As I sit at my desk recapping my interview with Jim, I wonder, how do you begin to describe him? A comedian, sure; an international sell-out, absolutely, but he is so much more than these things. You see, Jim Jefferies is not the usual. He knows no boundaries, and he pulls no punches. He is outspoken, controversial, and opinionated. He dares to say what others would never consider. Ultimately, Jim Jefferies does not fit the status quo. He is, however, one of the world’s favourite comics, and Australia can proudly claim him as our own.
At the end of this month, Jim finishes his 2015 national tour, LIVE, where shows were sold out across the country, with a demand for additional performances.
“Yeah, the tour’s been going well. I perform pretty much the same stuff for different places and countries – sometimes, if something comes up pertaining to that nation I might add something in, but otherwise it’s the same. You see, I don’t write to offend people. I write things that I find funny, and yeah, some people don’t think that’s funny. But that’s alright. You don’t have to like it.” Known for his brutally honest and blunt nature, Jim has been labelled crass, disgusting, incredibly intelligent, or, interestingly, a ‘bogan with a brain’. Jim is notorious for his aptitude to discuss highly contentious issues – most famously, religion and gun control.
Recently, I came across some news that I knew would be perfect to discuss with Jim, a passionate atheist. In Oklahoma, a south central state of America, a ban has been put in place for atheists to legally marry. As expected, I encountered a series of expletives and comments that left, without a shadow of a doubt, exactly what Jim Jefferies thought of the situation.
“What? Are you f*****g kidding? I hadn’t heard about this yet! F*****g morons.” He laughs. “Well, that’s about as stupid as gay people not being allowed to marry, isn’t it? What a bunch of rednecks. I mean, if you want to get married, you could go out of state. Or, better yet, get out of a place that condones that sort of s**t! If it doesn’t concern you, don’t worry about it.”
Because of his strong opinions, Jim has established a repertoire with his audience that generally acquires a love or hate notion for him – more often than not, the “in-between” opinion cannot be found. On February 22nd, 2015, Jim tweeted, ‘I’m going to say “who gave this guy a green card” to every Mexican I meet now. It seems like a fun joke’, following a joke from Sean Penn. For this, he received a massive backlash of hatred and animosity. Discussing this with Jim, he said:
“Yeah, I was just being sarcastic; I even put that on my Twitter after the initial post. I was taking the p**s on Sean Penn. People seem to forget that I’m an immigrant with a green card. Again, I don’t write to upset people. But yes, about a quarter of the feedback I receive is hate mail, but I don’t let that bother me. I just write what I think is funny.”
In his personal life, Jim has a two-year-old son, Hank, with his partner, actress Kate Luyben. While in Australia, Jim plans on visiting Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef, and has seen some family in Western Australia. On his family, Jim says:
“I’m not the real drawcard there, they’re more interested in Hank than me. Hank’s favourite joke at the moment is the ‘pull my finger’ joke. We do that one again and again. Considering the kid only knows about 80 words at the moment, he doesn’t really get my jokes. But he will.” Jim visits Australia for a month every year, taking a break from his home in Hollywood.
So, what’s next for Jim?
“Well, Legit has just gone onto Netflix, so I’ll see how that goes. I’d like to write a new show, do more movies, more stand up. But at the moment we’re just doing things day by day, so that’s my plans really.”
Regardless of the pessimists that surround Jim Jefferies and his controversial style of comedy, he still has masses of loyal fans. Often referred to as the ‘exception to the rule’, Jim continues to bring sensitive but important topics to the forefront in what can only be described as a brutally honest and liberated fashion. It appears that Jim Jefferies is a very intelligent man, for these topics of discussion are never unsupported or shrouded with irrelevant material. Whatever one may think, one thing is blindingly clear – you do not become as successful as Jim Jefferies by accident.
When I first met Jim, I called him passionate. His response?
“Passionate? I’ve never been called that before. I’ll take it.”
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