Hey, everyone, I'm excited to welcome back comedian Jim Jefferies. We first had Jim on the show almost exactly three years ago, and since then, Jim has had two more seasons of The Jim Jefferies Show, two Netflix specials, and started his own podcast. I don't know about that. Jim is hilarious and I could talk with him four hours later. In the episode, I'm joined by psychologist Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman. Scott has taught at NYU and Columbia University and authored quite a few books that I should probably read.
So you can hear more from Scott on the Psychology podcast. Lastly, I want to thank all of you again for listening and sharing our episodes with your friends. I know it's a difficult time for so many people out there, so please, please keep sending us your questions and telling us your stories. Just go to unqualified dotcom and look for the link. Now, here's Jim.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to Unqualified with their host unifiers. Jim, how are you? I'm good, I'm good, I'm just hanging out at my home getting fat covid, you know, let's have engaged in nine months or something.
Now, it's been a long time.
Do you find you have a lack of adjectives to sort of describe this time? In one hand? I kind of enjoy this time because it's made me slow down. I haven't been on a plane for a very long time. I've lost my diamond status with Delta has been the biggest tragedy for me, you know. Yeah, I had that for so long. You know, that was my big thing that I walked in and hello, Mr. Jefferies. And then I got straight into the lounge.
Now I'm going to have to just start and how the fuck I'm going to fix this.
So when was the last time you were home? Well, I was meant to do a tour in January, but that's all been shut down, even though don't have much covid in Australia. But the shut of the borders down. If you get there, you have to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel. They just pick you up at the airport and they drop you off in a hotel. And it could be like a Motel six or four seasons.
It's luck of the draw. It's wherever the bus takes you and then you're in there for two weeks now. I don't know if I want to do that just to do some comedy shows. You know, I don't know if I'm that committed.
I get that.
Can I ask you about your relationship with the term offended at one stage, maybe a few years ago, I got a bit too wrapped up in trying to not offend everybody. And now I'm sort of back to Phuket. You know, if you're offended, you're offended. My point is never to offend you. You should be very funny early on in my career because my material is and arguably more offensive. I don't know, you'd go to countries like Scandinavian countries who like sort of metal music, like death metal types.
So I'd go play like Finland or Sweden or something like that. And the people would come up to me afterwards and go, I really enjoyed the show, but I was more offended last year like they were coming to be offended. And you're like, Oh, I was coming to tell jokes. Right. And you're expecting offence. And so when you become like a grubby comic or someone who tells dirty jokes or dirty stories or whatever or has opinions, I think people think that your M.O. is to offend.
And it's not. I just want to talk about things that I think are funny or interesting me at the time.
But that's kind of the point I'm getting at.
The idea of offensiveness is a broad term that we haven't to find it very well in terms of desirability, because, of course, I love it that you referenced Scandinavian countries or heavy metal because people want a bit of agitation, I think is what you're saying.
Yeah, well, it's okay to be offended as well. Being offended is the thing that lets us know our parameters. Yeah, yeah.
But don't you think that if being offended. I don't know. It feels like I'm putting you on restriction. Right. One is not physically damaged. No nothing.
And they'll live. No one's ever died from offence. No one's ever killed over. And I've heard a joke or you say that I'm pro-abortion and then they've killed back in their chair and never gotten back up again. No, I get offended by I was thinking about this the other day.
The only thing that really offends me is if someone lies about me or says something that I believe to be an untruth, it might not be a lie, but something I believe to be an untruth. I know that offends me because I'm not like that. I'm not that person. But it doesn't offend me when someone says something offensive, like a sex joke or something about their politics or whatever, that doesn't offend me. No.
Yeah, I agree. I think you're redefining the word in a more palatable way for me right now. OK, good, good. I'm glad to help. Thank you. Except I would be like I just hate those fuckers that don't like me.
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I just hate fucking people. You're not offended by them. I just don't care for them. I know I'm filled with rage and hate filled with that.
That takes up most of my day. But offense I have very little offensive to me.
May I ask you some life questions. Sure. If stand up comedy suddenly became illegal, how would you make a living?
