Thursday, 1 April 1999
Jimeoin April 1, 1999
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
at Melbourne Town Hall . April 1-3, 1999
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Jimeoin can make a thousand people feel as if he's their best mate. It's as if he is nodding and winking at every single one of us with a "know what I mean?" sort of glint in his eye.
He is laugh-out-loud funny - laugh-out-very-loud funny, if my neighbour's hearty guffawing was any indication. "This isn't really observational comedy; it's just observations," he quips. At every story, the crowd hoots, nods madly, agreeing with every nutty thing he says. "It's true. I do that too. He's right."
Jimeoin just about charms the pants off everybody in the audience. In fact, he charmed the coat off a woman in the front row in the first minute. His humour is gentle, common denominator jokery, never lowest common denominator, which is a relief. There are very few bottom jokes.
There is no cultivated "cool" behaviour, no superiority or making the audience feel stupid, which is the hallmark of some comics. He sends himself up. "I've got no lips. People think I've got no teeth." He even finds his Irish accent hilarious, as do we. He's pretty huggable actually.
There is nothing accidental about this comedy either. Jimeoin has comedy craft as well as natural funniness. His style is warm, slow, easy and laconic. He has impeccable timing, his physical humour, especially his 'digging" dancing, is a scream and he has developed re-incorporation of ideas into an art form. He's really a clever boots.
His thoughts wander as he strolls about the stage in jeans and a Wrangler jacket. He chats about the emotive power of eyebrows, the fact that people are sexier on Thursday than they are on Monday (think about it) and how we all look better in the mirror than in photos.
He can get a joke out of big toes or light globes, opening packets of pasta and bunsen burners. (Remember bunsen burners?) He even manages to get a huge roar out of Princess Diana's funeral. Apparently her death was caused by a famous tenor. This was my biggest laugh.
He ends the show with a couple of Rock and Pop songs after he announces his encore. It would be embarrassing if we weren't there when he came back on for it. Nobody was even considering leaving the Melbourne Town Hall until he had well and truly picked up his beer, put on his Wrangler jacket and well and truly gone.