Jim Jefferies Montreal Just for Laughs Bare

Jim Jefferies recalls his infamous MTL story

The Australian comedian tells us how much of his tale — about two 18-year-old girls, a (more) famous comedian & cocaine — is actually true.

Jim Jefferies Montreal Just for Laughs Bare
Jim Jefferies tells us how much of his Montreal tale is true, ahead of his Just for Laughs show in Montreal.

The unfiltered Aussie comedian is a family man these days — he lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and young son — but he has a lot of wild stories from his debauch, drug and drink-fuelled early days. One of the best tales of Jim Jefferies took place in Montreal, and landed on his 2012 special Fully Functional.

You should go watch it right now, but if you’re pressed for time, here are the Coles Notes: Jim Jefferies and a famous unnamed comic took two 18-year-old girls (one hot, one large) back to his Montreal hotel room, and the famous comic tried to assault them, but Jefferies saved the day. He then tried to parlay it into a threesome, but it didn’t go quite as planned. Cocaine was involved.

Jim Jefferies is back at Just for Laughs to present his new special, Bare, which comes out on Netflix Aug. 29. We simply had to ask him about his infamous Montreal incident.

Erik Leijon: So how much of that Montreal story actually happened?
Jim Jefferies: The whole story happened, but the last bit at the end didn’t. Wait, hold on — I did bump into the hot girl again, but I didn’t sleep with her. That’s the only bit that’s embellished. Most of it is true.

EL: What was it like telling the story here for the first time?
JJ: I think Montreal was the first place I ever told that story. It was when I did the next tour afterwards. After that I started telling it everywhere, but it took about three years before I started telling it on stage. I honestly didn’t think people would be interested — it’s the kind of story that sounds a lot more elaborate on stage than in real life. In real life it was something that was over very quickly, with the other comic getting kicked out of the room. It wasn’t a situation where I was thinking, “Oh God I have to beat this guy up.” The guy backed away pretty quickly, realized he was wasted and left the room. It was still bad, but pretty wild. After it happened I didn’t think about it for years, and then I was in Montreal and told it. It turned into a 25-minute routine.

EL: Did you feel you had to wait a few years before telling that story?
JJ: I’ve never said who the comedian is. I never told anyone the names of the girls. I never got anyone else in trouble. What I have done is I’ve lied about what year it happened and maybe where I was. I’ve left little bits of incorrect information so people can’t figure it out.

EL: There’s a sub-reddit where people are trying to figure it out.
JJ: When you’re at these festivals, you hang out with a lot of people.

EL: I guess those types of incidents don’t happen anymore.
JJ: My life now isn’t what it used to be. I have a kid and a girlfriend. Even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to handle drugs anymore — I’m too old. I’m a few beers and then to bed kind of guy. I can’t handle the hangovers. A night like that, wasted and on drugs, I used to do that every night and then do a show. I’d always have a hangover, which could be solved by having a couple of beers. Now, I have four drinks and I’m pottering around like an old man the next morning. I’d like to tell you there’s going to be more of those stories to come, but my life is quite tame these days.

EL: Do you have stories you haven’t told anyone yet?
JJ: I have a couple. In this current show, I tell a story my girlfriend told me about a sexual escapade she had with Madonna. I told it on stage and she got really mad at me. I told her: “Before I met you, I had one-night stand stories, and you’ve taken them away from me, so we all have to pay the rent here” (laughs).

EL: Do you tell jokes about fatherhood?
JJ: Probably 15–20 minutes of show will be devoted to that. It’s well-trodden ground by comedians, but I don’t think it’s an event you can have in your life and then not talk about it. It’s taken up the last few years of my life completely. In saying that, don’t expect me to be Ray Romano — these are still pretty gruesome stories about being a dad. I’m not going to be the guy that says his kid said the cutest thing; it’s in-the-trenches stuff.

EL: Is the world more politically correct compared to when you were starting out?
JJ: No, not at all. I feel like the world is less PC. When I started, it was a revelation that a guy was saying “cunt” so much, especially in America. It was almost like an angle, but now, no one even comments on me saying that anymore, which I’m happy with. I didn’t say it as much as people thought. They thought I was saying it 50 times a night, 10 times an hour. People used to come up and say it in front of me, too, but now it’s not a big deal. When I started in comedy, it was during a more risquée time. 9/11 had just happened, we were going off to war again, patriotism on all sides. Now we’re all more chilled out.

EL: Really? I feel people are always wound up about things on social media.
JJ: We didn’t have social media when I started, just the initial response. People now are up-in-arms about things on social media and you can just ignore them. Before they used to do it right in front of you. But I also don’t read comments about me. It’s not good for my health. ■

Jim Jefferies performs as part of Just for Laughs at Maison Symphonique (1600 St-Urbain) in Montreal tonight, Friday, July 25, 9:30 p.m., $45.86–$52.21

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