Jim Jefferies in Tel Aviv December 21

Jefferies, one of the most dauntless talents on the comedy circuit today, is bringing his outlandish and vulgar comedic style back to Israel to cover some of the most talked about issues of the year.

Jim Jefferies (photo credit: Courtesy)
Jim Jefferies
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Australian-American comedian and Comedy Central talk show host Jim Jefferies is slated to return to Israel in December to perform his third stand-up performance in front of a live Tel Aviv audience, as a part of The Night Talker Tour, which spans multiple countries and continents, including the Middle East, Europe as well as the US.
Jefferies, one of the most dauntless talents on the comedy circuit today, is bringing his outlandish and vulgar comedic style back to Israel to cover some of the most talked about issues of the year.
While not normally reserved or sheepish about sharing his own opinions on stage, Jefferies has taken it up a notch in recent years, bringing his own perspective on international and domestic politics to his late night show, the eponymous The Jim Jefferies Show, which airs on one of Viacom Global Entertainment Group’s premier channels, Comedy Central.
Jefferies applies his matter-of-fact approach to a diverse range of topics, including traveling to Jerusalem to speak with religious leaders in an impromptu peace session at a bar, brazenly exposing the gun violence in Chicago during a ride along the downtown streets with a local South Side “tour guide,” as well as explaining why Heathrow Airport’s T5 transit system is “key to the fate of the world.”
No one is as exasperated with the world and people in general as Jefferies is. Therefore, if you enjoy satirical comedy, the Shlomo Group Arena (Drive-In) in Tel Aviv will be the place to be on December 21.
“Last year the gig in Israel was killer, it was one of the best gigs I’ve had all year,” Jefferies told The Jerusalem Post, adding that the enjoyment in coming back to Israel each time lies somewhere within the “crowd as usual, good food, and if I didn’t have a girlfriend I would normally say the pretty women as well, but I think it’s just going to be food really this time. Also, being there at Christmas time as well, I believe it must be pretty different.... maybe I’ll go to Bethlehem.”
Complimenting his crude comedic takes, during his 2018 visit to Israel, Jefferies filmed two separate segments within the country that later aired on his Comedy Central show. One segment spotlighted the very small anti-circumcision movement in the country, while the other, as noted above, brought a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian together in a bar in Jerusalem to try to “bring peace” to the region.
Jefferies delights in pushing all possible boundaries, grinning when he knows he’s being as offensive as possible. He has made this a sort of calling card throughout his tenure as a comedian, and continues to push the boundaries, day in and day out.
While in the country for his 2018 tour, Jefferies performed in front of a sold-out audience in Tel Aviv, and was not shy to make fun of his host country.
“Stop fighting over this land, it’s not that good. I mean, it’s nice, it’s just not worth the argument, you know? I’ll give you Tasmania or something... Florida maybe,” he said during his set in Tel Aviv in early 2018, adding that he doesn’t understand why “these guys have been killing themselves over a patch of dirt, a few below-average nightclubs and a salty-ass lake.”
During his tour around the country, whether in conversation, interactions or what have you, Jefferies will take notes to use in his show later on in the night. He says he doesn’t really know what comedic take he will have on the host country until he actually arrives, explaining that most of these jokes are spur-of-the-moment ideas. He adds that this time around, he will attempt to be more apolitical in his stylings for the Israeli crowd.
“This time around I’m not doing anything political,” Jefferies told the Post. “I don’t really think about what I’m going to say or things like that until I’m on stage. So, I won’t be prepping anything as such, but normally you get your jokes and stuff just by watching the tele, through situations during my day there or through conversations like this.”
“I don’t think for a second that when I’m going to come over to a different country and do a routine on the Palestinians and the Israelis, [I’ll] fix everything with a bit of comedy. For the most part I try to keep it lighthearted.”
LAST YEAR, Jefferies worked many of these minor observations well into his stand-up performance, giving the Israeli crowd a large taste of his comedic take on the local society.
Jefferies peppered his show with plenty of local humor, including jokes about the guttural Hebrew language, and how Birthright trips sell young American Jews hard on Israel, by exposing them to “the hottest women on the f***ing planet.”
“Your customer service sucks d****, by the way,” he said last year in Tel Aviv. The comedian lamented that every restaurant he walked into – which all claimed to serve “the best hummus” – acted like his entering their establishment was an inconvenience.
“There is always someone who tells me, [whenever I walk into a food establishment], that this hummus is better than that hummus, even though I go all around the town and it tastes the same. But I don’t want to be rude, so I always tell them ‘you know this does taste better.’ But, it all seems the same to me.”
However, Jefferies’ true feelings on the country are actually quite sublime, he explained to the Post.
“I don’t find anything intrinsically funny about the Israeli people; mainly, people there are really chill, actually,” Jefferies said. “At a young age you have to join the army, and everyone seems to be such calm people, everybody seems to be up for a good time – for people exposed to conflict throughout most of their lives, they seem to be pretty chill, more chill than Americans, so it’s quite a dichotomy.”
Within the same conversation, Jefferies gives a tip of the hat to shuk and market salesman across the country, giving his views on local the barter system within these Israeli shopping arenas – adding that his skills are not quite up to par yet to get a good deal anywhere in the country.
“I’m not very good at bartering or anything like that, so I just let them rip me off,” Jefferies said to the Post. “I’m not one to get through arguing, so if someone tells me it’s one price I’ll pay it. I'll go ‘OK, fine' and just move on.”
This time around Jefferies has promised a more universal set for his upcoming Tel Aviv audience, claiming that he has drawn back from the local humor to focus on wider topics that all international audiences can enjoy equally, without going into exactly what topics he would feature. Because honestly, where is the fun in that? But we know he will be bringing his signature lightning-fast wit, perfect timing and endless vulgarities throughout a variety of long-winded topics to Tel Aviv once again.
“I will be with two of the best comics I’ve ever seen, that are going to open up for me, [Australian comedian] Amos Gill and [writer for The Jim Jefferies Show] Forrest Shaw. If you like my earlier stand-up routines, like Alcoholocaust, I swear that this routine is much more similar to those compared to my last couple of specials," Jefferies explained to the Post. "Not by design, but very similar, long stories, nothing too political and maybe the funniest show I’ve ever produced."
“I’m hoping everyone enjoys it, because I’ve been having real fun performing it,” Jefferies concluded, adding that he will soon be recording a Netflix special for the routine, which means that the Israeli crowd and those in attendance throughout the rest of his tour will get the first chance to see it, before the wider public.
Tickets for Jefferies’ show at the Shlomo Group Arena (Drive-In) in Tel Aviv on December 21 at 8:30 pm will be available for sale via 2207.kupat.co.il, and range in price from NIS 250 to NIS 350.
Amy Spiro contributed to this report.