Jimmy Carr “suffers from Joke Tourettes”. Please discuss.
This astronomically popular UK stand-up comedian (& TV panel host & sometime guest) is notorious for his preoccupation with taboo subjects, profanities and signature “honking goose” laugh; and believes “that it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.”
Hence the warning sign(s) that greet you as you enter the auditorium at Hamer Hall; he’s non PC & non-apologetic and “if you’re offended – f*** off!”
But I wasn’t offended. I was entertained. HUGELY.
With rapid-fire edgy one-liners, slide presentations and much encouraged audience interaction. As Carr says, “people imagine getting heckled is bad, but it’s an awful lot of fun… anything that’s funny is good. I don’t have to have the last word; sometimes a heckler nails me and that’s fine… as long as the audience is laughing.” And laugh we did.
That’s the thing with Carr, you’re often conflicted – you know it’s wrong. Really wrong but you can’t help laughing and then following it with a “Ooooooooo!” (once your conscience kicks in). Carr’s response, “I said it, get over it.”
There’s no real theme to the show as such – it’s all just Funny Business but he does discuss (and segue very easily between) such topics as: sexual preference, “vagitarians”, vaginas (95 year old ones and others), marriage, gingers, pregnancy, the fine art of seduction (I’ll never think of Werewolves the same ever again), masturbation (or “hand to gland combat”), sexual abuse, celebrities, immigration (at one stage uttering, “have I divided the room?”), Jetstar & 9/11, and his (long-suffering?) girlfriend. Plus, the controversial jokes that have received complaints and investigating, by UK communications regulator, Ofcom.
He even offers advice to teenage boys telling them, “that you’ll find the ladies are indifferent at best, to the smell of Lynx Deodorant.” Brilliant.
He’s confronting, disarming and impeccably dressed for a “joke teller” who prefers one-liners to narrative driven routines. At one point he tells us, that as a comedian “you don’t get to choose, your humour chooses you” but ultimately, it’s the audience that chooses what material stays in the show. “On tour I’ll try and tell 250 jokes over two hours but in order to get 250 jokes that work, I’ve got to write about a thousand and test them on audiences at warm-up gigs in tiny theatres… if they don’t laugh, it’s in the bin.”
Such a seasoned performer and magnificent with the comeback, that when Carr is heckled you feel much derision (and very occasionally sympathy) for the heckler. In one instance saying, “you seem simple but happy.” Job done.
Supremely confident with an infectious laugh, Carr dispenses with formalities and announces his own encore without ever leaving the stage, “I think I’ve done very well and I’m not willing to wait, so here’s my victory lap.” And he deserves it.
Adrian Bohm presents
Venue: Hamer Hall | Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 25 – 27 January 2016