Jim Jefferies is back with a new entertaining hour of material that covers both familiar and new ground from the comedian. He still has good stories about his family and dating life to tell, both of which usually represent the strongest of his material. Jefferies’ new special, Intolerant, is another rock solid hour of strong craftsmanship and performing from Jefferies.
Gracefully Crafted Crudeness
To start with, Intolerant is a damn good-looking special. The set up is appealing to the eye with the unique lighting behind Jefferies and a sole chair. It’s a special that’s actually visually pleasing, so big shoutout to director Scott Zabielski and his editor. They keep Jefferies’ special flowing right and always cutting at the right time to the right angle in the bit. It’s smoothly done, similar to Jefferies’ own impressive sense of pace and rhythm as a storyteller.
Keeping it Light
For the most part, Jefferies keeps his new hour very light. There aren’t many jokes about politics and the horrifying state of the world, and honestly, it’s welcoming. It is a good hour to take your mind off things for a bit, and it is a special that will probably age well for that reason, too. Very little will date Intolerant, which covers subjects such as family and relationships. Those subjects rarely have an expiration date in stand up comedy.
Just because Jefferies’ content is light, that doesn’t mean the special itself is light or inconsequential. The substance is in the craft, and Intolerant is one of Jefferies’ better crafted specials as a writer. Throughout the special the comic keeps circling back to the time he defecated himself…. He builds up suspense, goes on tangents, and then returns to the story at the right exact time to score a nice laugh. It’s a funny and crass framing device that makes Jefferies’ special feel whole.
One Bit That Derails The Show
There’s one bit of the special that brings everything to a halt where the hour loses both momentum and fun. It’s just uninteresting watching a successful comedian talk about how hard it is to tell over-the-line jokes when so many comedians are not only doing it successfully but embraced and paid handsomely for it. There’s a huge audience for hard comedy. In Jefferies’ past specials, he went harder than he does now, and he still ended up with a Comedy Central show, an FX show, and now an NBC show.
Jefferies and comedians like him do exceptionally well telling jokes that cross the line, so when comedians take time out of their special to stop telling jokes and talk about the reaction to jokes, it’s almost always boring, repetitive, and the world’s smallest violin might as well be playing.
With That Said…
Jefferies special is still very funny. He’s one of those comedians who can cross lines because he’s so tongue-in-cheek about it. It’s usually just, to put it simply, funny. Jefferies’ harder or meaner material is usually so ridiculous in context, tone, and delivery, it works.
There are the occasional misses, yes, but Jefferies hits the mark significantly more than he misses. Like he says in the special, you don’t have to like every joke to like a special or comedian. Fans of Jim Jefferies will not be disappointed by Intolerant, which is another hour of good fun from the comedian.
Intolerant is now available to stream on Netflix.