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NON-THREATENING, APPEALING BUT DOESN’T QUITE SPARK

Print Version

NZ International Comedy Festival
JIMEOIN in WHAT?!
Presented by A-LIST ENTERTAINMENT

at Opera House, Wellington
19 May 2013

Reviewed by Maraea Rakuraku, 20 May 2013


You know it's not going well when at the top of the set the comedian you've come to see suggests gig-etiquette that involves your interest waning.  Observationally true as it is, it's not good when not only does that happen (and more frequently three quarters of the way through the set as I keep on looking at my watch), but also you find yourself laughing and waiting in anticipation, not at the comic, but for who-ever is seated behind us whose laugh resembles what seems to be an aborted, not fully committed orgasm. Think lots of build up with very little pay-off. Such is the feel of sitting in this Jimeoin in What audience. 

As for Jimeoin himself, sure he's funny; good at telling stories, carrying the anecdote and joke through several scenarios, and the faces he pulls are great … But when he pulls out a book and starts testing potential gags (though this may be part of his routine), it feels like he's stalling or tired or bored or all of it.

Even so a stalling, tired, bored Jimeoin is still a very very funny man.

Obviously his years on the international circuit are in play.  You don't get the ‘let's throw everything at this because I'm bombing' panic.  I like the pace.  He takes his time and then shifts it up when it's needed, as when he starts in on accents. 

His Māori accent gets one of the biggest laughs. Hmmm … Has he only ever seen angry Māori? Towards the end, when I feel like I am back in my student days watching band practice, I know it's time to go. Though the crowd participation is fun.

I see his appeal.  He's non-threatening and finds the funny in all those mundane domestic tasks we all universally loathe. At one stage he reminds me of a former flatmate who was also one of the most hilariously obnoxious men I've ever met; who, had he not gone the corporate route, could have been a stand-up (it may not be too late, Gas). See that's my attention waning. Jimeion warned me about that.  Bet he didn't know it carries on to the next day. 

He appeals to a wide demographic range, as is evident with the numbers who brave a shit Wellington night to see the gig. I'm relieved it's a 7pm start and by the end of it I'd say he is too. There's time to do something else. 

There are moments but it just doesn't quite spark, and whatever interest the audience had in perhaps rollicking in the aisles doesn't eventuate. But perhaps that's all part of his charm and popularity.
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