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Jim'll Fix It
A comedian with no country, Jimeoin talks Australia, returning to Ireland and why Johnny Rotten is better than Gandhi...
Craig Fitzpatrick, 05 Oct 2012
His is a surreal brand of comedy that isn’t particularly finger-pointing.
“You can turn on the commercial radio every morning and have all those sorts of jokes if you want to. Panel shows cover those things really well but you think, ‘They’re just going over the same topics’. I’m trying to find something different to what other comics are talking about. That for me is just as important as being funny.”
Of course, he originally left a recessionary Ireland in 1988 after his building work dried up.
“That’s exactly right! My job had finished, so I wasn’t really taking much of a leap. I didn’t have work anyway. I went into it with no real other options.”
Given the current state of our construction industry, is he concerned that he may face competition in Oz from immigrant builders chancing their arm at stand-up?
“Haha, definitely. But then, y’know, there could be money taking lead off the roofs of abandoned houses. There should be work in that! Fixing them up or knocking them down. Demolition. You just have to be inventive, don’t you? Be creative. Build a stage and perform! That could be a TV show...”
I trust he’s been seeing plenty more red Irish faces over his part of the world?
“Oh yes, my god! Not only faces, you can hear them from a distance. You’ll be on the street and you just hear a pack of them coming, young boys. Australia is probably what America was in the ‘50s. That place where the migrants go.”
Nearly a quarter of a century after his move, Jimeoin now understandably considers Australia to be his home.
“Yes, I do. I feel that one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life was being from Northern Ireland. Being a Catholic from Northern Ireland meant I didn’t have any nationality. And I really feel nationality is a joke, it really holds people down. If you go, ‘I’m proud to be Irish’? That’s such a redundant statement. What about being Italian? One of the richest countries in the world right now is Australian and the Aboriginal people are all totally snookered. So to be from no place is great, which is what I feel like. And that wouldn’t just be me, that would be a lot of Catholics in Northern Ireland. If you’re not a part of Southern Ireland, you’re not considered Irish, and you’re certainly not from Northern Ireland.”