Renowned for his sharp wit and notorious one-liners, Jimeoin visits us at Club Forster this month. Note January 8 in your diary, if you’d like to experience a night filled with laughter and tears!
A lot of people may not be aware that when you first came to Australia, you earned a crust working with your hands. I’ve read you did gardening work, so how are your gardening skills these days – green thumb, or loathe it with a passion?
Carpenter. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. My gardening skills are very good for a carpenter!
Share with us a reflection of your very first stand up gig – where was it, how did it come about, and what do you most remember about it?
At the Harold park in Sydney. A girl I was with put my name down for the try out section, and I got up and told a few jokes. I then watched the rest of the night. The very thought of that night puts a smile on my face, as I don’t know if I would have done stand up if it wasn’t for that fateful night. I really had no interest in it. I really remember how bright the light was!
Comedians tend to have an eye and ear for the absurd, and find their material in all sorts of interesting places. One comedian I spoke to years ago told me they loved to eavesdrop on trains! Where do you find are good venue to gather material for your shows?
I think everybody loves to eavesdrop, don’t they! Snippets of other people’s conversations are a great insight into other people’s worlds, and from that you often get good stuff.
You’ve travelled all around the world and then some for your career, including many tiny venues in outback Australia while you were filming the documentary Jimeoin Down Under. What’s the most unusual venue you ever performed in, and why does it stick in your mind?
Boraloola on the border of NT and Queensland … next to a place called Hells Gate − and for good reason. Real eye opener as to what drink can do to people.
Given you’ve written and starred in two feature films, The Craic and The Extra and performed on TV many times, you’ve experienced the unblinking eye of the camera ‘audience’. How tough is it to perform when you’re not in front of a live audience, who’d constantly give you feedback?
You get used to it. Doing the Midday show live on TV with a live audience who were all very close to dead was very funny. It used to really make me laugh, as no one really cared that much if you went well or died on your ass. I liked that.
How long have you been working on your new show, What!, which you’re about to tour down under’?
All of my life, really.
Give us a few teasers about what we’ll be hearing and learning from you on your new tour.
Can’t do that. I could tell you a joke, though. Guy says to his friend: “What kind of ring tone do you have?” Friend says: “I haven’t looked, but I think it’s a brownie pink.”
You’re obviously an expert at making audiences laugh, but what are some of the things that really tickle your funny bone?
People falling over is hard to go past. Bad smells. Very basic. I’m like a master chef who eats KFC … I like KFC, by the way.
Your bio says you’re a keen golfer and fisherman. Do you have any stories to share about ‘the one that got away’ … and this could equally apply to a golf ball, as to a fish?
They all got away. I’m not mad about fishing, but I love the places that it takes me too. But the older I get, the harder I find it to kill a living creature. Shot a kangaroo − on a golf course though. He had it coming … moved as I was taking a putt.
What’s in the pipeline for you after you finish the next round of touring – any plans for some more film work, or possibly some new DVDs/CDs?
I think I’ve got a DVD out at the minute. It’s called Something Smells Funny.
This interview was found in issue 71 of Manning Great Lakes Focus