Published Jun 22, 2016Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.
It is always interesting to see how a comedian incorporates their child into an act, but for Australian Jim Jefferies, it is flat-out fascinating. Needless to say, the naughty comedian will have a lot of explaining to do when his son grows up.
Bare, released in 2014, was Jefferies' first special in almost two years, and the first since the arrival of his son Hank. The momentous life change, however, does not slow down or even dampen Jefferies' notoriously crude bits, but gives him new delicate territory to ungracefully stomp around in. Similarly, Jefferies takes aim at his adopted home of the United States and spends a large portion of the show ridiculing gun culture, going so far as to identify why this bit might infuriate certain armed Americans: because he's a foreigner.
Likewise, the Australian further challenges North American sensibilities with his gratuitous use of the c-word, and recounts the various times his Aussie vocabulary has gotten him into trouble. Yet, while staples of his act like vivid storytelling, provocative opinions, and uncouth language are replete throughout, it is the addition of his son that makes the Netflix special more engaging than previous sets.
Despite his attempts to maintain his cavalier persona when discussing fatherhood, Jefferies can't hide his joy. Jefferies playfully jabs that his son is like cigarettes: "I like to hold him for five minutes every hour, and the rest of the time, I'm thinking about how he's fucking killing me." And while generating laughter at the expense of loved ones is not new for Jefferies — who often targeted his overweight mother in the past — Hank is a subject that exposes Jefferies as an emotionally vulnerable performer rather than just a comedic agitator.
Bare becomes the special where Jefferies confirms what his fans have always assumed: underneath his facetiously misogynistic and jaded exterior there's a compassionate man worth listening to.