CJLO @ JFL: Jimmy Carr: He'll Make You Cry

Although his last name is Carr, his comedy is more comparable to a monster truck. Jimmy Carr is one of Britain’s top comedic exports, and Montrealers found out why last night. The 45-year-old Londoner presented us with Jimmy Carr: The Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour at Le Gesù. Before the show even began, a slideshow on the projection screen invited audience members to text in questions, heckles, jokes, or tell Jimmy about a special occasion happening that night. Already, you could feel that this 425-seat theater was going to host a very intimate and interactive show. The crowd got warmed up with an array of short jokes and comical warning messages sliding through the big screen. From that point on, it was clear that this show might make the sensitive cry and make the others cry as well.

Jimmy Carr’s type of comedy is honest but brutal, and not made for the faint of heart. He ploughed through a panoply of taboo themes that went from disabled children to transvestites, and even the blind and their guide dogs (i.e.: Guide dogs for the blind: who picks up after them?). When I thought I was safe and that he had spared me, he went for it and did a bit on gingers—or as he calls us, strawberry disgusting. My favourite part of the show was witnessing Carr’s expert-level improvisational skills. His crowd work is second to none and he knows it. He never shied down from small talk with audience members, asking us questions and letting us respond until every single person had said what they wanted to say. He riffed with a girl whose phone went off during the show, and never ceased to amaze me with his punchlines coming at machine gun speed. 

The show lasted exactly an hour and a half, but I promise you that it was nothing short of feeling short. The first hour went by surprisingly fast (I usually tend to drift off at the 60-minute mark) but Carr doesn’t do anecdotal comedy. His one-liners kept our minds busy; every minute or so, he transported us in a new place that didn’t give our brain the opportunity to make it to neverland. What about those text messages he asked the audience to send him? Well, the show had us come full circle when Jimmy started reading (on the screen) text messages that were sent by audience members. Okay, let’s be honest, out of the 20 or so messages he read, about 5 were from actual audience members. The rest were well-crafted jokes put into text message context appearing to be from audience members (i.e.: If animals don’t want to be eaten, why are they made of food?). At least he read, what I assume to be, all of the messages sent by our group of audience members: I had the proof when he read my message, about my friend Zach’s birthday. What ensued between him and Zach after was the sweet, sweet feeling of watching your friend slowly get dragged down into the comedy abyss of Jimmy Carr. I strongly recommend this show, but beware: if you’re sensitive, you might leave crying, and if you’re not, you will definitely leave crying.