Well, I that's that is a good question at the moment. I just retire. I think I just call it a day. But if I didn't have the means to retire, I would give it a go at being just a TV host. Now, I think I would just like try to get on game shows or some shit like that. I don't think enough people want me to act every time I get an acting job. It's people wanting me to play me.
Right. So I had like a sitcom on NBC coming up to play me. I did another sitcom. I played me. And then every time I get cast in something, when they go play someone else, they're very disappointed. So in one way, that's a compliment, I guess. But I don't think acting would be my thing, maybe being a game show host.
Now, if I was out of the entertainment world, I think I'd buy a frozen yogurt shop franchise, a frozen yogurt shop, because I've looked at all the other franchises. If I get a subway or something like that, that seems like a lot of perishables and things that I got to keep up, keep on frozen yogurt. So seems to be just you put the goop in the machine and then you have the tray of. Gummy bears, and they don't go off for weeks, it feels like a very low maintenance food chain.
That's true. And you can buy like the generic Eminem's, like you can cut costs all kinds of ways for sure.
And pretty much everyone serves themselves. They just get the little shovel and they go in it. All I need is a scale I'm telling you you're not worried about.
Like a frozen yogurt is sort of a fad, like rollerblading.
Look, I don't expect myself to be successful if you say how could I be successful and not be in the business, I tell you what I wanted to do. And this might surprise people, but I would have liked to have been like a schoolteacher, but not like in high school. You have to know things just like early development, like daycare, where I'm just making papier mâché hats and shit.
What? Well, it's just you get so many holidays, the days, Don, it's like nine till two thirty first year.
But do you think that you're going to be making hats all day?
I mean, Jim, that might be a solid like 20 minutes of your day, but don't forget about like vomit and peeing and pooping. How are you going to deal with those things?
Well, I've had a child. I know how to you know, you better go wipe your bum, go back in there. You fix that. You smell a bit bad.
Time for naps and your child listens to all those instructions. Well, he doesn't have shit on his ass right now, so I must have taught him something.
My kid is eight and I'm still like, OK, how well did you wipe your butt?
Oh, no, no, no. There's a little bit of that. Like, did you get all of it right? Did you get all of it? Oh, I think I did. All right. We'll go back in there and check it again.
You know, when I'm moving on, I feel somewhat to blame. I drove it into that direction. You just did the right thing. I said, kindergarten teacher. I'll tell you all the jobs I could do quickly. I uber driver. I'm qualified to be an uber driver. I could do post might. No, you're not. I am.
I drive a car. I drive real good. I've never had any parking tickets or I've had parking tickets. I like, I'd like one speeding ticket like twenty years ago.
OK, you know what, I actually think you might be an all right. Uber driver. Yeah.
No, I'd be an ordinary driver because you were super on time. You were earlier than I was today. I'm very punctual. You like talking to people.
I like talking to people. But if you hit the app and you say no talking, I respect the no talking. My music that I listen to is very easy listening. What is it? I have the Tesla, so I put the channel in. The channel I was listening to was the Crowded House channel, Crowded House. Like that's pretty soft rock. And then earlier, what was I listening to Peter Allen.
Now you and I, Peter Allen was but he was a guy from the 70s from Australia who sang piano music. He was so gay that he married Liza Minnelli. Like, that's a level of guy that when you marry Liza Minnelli, I love the whole story there.
As long as it's still alive, I think she's in. She we haven't lost lives. I don't know.
Can I ask you some deeper, darker questions? Sure. I'm interested in the idea of legacy. Right.
Jim, do you have thoughts on it? I don't need to be remembered. I really don't. I'd like my son to remember me as being a good guy. That's the only person I really need to remember me, you know?
I mean, I hope to outlive my brothers, you know, and then I hope to outlive all other family members that I have except for my son. I hope he leaves me and I hope he remembers me. Apart from that, it's like, you know, I don't need to be remembered.
What's the point of it? The people who get most remembered in society as a complete and utter pricks, Hitler is never going to be forgotten in the remembering category. He really rocked it out. You got to give him credit for that. We're always going to remember him, but it won't be like it won't be for the good things. Wait, were there good things? No, there was nothing. There was nothing good about him. That's more.
