“We can’t ever lose track of the show being funny,” explains Jim Jefferies about the political humor in “The Jim Jefferies Show” on Comedy Central. In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “It’s a comedy show. Let’s keep it funny the whole time. We can say a little poignant thing here and there. But it can’t just be a speech, it has to have jokes. Also, in saying that, the other newsreaders shouldn’t try and be funny either. They should just try and tell us the news. I’ll do my bit and they do theirs.”
The weekly late night series hosted by the Australian stand up comic debuted in 2017 and uses comedy to tackle social and political issues. Currently in its second season, the show has often taken aim at the Donald Trump administration. Jefferies says he thinks that “it’s easier to argue over comedy than sitting at a dinner table yelling at each other. Us comedians telling jokes about politics or social issues, give other people a nice entry way into having a discussion that isn’t straight up fighting. It gives people arguments that are funny and light. It’s a lot better than everything being heavy all the time.”
On entering the world of late night, he confesses, “This isn’t a job i thought I’d ever do. I thought of myself as a stand-up and a sitcom guy. Being a person who talks about the news is a shift. Now it seems like I have to have an opinion on everything. I think the show has made me more informed than I have ever been in my entire life. I don’t know if that’s a good thing.”
The weekly show came about for Jefferies because, as he says, “I wouldn’t move to New York for any money in the world, I like it here in L.A. I wouldn’t want to live in a little apartment with a kid. You can’t do a nightly talk show like this from L.A. because of the time difference. At least a news based one. I didn’t want to do a daily type show. Comedy Central called me in for a meeting and I said I’d do a weekly thing. I was in the car driving back and got told they bought the concept. I didn’t even know we had a concept at that stage. I sort of fell into it. I enjoy doing it a lot. I’m glad this is how it all turned out. These are called Pope jobs: once you become a late night host you can’t go back to acting. It’s what you do for the rest of your life.”
With so many different late night shows in the market, Jefferies does not find it helpful to watch the others. “I used to watch those shows a lot more. Now I do my own one, I don’t like to be too influenced by what they are up to. I personally think we’ve got the funniest show out of all those shows. Maybe you don’t learn as much on my show, but I do think it’s the funniest one. That’s a bit arrogant, but I do think it is.”
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