Comedians are always “on”, right? Ready and willing to make you laugh at the drop of a hat?
To be fair, they are better at making people laugh than most. It’s their job. But for that very same reason, they need some time out from cracking jokes, too. Jimeoin is no exception.
The Irish-born comedian is quietly spoken and borderline monotone in general conversation which, combined with the lilt of his home tongue, can make him difficult to understand. If you’re not concentrating, a joke –delivered deadpan – will sail right over your head.
When Weekender calls he is in transit from Melbourne to Perth. It’s a wet, windy day and no doubt he’d rather be reading a good book than talking about himself to a stranger. The father of four is on the road a lot but not too often, he says. At least, not as often as his wife might like.
“I take school holidays off. I plan my year around them,” he says. “Sometimes you’ve got to make the effort to do something together as a family, or for yourself, otherwise you find yourself sitting on a couch feeling flat, flicking through your phone. But my wife and I sometimes have fights about my tours – she says ‘You need to get away more, you’re annoying me’.”
Jimeoin’s latest tour is called Result. I ask him about the wording.
“It’s just a name, really. I’ve no confidence in what I name a show. Hopefully the jokes are better than the title,” he replies. “Actually, come to think of it there was a joke I did once which was about cooking for drunk people. The dishes you prepare for drunk people coming home to eat. One of them was the roast chicken result – where you open the fridge and there’s a roast chicken in there. Result. One of my shows was called Roast Chicken Result. And then it just became Result.”
And then there’s the “cheesecake denial – when you share a flat with someone and you have a couple of slices of their cheesecake and then you have to eat the whole thing and deny that it ever existed”.
Jimeoin doesn’t have a set formula for writing material but he must be doing something right. He has been in the game for close to 30 years now – and counting.
”I am really thankful, you know,” he says. “Two to three years ago my sister told me off because I was a bit flat, moping about and physically tired, and she said to me ‘People would give their left testicle to have your job’. I thought about that, had a good rest and I’m better now.”
He recently discovered Instagram and that has helped take the sting out of leaving his family home while he goes on tour. An observant man, he found he enjoyed taking photos, sharing them and reading feedback.
“You find yourself looking for a photo opportunity, really acknowledging something pretty,” he says. “Twitter is too wordy and opinionated. Everyone has a strong view on politics but no one really does anything about it. I fall into the same trap. I much prefer the simplicity of a photo. I don’t go much on the hashtags, though.”