OK, I just want to clarify, Jim. Oh, oh oh oh. In case you didn't know, Hitler was a terrible, terrible person, but that's what he's being remembered for. He was a really bad dude.
I'm going to use that clip of you just saying in case we're not going to remember him for the good things.
The Navy can talk about Hitler in two hundred years and go non smoker vegetarian.
OK, wait, can I ask you more questions? Yeah. All right. What is your favorite rainy day movie? My favorite running Tommy Boy.
Really? I love Tommy Boy. I think Tommy Boy is one of the sweetest funny films you have to say. There's another movie that you may not know about that I actually watched last night for about the hundredth time is the movie called The Castle from Australia, which is a very sweet film.
When you describe a film is sweet, what do you mean?
It's a comedy that's all about people who love each other and care for each other and they're struggling. The basic story I'm not ruining anything is a man that has a house that he loves and he's a little bit white, trashy, and he has he's white trash family and they live next to the airport. And then the government decides they're going to take the house because they need to make a new runway and he fights to keep his home. And that's the whole premise.
Oh, my God. I feel like I. Marty getting a little emotional about it, like the castle is a very sweet and it's an easy one, just like it's 80 minutes or something.
Very easy to watch. All right. I love that. What's your favorite rainy day movie?
I like a lot of, like British rom com type. Like I love about a boy.
I could watch it forever, but a boy was a good movie. Yeah, that's great. And then you, like the little fat kid now is grown up to be like the most handsome movie star in the world.
Like where did that come from? Great actor. It's the same as the fat kid from Stand By Me. He's married to Rebecca Remain.
They all grew up, Jim, and they all become handsome. Yeah. It's like you want to be a fat kid because you grow up to be hands on. The fat kid from Goonies now is a lawyer around town. He's really good looking and thin and.
All right. Are you ready for the next one? We're going to stop talking about fat kids and Hitler. I really started the conversation.
Real nice is what talent or ability would you most like to have?
This is just like things that can actually have. These aren't superpowers, right? It's up to you. If you want to fly, you could fly. Yeah, well, everyone would like to fly, but then you'd get bored of it when. Yeah. I always think like these people who like what superpower would you like. I'd like the power of flight. Then what do you do. Do you fly over to the crime scene and go, oh what are you doing here.
No you're not saving anybody. You just get to potentially fly to Hawaii if you can carry one person on your back.
Would I get really cold in the sky? No, no. You'd be fully prepared. Yeah. No flying. Super comfortable.
Flying super comfortable. Okay, that's one thing I would like the real world. I would like to be coordinated. Yes. I've been playing golf now since covid started and I'm playing all the time and I'm not getting any better.
And I was no good at sports as a kid. And I love sports and I love competing. Is nothing worse than being competitive and uncoordinated because, like, you really want to win, but there's no opportunity to do so. I can't catch a ball very well. I can't kick a ball very well. I would like to have a hand eye coordination.
Jim, here are the things that grip my heart with terror. Bowling, ping pong.
Yeah, foosball for Foosball and Morata. I'm not great at it, but I played basketball in school and like the fourth team or whatever, and I can remember every point I ever scored. There was like six of them.
OK, so your ability you would like it is to be coordinated. Does that melt into, like, dance territory? Yeah, that's exactly like it covers so much. I'd like to be able to dance. I'd like to be able to, you know, when I'm playing catch with my son and I do that on the regular, he's much more coordinated. I mean, he's whipping the balls into me and I'm trying to, like, love them over to him.
And it's like, well, my mom is like and then when you go to the Little League games and all the dads are like helping out and showing the kids how to throw and stuff. And I'm just sort of standing up to the side. I look like an absentee dad, but I'm just uncoordinated. All right.
What is a trait you dislike in others? A trait that I dislike in others.
Disloyalty is disloyalty. Well, I think it is disloyalty, actually. It maybe that's not a bad thing because I've been disloyal myself throughout my life.
