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Interview: Jim Jeffries
Australian comic Jim Jeffries’ shows are so controversial he was once punched in the head by a member of the audience during a gig. Now he’s bringing his outrageous stand-up to Preston Guild Hall.
I DON’T actually mean to be offensive,” says controversial Aussie comic Jim Jeffries.
“I'm just trying to be funny.”
The stand-up, who is bringing his brand new show “Hammered” to Preston tomorrow night, reckons he isn’t as bad as people make out.
“I’ve been called the rudest comic in the world but I don't think I am. There's a lot ruder than me but maybe not as confrontational. I just give opinions and talk about things that have actually happened to me.”
Some of the audience members evidently disagree: during a gig at Manchester Comedy Store a couple of years ago he was punched by a member of the audience after making a near-the-knuckle gag.
Jim, who now lives in the UK, says British audiences are usually more forgiving than their Aussie counterparts.
“I prefer living in the UK because there's absolutely no comedy scene in Australia," he said. “The weather’s too nice. People don't want to go inside to hear about my troubles, they want to go to the beach and frolic.
“Also, there are some swear words you can't say in Australia that you can say here. There are certain words that if you said them on stage in Australia they’d kick you off straight away."
Has he ever considered dropping the swearing part of the act?
“Of course you don't have to swear to be funny. It’s not essential, but I like doing it and sometimes it does help the jokes.
There’s no better word sometimes than the f-word. Sometimes you just can’t sum things up as well without using it. I like swearing because I’m very good at it. You shouldn't swear if you’re bad at it. Some people when they swear it's toe-curling. There’s nothing worse than listening to a posh girl swearing.”
Jim has no plans to curb his behaviour.
“Nothing is taboo," he said. "I used to have subjects I thought I wouldn't cross the line and talk about, but now I think as long as it's funny and it's not done in a horrible way to be intentionally offensive, it’s OK.
“As long as you’re saying what you're saying to make someone laugh and there's no vitriol it doesn't matter what the subject is.
“Being a comedian is great,” he added. “Although the best and the worst thing about it is the same: the free alcohol."
l See Jim Jeffries at Preston Guild Hall tomorrow night. Call 01772 258 858.