Now on the second leg of his first ever Australian tour, British comedian and television host sensation, Jimmy Carr, brought his latest show of witty one-liners, crude observations and utterly hilarious back-and-forth with heckling audience members, Terribly Funny, to Brisbane’s QPAC Concert Hall for 2 hours of side-hurting laughter.
Whether you’ve seen him on The Big Fat Quiz or 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, his various Netflix comedy specials, or the barrage of ‘Jimmy Carr Owns Heckler’ compilations on YouTube, Carr’s notoriety as a comedian who loves to push the boundaries of finding the joke in all situations have created such a strong following of laughter-enthusiasts, and has also definitely created a few ‘cancel culture’ centric enemies along the way (something he touches on in this show a bit!). But, it’s Carr’s ability to eloquently and seamlessly perform his risque routines in such a manner that literally no one is safe from mockery, in a way that jokingly never punches down on people, that has made him one of the most respected comedians working today.
Terribly Funny opens with a 2 minute long video of text-on-screen explaining to the audience that for the next 90-minutes or so, they will be subjected to a barrage of jokes. But in order to test the audience’s level of expectation of how vile, rude and inappropriate the forthcoming jokes may be, a few played in word form to warm up the crowd, along with a quick dig at blondes who may not get jokes straight away, so Jimmy will talk slowly for them. Then a 5 second countdown along with a nice touch of Drapht’s ‘Jimmy Ricard’ blasting through the speakers for the Australian audience, Carr entered to a rapturous applause before diving head first into his assaulting barrage of jokes.
The most shockingly entertaining aspect of Jimmy Carr’s shows is realising that he writes a new show almost every year. The rate he fires jokes out in his set, along with the brilliant ability to string them all together in a cohesive and thematic way, displays his comedic genius, unfolding word-by-word as he gleefully attempts to get the audience to laugh and cringe at literally everything we’re societally told not to laugh at.
Carr pulled out the big guns early and riled up the already giddy Brisbane by making incest jokes about Tasmanian’s and calling out the criminal nature of the suburb of Logan. His niche inclusions of the locals into his already tightly scripted routine is a great example of how his confidence as a performer, not just as an comedian, but also in his unapologetic way that he can make fun of everything and everyone (including himself in a vanity themed botox and hair transplant rant) can create comedy gold in both the scripted and unscripted format.
White people, black people, Asian people, gay people, straight people, men, women, transgender people, children, anti-vaxxers, scientists, politicians, royalty, religion, Christmas and even his own tax evasive history weren’t safe as every line that came out his mouth had the audience loudly laughing through their shocked gasps of disbelief that what was said could even be said, let alone in a (privately) public way! And it’s Jimmy’s ability to make the audience understand that he loves everyone (except Piers Morgan, who in a bit about America’s gun laws, states the controversial news pundit could use 15 billion bullets himself) no matter who they are, but everyone should be allowed to make jokes about themselves and others as long as it’s not coming from a place of hate. That’s what separates Carr from other ‘edgy’ personalities, whether it be comedians or internet personalities. He is able to make fun of people, without hurting or marginalising anyone, no matter how crude or vile the punchline may be.
But, Jimmy’s bread and butter is his quick witted ability to comedically and verbally spar with hecklers in his shows. Carr’s unflinching desire to have what is considered to be every comedian’s nightmare actually happen to him is truly amazing to watch unfold. Two of the highlights being a great back and forth with an anti-vaccine, single mother who’s had COVID twice and not died, with Jimmy rebutting: “Third time’s the charm”, and an astoundingly funny, yet educational lesson with a 16 year old crowd member about what and what isn’t consent.
After 90 laugh-filled minutes, Carr informed the audience that the main portion of the show was over, but that when he is on tour he likes to test and try material he has been writing while on the road. This was a really fascinating insight into how the comedic mind works, as he attempted jokes for the first time that weren’t fully fleshed out, but his gauging of the audience’s reaction to them allowed a peek behind the curtain as to how jokes develop over time into rip-roaring bits.
Carr then closed out the night with a fun, interactive bit in which he reads text messages that were sent in by the audience from this show, and a selection of his own favourites from the tour so far. With a handful of embarrassing shoutouts, people own favourite jokes, and a classic Aussie colloquialism of: “Oi c**t, wanna do a Maccas run”, Jimmy closed out his fantastic 2 hours on stage by doing what he does best, and seemingly loves the most, interacting so engagingly with an audience who loves his work.
Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny is touring in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney until May 7. Head to Jimmy’s website here for more information.
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