And, you know, I think that there's different contexts. I think a lot of things that I dislike in other people are things that I dislike in myself. And that's probably why I dislike them in others. One of the things that I really hate about myself is that I don't ask other people questions when I'm talking to them, you know what I mean? Like at parties and stuff like that. I'm always talking about myself and I make a real conscious effort now to go, all right, ask them something about their self and ask them about their family.
Bragging is something I hate about people, and I think I brag far too much. So I think a lot of this stuff is wrapped up in self hate.
I think you're accurate because I think there's only one way to identify what you dislike in others is if there is a degree of reflection.
But I don't think that you brag at all or you haven't spent enough time.
And I tell you what I do brag better than most people.
Yeah, I would believe that. Yeah, I'm excellent at it, but I don't know.
I think that inherently in comedy there has to be self deprecation and there has to be a sense of constantly, obsessively checking one's own behavior and performance as well. I say this because I do this and then I think about does somebody outside of our in a different kind of job analyze less?
And then I think, fuck, I'm self obsessed.
Yeah, I'm I'm just saying stuff that is a self thing. When you start going to other people who aren't as interesting as me, think about themselves as much as I do.
What's your birth order. My birth order. Yeah. Are you youngest. Oldest. Oh, I'm the youngest of three boys. Yeah. OK, I got two older brothers and we all went into different fields. I've got one brother who's a cop and he's quite high up in the police force, my brother. And then there's another brother who become a businessman, like a guy who develops shopping centres and stuff like that. I think because the two of them are a bit older than me, were quite successful.
I was the only one that was allowed to do like performing arts because it was like, well, we have a spare child who can fuck up, you know? So I was given that privilege at least a bit more freedom. I'm the youngest.
I only have an older brother, but always spoiled because we're the youngest. We spoiled people or we are more sensitive.
I don't know if it's actually either. I don't know. I think that there's a scrappiness. Yeah, I think that there's a selfishness.
Perhaps I like the word scrapie.
That is how it goes, because you always lose to them to games and stuff like that. When you're young, they always get to pick what's on the TV. And so when you get what's yours, you got this is mine and you can touch and everything is hand me downs or whatever stuff. And then all of a sudden you get a new bit of clothing and you're like, this is a fresh piece. That's just for me.
And I think to because we've never been expected to be a caretaker like you didn't have to take care of a younger sibling.
So my mother passed away about a year and a bit ago. And then now my father is you know, he's all lots of stuff. And I think like living in the other side of the world, I have sort of washed my hands a little bit of being the person who has to visit them and has to check on them and take them to doctor's appointments and stuff like that. So I do feel for my brother who has to do that because he still lives near them.
And I do feel a bit of guilt about that.
Becoming a mom has been a mental shift, like, of course, like for everybody. But I think that I felt less equipped because I grew up like playing in the forest by myself.
You know what I like? I didn't have to look after a younger sibling ever.
When you say less equipped, do you think anyone feels equipped?
No, that's why I kind of backed my steps up a little bit because. No, I don't think that anybody does. It'd be very presumptuous.
Your child is an only child. Yeah. Yeah, my child is an only child. And so sometimes I look at him and I feel sad because I at least even if my brothers were beating me up or bullying me, at least it was some interaction with a person closer to my age. So maybe helicopter parent too much because I'm worried about him getting bored or lonely or something like that. And it's like I don't really remember people interacting with me that much.
Jim, my brother and I, we get along.
I love him ferociously, but we fought a lot like brother and sister would, but. He was telling me the other day, and I completely agree, he was like the healthiest people I know are only children. Well, they can interact with adults. Yeah, yeah, I still find that hard. Me too.
They can talk to adults and have a conversation, probably. Yes.
But no, me and my brothers, we used to punch each other in the face. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm sure. Break noses and stuff like that. It's like you can't do that out in society. You get in trouble.
What does it feel like getting punched in the face? Well, those fights that happened a few times a year when it really went hell for leather, but there was weapons involved, bats, I've been slapped, but I don't know if I've ever been, like, punched.
I've been punched on stage.
Someone ran up and punched me in the face and stage once.
That happened to me as well. Yeah. And the actor afterwards, I was like, what the fuck?
I broke character. I started swearing because that's what happens when you get hit in the face.
