Jim Jefferies shows up to Tel Aviv in rare form for a night to remember

However, despite the knowledge of delicate issues in America and the fact many of the audience-goers have adopted English as a second language, the crowd hung on to Jefferies' every word throughout.

Jim Jefferies gestures toward the crowd (photo credit: BEAUTIFUL LIFE PHOTOS)
Jim Jefferies gestures toward the crowd
Hanukkah came a day early for those in attendance at Jim Jefferies’s stand-up show in Tel Aviv Saturday night – an early Hanukkah filled with the copious artistic uses of his favorite adjective, the forbidden c-word.
Using his crude comedic takes, the Australian-American comedian and Comedy Central talk show host showed up at the Shlomo Group Arena in rare form to take on the Israeli crowd – performing in his last stop on the European leg of The Night Talker tour, later to be expanded into a Netflix special.
Jefferies applied his matter-of-fact approach to cover a diverse range of topics, including long riffs on sending his son to school with Gal Gadot’s daughter, Israeli norms, performing stand-up comedy in today’s sensitive society, Michael Jackson, how peanut allergies are a “you problem” as well as his ongoing battle with lactose intolerance.
“We’re in Israel, so I have to mention this person. Me and Hank [Jefferies’s son], we was watching Wonder Woman,” Jefferies said, as he paused for the crowd’s cheer for a story about their Israeli superstar Gadot.
“We was watching Wonder Woman, and Hank turns to me and says ‘That’s Kiera’s mom.’
“I said, ‘What?’
“And he said, ‘Wonder Woman – that’s Kiera’s mom.’
“So I go ‘Why don’t you tell me about Kiera?’
“‘No, don’t like her’ [says Hank]. ‘What do you care for?’
“‘Why? I want to go to Kiera’s birthday party!’”
Following the initial story, Jefferies went on to add that he met Gadot only once, at a preschool graduation ceremony. When Gadot’s daughter pointed out Hank, Gadot went up to Hank and said to him, “You must be Hank, I have heard so much about you,” whereupon Jefferies interrupted and blurted out, “I’m not with his mother anymore!”
As usual, Jefferies was not shy to make fun of his host country. He peppered his show with plenty of local humor, including jokes about the guttural Hebrew language, the meaning of the word “shalom,” different grades of hummus according to Israelis, how Jerusalem is “bulls***” and plenty more hot takes from Jefferies’s mouth to Israeli ears.
“‘Shalom’ means peace?!” Jefferies asked, after a crowd member explained to the comedian what the word means. “What do you f***ing people know about peace? Come on all, show me how it’s done. Go down to the Gaza Strip and say ‘Shalom’.... Someone threw a rock at me. Arghhhh. Why can’t we all get along? It’s f***ing Christmas you c***s.”
Jefferies continued the conversation after learning his Hebrew word of the day, describing to the crowd his feelings toward Israel’s largest city, Jerusalem.
“I went to Jerusalem. It’s a load of bulls***, you can f*** off. It’s not real. They say they found the actual place where Jesus was crucified. Did you really?” Jefferies said. “There were tons of people being crucified, but they were like, ‘Nah, nah this is the one. He went there, then they put him on the stake here, and then the cave was there.’ Seems very f***ing convenient to me.”
Jefferies delights in pushing all possible boundaries, grinning when he knows he’s being as offensive as possible. With that being said, this night was directly up the alley from what is to be expected from Jefferies and his upcoming Netflix special.
His vulgarities and opinionated comedy were thoroughly enjoyed by the Israeli crowd. And, while most of his comedy was tailored for a well-rounded international audience, bringing known worldwide issues and personal anecdotes to life, some of the jokes, such as Jefferies’s onstage energy drink looking like the water in Flint, Michigan, went over the heads of most, at which point Jefferies applauded a lone laugher for catching the reference.
However, despite the required knowledge of delicate issues in America and the fact that for many in the audience English was a second language, the crowd hung on to Jefferies’s every word throughout the show, for a full hour and a half, including some change.
When Jefferies announced to the audience that he would be telling his final anecdote for the night, he couldn’t help but take a swipe at the written Hebrew language, which to outsiders looks like hieroglyphics.
“I would like to leave this place, but I can’t read the exit signs. Your language sucks. E-X-I-T, four letters, that’s it. Your sign reads circle, line, backwards seven, circle, circle, wonky K, squiggly Y,” he said, reading the sign backward, from left to right. “Yeah, go f*** yourself.”
Jefferies isn’t for everyone. But the fans at Saturday night’s show left after getting exactly what they came for. Close to an hour and 45 minutes of cringe-worthy vulgarities, crude takes, impeccable timing and a night to remember.