It doesn’t matter how many times I watch a new Jimmy Carr DVD, it still always comes as a surprise at how rude he is – something he seems to take as a personal challenge, as he always appears to be looking for the joke that will offend absolutely everyone. But that’s the thing with Carr, he comes across and so affable and polite that it allows him to get away with jokes that would have most comedians escorted off the stage. It also helps that rather than telling anecdotes he tends to tell a series of discrete jokes, which makes it far more difficult to for anyone to take even the crudest thing he says seriously.
While the material is new, the set-up is familiar. Carr jokes with the audience, insulting them in his don’t-take-this-seriously style, tells a series of pretty funny jokes, and occasionally brings up things people will know about him (in Laughing & Joking his tax situation gets more than a few nods). It’s odd as there’s a rather old-fashioned entertainer style about him. His persona isn’t that far from the Bruce Forsyth or Des O’Connor – which he’d probably be horrified to hear – but with much, much filthier material.
Actually scratch that, he’s closer to Larry Grayson, who was a housewives favourite in the 70s and early 80s, but if you watch him now his campery comes across as so rude you wonder how anyone could have thought it was suitable teatime entertainment. Carr isn’t as camp as Grayson (although as he freely admits, he is a little camp) and his material is more overtly crude, but if you ever watch old footage of Larry you’ll understand what I mean.
Overall Verdict: Laughing & Joking isn’t Jimmy Carr’s very best show, but this eighth live DVD is pretty good. I also think that his oddly intimate style benefits from shooting his DVDs in a smaller venue, but even on a big stage like this, as long as you don’t mind some very rude comedy it’s very funny.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac