"G'day Karl," Jim Jefferies bellows down the line from LA. I shouldn't be surprised that he sounds the same as he does onstage, but I am. I ask how he is. "I'm alright," he bellows.

It's this voice, loud, boorish and full of exaggerated Aussie vowels, that unexpectedly made the outspoken comedian the champion of America's anti-gun movement after a 15-minute bit from his 75-minute long Netflix comedy special Bare went viral on social media.

The routine, titled Guns are not Protection but more commonly known as Gun Control, is a brilliantly acerbic, sensationally delivered and devastatingly hilarious takedown of every argument America's pro-gun brigade regularly trots out in their bonkers defence of everyday folks owning military grade assault weapons.

It made him famous - although in comedy circles he was already well known, playing venues like Carnegie Hall before Bare's release in 2014. But he says the bit gave him a mass audience.

However many new fans were surprised, shocked and outraged to find their brand new comedy hero sandwiching his cutting, spot-on social commentary between extremely filthy and extraordinarily objectionable routines.


Jefferies is often labelled the world's most offensive comedian and indeed, his is the view looking up from the mank of the gutter. He doesn't pretend otherwise.

"It's as simple as: I write things I think are funny. Things come to me. It's not premediated," he explains. "If I could get a silly hat I knew the whole audience would laugh at, I'd buy a silly hat tomorrow and put it on. But I don't know how to write those jokes. I know how to write these other jokes. I know how to perform them."

What's the trick to pulling them off, I ask.

"You can say anything but - but - the more offensive the joke, the funnier it has to be. You have to be really funny to get away with a paedophile gag. You gotta be so funny that the person who would be most offended will secretly be chuckling inside. That makes it tougher.

"To be honest if you put me in a comedy club with people who had never heard of me I probably wouldn't be a very good comedian anymore. I'm just playing to people who have already seen my specials so I can say anything."

That's not entirely true. Jefferies is very funny. Despite your take on his material, his comedic craftsmanship is beyond doubt. Gun Control wouldn't have taken off if he sucked. But that bit's almost two years old now. What's gaining his ire these days?

"At the moment, the election," he bellows. Jefferies lives in America, so the presidential race is on his mind.

"I've gotten into talking about immigration because I'm an immigrant. I'll be at parties and people will tell me about the immigration problem, how we're letting too many people in. The fact I'm an immigrant is completely lost on them. It's because I'm not one of them brown-skinned ones that's bombing them. I'm not one that contributes by cleaning bathrooms or picking fruit.

"What's gonna happen is they're gonna have four years where they kick all the illegal immigrants out and the place is gonna be a f**ken mess," he concludes. "And they're gonna be paying $50 for a pineapple."

Trump's rise seems inexplicable I say: what the hell's going on over there?

"The same thing that happened with Britain and Brexit. It's a fear-based thing," he says. "It's racists rising up after having a black man in charge for eight years. But they're going in the opposite direction a little too fiercely. It's racially based, what's happening. Sadly enough."

In Gun Control he had answers. Is there an answer to this?

"Hmm... well... aahh... um... No."


"There's a solution to Trump," he offers. "You don't vote for Trump. There's a solution for him. His group is the least diverse, least educated folks. They're the ones who like him. You're not gonna fix that. The only way to fix racism, really, is to f**k it away. We all f**k each other till no one knows what anyone is."

Having solved one of the world's ills, we shift conversation to one of the world's joys; parenthood. Jefferies tackles this topic at length in his recent comedy special Freedumb, bringing much-needed real talk to the parenting table. Being a parent, I tell him it was refreshing to hear ranting as opposed to the usual gushing. Parenting is hard work.

"I'm with you, but it's not as hard as people think. You show up. You drop him off at things and you pick him up from things when you say you're going to. And that's the big secret! Make sure you're there on time."

In typical Jefferies fashion he distills down to simple common sense. It's the voice, I conclude; it makes everything sound so "well, duh" obvious.

"That's the big secret to being good at work as well," he bellows. "Everything in life is just showing up, knowing what you want to do and being there on time."

It's really as simple as that?


WHO: Comedian Jim Jefferies
WHAT: Touring a brand new show all around New Zealand
WHEN: From October 19. Tickets onsale now.