Life before comedy … didn’t exist. Jim Jefferies was just “a kid dicking around” both in Australia and then in England. He explained, over the phone, that there wasn’t a lot of opportunity as a comic in Australia. “You work really hard, and the best you get is an early-morning radio show.” At 17, he became an atheist, which is usually the heaviest part of his act.
After six years of building his confidence to return to comedy, he was back at comedy clubs and open-mike nights at the age of 23. And he loves it. The best part? Not having to dress up. “I still don’t wear a suit to work, and I only own one pair of black shoes,” he said, “which I bought recently. I remember having to buy shoes when going to people’s weddings or court.” When he’s not at clubs or theaters, he’s at home keeping up with his artistic endeavors. “I have to write at least a minute of stand-up a week, which is a lot. Well a minute of good, not a minute of shit.”
Another big part of Jefferies’s life is his almost-2-year-old son, whom he hopes will be super funny. He already sees a sense of humor in him. “I don’t know if it’s good or bad sense of humor, but he definitely has the passion,” he said. “He’ll fart and then laugh …. That’s like the funniest thing someone can do!” He also hopes that his son will be a lot of things he is not. “His mental health is probably already stronger than mine” and, due to his own lack of athletic skills, Jefferies hopes that his son will be able to catch a ball. (He claims to be so bad at sports that he can remember every point that he’s ever scored in his life.)
You may assume all comedians are best friends. However, Jefferies disputes that: “There are not many comedians I like to work with.” Sure, the comedy community is friendly, but not one comedian is worried about what another comedian is up to. “We all think we’re the most talented. No one is writing a better stand-up routine than me. But obviously, I’m not. My television show was cancelled after a few episodes.”
What he really wants the audience to take away from the show is a good time. “I don’t think I’m gonna change the minds of any people, but I do think I can maybe at times put into words what they’re thinking.”
And what is Jefferies thinking? Onstage, he’s sometimes thinking: “I wonder what would happen if I just started screaming and rolling around.” When you’re the most important thing in the room in front of a mass of people, you’re bound to want to do crazy things.
Jim Jefferies, Sunday, September 7, at 7 p.m. Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St. $32-$42. Call the box office at 963-4408 or see lolcomedyfestival.com.