His current tour, Laugher Therapy, kicked off at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival during the autumn of last year, and I was lucky enough to attend his recent show at the Warwick Arts Centre on 21st January 2011.
Having seen Jimmy at Sheffield City Hall during his 2009 Joke Technician tour, I was hoping to see a completely different show. I wasn’t disappointed, with Jimmy spending close to 2 hours on stage firing out his trademark red hot jokes.
The show kicked off with warm up jokes being projected onto a large screen on the stage. This has been used before on a Jimmy Carr tour, but the idea is still effective, and the jokes were hilarious.
Then on stepped Jimmy Carr to a roar of cheers, and after a quick wave and thank you, BANG: first joke! BANG: second joke! BANG: third joke! And he didn’t relent throughout the entire show.
As with many of his shows, Jimmy likes audience participation, often selecting audience members to come up on to the stage and help him out with his routines. The most notable of his guests were Lee the ‘biscuit designer’ whom Jimmy interviewed about his job, only to quickly discover the guy was lying, and the music student (“When I look at you I don’t see a music student. I just see two disappointed parents”) who helped him out with a little bit of double-act comedy.
Being the master of comebacks, Jimmy even encouraged audience members to heckle him. While heckling may be the bane of many-a-comedians lives, Jimmy relished taking on anyone who dared shout anything out, quickly cutting them down to size with some razor sharp off-of-the-top-of-his-head comedy.
Midway through the second half I attempted to get a short video on my camera…only for him to see me, point at me and say “stop taping the show, you pikey!”
To end the show Jimmy embarked upon a quest to find how offensive he could go, saving a joke which even he said made him laugh but go “oh for f*cks sake”. I don’t know what this says about me, but I nearly weed laughing at it! I won’t divulge the punch line, but the setup is “how do you get a gay man to f*ck a woman?”…
After the show Jimmy was gracious enough to spend an hour meeting his fans and signing autographs. While I know he isn’t as mean spirited and offensive in real life as he is on stage, I was still pleasantly surprised to get a nice warm handshake, and a genuine “thanks for coming, I really appreciate it”. He signed both of my tickets and enquired about my (Barnsley) accent, revealing he had some good friends in Denby Dale, only a stone’s throw from my hometown. It was nice to see he was down to earth and appreciated his fans.
While the comedy of Jimmy Carr may not be to everyone’s taste, for those that do enjoy his humour on shows such as 9 Out Of 10 cats and Big Fat Quiz of the Year, then attending one of his live shows is a must. Obviously on television Jimmy is restricted as to what he can and can’t say, but in a live situation he pulls out all of the stops, and keeps every single member of the audience laughing from start to finish.