The Aussie’s new Netflix special drops today, just in time for July 4 in the USA.
A Swiss watchmaker doesn’t know better timing, controversial Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies releasing his latest attack on the US in the form of a Netflix stand-up special, just in time for July 4 – in an election year.
The man who candidly admits he’s largely known for that one gun control bit that your aunty discovers for the first time, every time there’s a US mass shooting (all too often), Jefferies doesn’t shy away from that opinionated, anti-gun and anti-dumb persona that’s made him an international star.
In fact, he’s more pointed and controversial than ever, opening his seventh stand-up special since 2008 with a 10-minute bit on rape and Bill Cosby, which culminates with his assertion that: “If my drink was spiked, I would take it as a compliment.”
In fact, he spews the word “rape” more than he does “cunt” – a word he explains he helped make legal in comedy clubs around the US by his world record use of it. But he does it not so much for comic effect, as to make a point to critics and social justice warriors that when it comes to comedy, nothing should be off the table. That PC is the death of comedy. And that comedy is a social commentary, and talking or finding humour in something morose isn’t a reflection of that person’s morals, attitude or beliefs. Like beauty, comedy is in the eye of the beholder – “this isn’t a Ted Talk”.
Jefferies is quick to admit that he profits from misogynistic jokes. Then makes light of the current outrage culture by pointing out that he only began receiving hate mail for said jokes after his last special, despite the fact that all five of his previous specials were just as misogynistic – “It just proves that with women, you really have to fucking repeat yourself.”
Is it confronting and offensive? Fuck yes. Especially for women. But to quote another controversial comedian in Anthony Jeselnik: “They say women hate me. That’s not true. Dumb women hate me. Smart women don’t come to my shows.”
And that’s kind of Jefferies’ point – if you don’t like him, don’t watch or listen to him. But don’t criticise what you can’t understand.
Relaxed by comparison to his previous specials and with more breathing room, it’s not until the 46th minute that he finally gets around to talking about ’Murica, freedom and gun control.
Like you’d expect, nothing’s off limits – euthanasia, abortion, vaccination, prostitution, nor painting gun lobbyists and Trump supporters as sexual deviants who get off on mass shootings in other countries because it proves that even where strict gun laws exist, mass shootings still happen. Contrary to his earlier statements on rape and humour, the second half of his special is largely reserved for his honest opinion on US law.
At one stage, he likens Donald Trump to a kid running for class president – “and we’re going to have two lunches!”
Is it worth watching? Yep. Is it as good as his previous specials? Not entirely. But that could largely be due to the fact that since 2014 comedy audiences have been overwhelmed with outrageous and inappropriate-style humour due to the popularity of acts such as Jefferies, Amy Schumer, Jeselnik, Ricky Gervais, Bill Burr and the many trying to imitate them.
It’s familiar and well-trodden territory. And there are plenty of laughs.
But perhaps the highlights of this special are when he incorporates hot topic issues into his personal anecdotes about being an absolute dick as a boyfriend and father. Like when he kidnapped his own toddler from his own house, to get him vaccinated against its mother’s will.
Jim Jefferies courts controversy. And we’re better – and more uncomfortable – for it.