“The reality is folks should get on with just laughing” – a conversation with Jimeoin

Jimeoin returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with more of his lighthearted silliness and the promise of big laughs. The Irish comic has been jetting over to Australia for so long that he’s a household name, and this year’s show is sure to solidify that standing. Nick Jones spoke with him this week.

How’s your lead up to the Festival going?

I’m in Adelaide at the moment…it’s going well, it’s going really well; I’m at the beach at the minute so hunky-joy!

The  show is Renonsense Man; where does that title come from?

[The Poster is] the man of the Renaissance [Da Vinici’s Vitruvian Man], so I just turned Renaissance  into Renonsense; it’s as simple as that. Sometimes the hardest thing is to come up with a name for the show; I don’t know if this is a good one, but the show is good, that’s the main thing. The show is better than the name!

Without spoiling anything, what can audiences expect from Renonsense Man?

Big laughs, really big laughs. The kind of laughs where you hit the person next to you, and then you realise you don’t know them. Those laughs that don’t make any noise – you know? – the ones where you can’t breath. Those sort of laughs. Big laughs.

I don’t start off with them; I just do ordinary laughs to start with, then lead into the big laughs.

What is it about the Irish and Australian senses of humor that mesh so well?

It’s just what’s funny, that’s all it is. You’re just a funny nation of people.

Is there anything that is just universally funny?

Yeah. All things are universally funny.

So you don’t have to make any big changes to your performance when you appear in Melbourne, as opposed to places like Edinburgh or Montreal or the US?

My jokes seem to travel well, I don’t really seem to struggle with that. Some people do, with – say – politics about a certain country – that doesn’t travel well – or jokes about a certain city, but I just do my act, and it seems to translate well.

Does comedy have to be controversial/provocative to be funny?

No. No. I find that all a bit boring, to be honest. People are always very interested from a journalistic perspective of anything controversial, but the reality is folks should get on with just laughing… laughing is a great relief for people; as far as being dark is concerned, that’s not something I find necessary.

You somewhat came to prominence for your work in tv and movies, especially the eponymous Jimeoin in the early 90s, often collaborating with Bob Franklin; how did the two of you come together?

He lived in a flat in Bondi with a couple of guys from Belfast, and he did stand up… we just became friends; we were in Sydney, and we both come down to Melbourne together, and he was a natural person to collaborate with… he was a good writing partner, and that worked out well.

You’ve also expressed a love for our Socceroos…?

Yes, yes I do! I enjoy watching the Socceroos; I’ve been watching them for many years now more defeats than anything else – but it was nice to seem them finally make it into the World Cup, and also to win the Asian Cup… it was great!

Jimeoin, thanks very much for your time.

No problem!

 

Renonsense Man is at the ACMI from March 30 to April 23, 8.15pm Thurday to Saturday, 7.15pm Sundays. $38 Preview + Tightarse Tuesday, other prices vary. Tickets are available through the festival website and at the box office.

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Nick Jones

Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe. Writer/Observer.

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