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No Holds Barred For Jefferies

18 Oct, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Jim Jefferies

Stand-up comedian Jim Jefferies doesn’t always want to be best-known for getting attacked on stage. He’s hoping the DVD release of his HBO special, Jim Jefferies: I Swear to God, changes that.

During an April 2007 set in Manchester, England, a man in the crowd, right in the middle of a joke, attacked Jefferies on stage. Nearly 400,000 YouTube hits later, it’s become his claim to international acclaim.

His HBO special puts him in a more funny, non-street-fight light, featuring his laugh-out-loud digs at everything from God to hookers and racism. HBO Home Entertainment released the DVD Oct. 13 at $19.97.

“With HBO, there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s off limits,” the Australian-born comedian said. “And if there is something off limits to someone, they can always turn it off.”

The special, which is not for the timid, first aired in May as a two-hour set. It has been edited down to an hour for the DVD release. Besides drinking a beer on stage and using words that only George Carlin would have dared utter, Jefferies spends a portion of the set telling his stories while sitting on a giant leather chair on stage.

“It makes it sound like you’re saying something more important,” he laughed, adding he got the idea from watching Bill Cosby.

Jefferies doesn’t find too much difference between British (“more involved”), Australian (“more reserved”) or American audiences (“they clap a lot more”). He said he “didn’t have the balls” to get into stand-up until he was 23, but he knew what he was good at when he was a kid.

“When I was little, I was fascinated by Richard Pryor. Toy was my favorite movie in the world,” he said. “I found out [comedy] is a great way to meet girls and that you get away with a hell of a lot when you’re funny.”

As for going after God, Jesus and all religions in his special, Jefferies, a self-proclaimed atheist, said he’s not too worried about the afterlife.

“I’m very confident with my eternal soul,” he said. “I won’t even know I’m dead.”

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