Skip to content

FringeGuru

Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Edinburgh 2012 arrow Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional
 
Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional
Published on Monday, 27 August 2012
1

1 stars

Assembly Hall (venue website)
Comedy
2-12, 14-26 Aug, 9:00pm-10:00pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 16+ only.

Jim Jeffries is the prince of edgy darkness, and I’d expected this to be a challenging show. I didn’t know whether Jeffries’s brand of nastiness would be my kind of thing – but I was aware that if you are into this kind of comedy, he’s the guy to see do it. Essentially, I wanted to know whether I could live with him doing what he does; to paraphrase a famous voice of reason in cinema, to see whether he’s spent so long figuring out whether or not he could, that he never stopped to think whether he should. But things didn’t quite go that way.

Jeffries wasn’t so upsetting. Actually, he was mostly boring. In the packed Assembly Hall, with a capacity of nearly a thousand, people were laughing, sure, but in that slightly forced, ‘I’ve paid for this and I’m going to enjoy it’ way, rather than in the tears-streaming, uncontrollable, ‘I shouldn’t laugh at this but I can’t help it’ way that I was expecting (and maybe hoping for).

Most of his jokes are not even jokes, just stories of debauched or uncomfortable events. It’s like asking for a few anecdotes from one of Status Quo about what they got up to back in the day. Or the Krankies. A long piece about an argument on a plane goes nowhere, and features that rib-tickling comedy staple of disagreeing with a black person and then worrying that other people might think you are a racist.

Other easy, lazy targets include Christians, and what they believe happens if you don’t get your baby baptised. Snarking at religious belief is so done to death that you’d better have a good angle before you even open your mouth; Jeffries has no angle with this, or any other of his comedy riffs. This is hardly the cutting edge. It’s a man on a stage telling people things they already know, with swearing.

Boringly enough, Jim Jeffries’s final story is about a famous American comedian and him and some women and some unpleasantness in a hotel room. Yawn. But it’s notable for a strange flat intro, where Jeffries explains that the comedian in the story is a very famous film star and we would all know him, but Jeffries won’t tell us his name in case he is sued. Yup, Jim Jeffries sure is edgy. He will happily, as Simon Munnery says, “mock the weak,” but someone who can get lawyered up is safe from any of his barbs.

It really is all quite tiresome and tedious. Not far into the show a couple walked out, shouting abuse at Jeffries for his dark material; but I really wasn’t sure what they were on about, and Jeffries seemed baffled too. Because for all his saying someone looks like they have Down’s syndrome and his flippant remarks about AIDS, the majority of his show is just too dull to be shocking. He’s not smart with his dark, like Frankie Boyle or even Jimmy Carr. At one point he talks about a past life before his current relationship; how he was high fiving and smiling as he slept around. But it seems like it’s not just the change of relationship status that has caused his ennui. It’s like Jeffries is stuck doing this material, but he’s exhausted by it.

Every single one of Jeffries’ stories is about how he made everyone else in the story look like an idiot. And they all conclude with Jeffries sleeping with the hot girl, or winning the argument. He’s like an Aussie Alan Partridge, ending every story with a “needless to say, I had the last laugh.” I’d say Jeffries probably did, but I’m not so sure about his audience.

<< Barbershopera: The Three ...   The Crucible >>

FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger