries is now most famous for being the stand-up who was punched in the head on the stage of the Manchester Comedy Store by a punter who took offence. Here he offers a directors’ cut of the YouTube clip seen around the world, complete with blow-by-literal-blow commentary describing the attack, the punters who waded in to defend him, and the febrile aftermath. Rarely has ABH been so entertaining…

The best segment of the show, however, concerns Jeffries’ brush with the serious condition that he refers to by its medical term ‘dick cancer’. It’s a tale that combines all that defines this brash Australian: indignity, first-hand anecdotes, a serious undertow – and a bucketful of knob gags.

Jeffries is at his best when he provides a context for his low-blow comedy beyond the desire simply to shock. With 30, he’s solidified the reputation for doing just that which he established with last year’s well-received show. He’s still not for the faint-hearted, but there is certainly more to him than the bad-boy persona he cultivates.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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