Jimmy Carr’s latest DVD, Telling Jokes Live, sees him performing a 90-minute set at the Bloomsbury theatre in London and sees him in fine form. I’m sure Carr needs little introduction to the majority of readers, as he’s become a household name with a series of stand up tours and TV appearances over the years. If the quality of some of the shows that Carr is associated with can, at times, be questionable, the quality of his input in those shows is rarely anything but excellent.
As usual, ironic misogyny is a prominent feature throughout the set. Carr is incredibly skilled at delivering one liner after one liner that produce a mixture of laughs and groans from the audience. He uses a similar format in the majority of sets I’ve seen of his, but it’s extremely rare that he reuses material year after year, which is more than can be said of some comedians performing today. This ability to come up with new material year after year and to perform with such confidence, combined with his ability to respond quickly to audience heckles, are, without doubt, his strengths.
At times his material on offer here can seem a little too rehearsed and his delivery is often quite clinical, but the quality of the material is immense at points.
Given the quality of the material on offer, it’s a shame that the atmosphere is a little flat throughout the performance. Some audience members look completely horrified when Carr is targeting them. I appreciate these moments aren’t comfortable for those involved, but if you go to see a comic such as Carr, who thrives on audience interaction, a certain level of involvement is required. I was at the venue in question for another comedy event earlier in the year and the atmosphere was great, so it’s a shame that it’s so flat here because it affects the viewing experience and really doesn’t do the quality material the justice it deserves.
The extras here are quite good as, unlike the other comedy DVDs I’ve reviewed recently, it actually has some.
The highlight here is a half-hour Comedy Central special. Carr starts off a little safe and is visibly quite nervous, but once he gets settled in he uses slightly more risqué material and is generally well received. Overall, It’s a solid set and a great addition as an extra that’s well worth a watch.
There are a number of outtakes from the main set available that are all fairly entertaining. One scene in particular, involving a drunken audience member leaving to go to the toilet and returning to find that his seat has been taken, makes this extra essential viewing for anyone who’s purchased the DVD. The final extra is Jimmy Carr reading highlights from his Twitter feed, which is often hilarious, but does go on a bit.
I wouldn’t say that this is the best Jimmy Carr set I’ve seen on DVD, which is largely down to the audience as opposed to the material, but his latest release is certainly worth a look if you’re a fan.
Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes (Live) is out now.