Oh, what I meant to hit you in the face. In the scene. No. Was it a male or a female? How bad did this scene go?
It was a scene was our last performance, this play in Hollywood, and did it when I first got here because I was still in like theater mode. And this actor hit me in the face with this small suitcase, a small leather bound suitcase, as he's trying to shove it at me. It was an accident.
No, no, it wasn't. He just got a suitcase and smashed in the face. Yep.
And my parents were the performance and I was like, fuck.
But, you know, when you're startled and in pain at the same time, your first gut reaction is anger. And after curtain call, he came up to me and was like, that was the best performance. I knew I was going to do it this night. And that was the best performance you've ever given. And I was like, I fucking hate you.
Oh, he thought it would drive you to be more passionate or something like that. Yeah, no, my punch to the face is because the guy intensely disliked me.
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Enjoying a Miller Lite with your favorite people looks different these days, but staying connected has always been important no matter what it takes. Last week I attended my first virtual housewarming party. The hosts had sent each of the guests a bag of chips, some dip and a six pack of Miller lights. Your basic virtual housewarming party starter kit. We snacked and drink as we waited for everyone to sign in, and it almost felt like we were all in the same room as we were taking the grand tour.
I realized that I wouldn't have been able to attend if times have been normal. The House is in Los Angeles and my family and I were in Washington. But here we were all together, sharing in the excitement. All things considered, it was a perfect night. We sat in the living room, drank beer and expressed regret that we couldn't help with the moving or impacting the best times I've spent together with our best friends and family, drinking a few beers as the original light beer.
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I dislike that when the shit hits the fan and everything breaks down and all that type of stuff, I am very childish in the sense that I will just go and get drunk or I will take drugs or I will do something like that. My coping skills sometimes could be a lot better when tragedy happens. I would much rather be a person who could support others around me than just turning it on myself. Does that make sense?
That's an incredibly strong realization because I feel the same way and I think most of us do a lot of times when I have a big, big problem in my life, rather than just fixing it, I give myself more problems just because I just think the world's already fucked around me already. I'm a little fucked everything else up. I'm a bit self-destructive in that way. I am getting better at it, but that comes with age. But throughout my life, whenever tragedy happens, I just shut down.
And that's a real weak stance to take as an adult.
But very I mean, normal. And the fact that you articulated that is more than I could do.
I don't want to brag, but I'm very good at articulating myself.
So we have different guests, of course, on our podcast. And we've had like cookes, authors, actors, standups, athletes. And there's some generalization I could make about each of those categories.
Like when you talk to a stand up, to me, it feels like there's a lot of performance defense.
Some stand up comics are very hard to talk to on a real level because they are so wrapped up in the idea of them being funny that they don't turn it off and they don't turn it off. You can never really talk to them properly because it's all Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack. And in the end, you find out they're really depressed and sad and that type of stuff, but they're very hard to read. Some of them.
I'm fascinated by the isolation. It's terribly lonely.
And I realize now that the more famous comics series, the theaters and stuff like that, a lot of them have entourages. I have a few blokes that go on the road with me. They open up for me and a tour manager and stuff like that. And so you have a little crew of people. But the isolation is a lot better at the beginning of your career because you're playing comedy clubs and there'll be five or six of you on the bill and you'll all get to hang out in the dressing room together like that.
And even though it's not a cohesive show in the way that you're all interacting with each other, if one person dies in front of the audience, you can empathize with that person and then you can die as well. And then you can all commiserate together and go, oh, well, they were a terrible crowd and all that type of stuff. But when you start doing your own shows and you're out by yourself, you know, I've done big cities and stuff like that and felt terribly, terribly lonely afterwards.
You can't even talk to anyone who is in the crowd afterwards because you straight back to the hotel and then you're off to the next city. The, you know, the best period days doing the actual show. There's not a lot of fun afterwards or before. I always say I get paid to get on airplanes and stay in hotels and get paid to do standup comedy. Yeah, I love that.
And the isolation. On one hand, I would say that the isolation is very lonely. On the other hand, I will say it sometimes is good to work with yourself just by yourself because you can't blame others. And if something goes well, they can't take the credit either.
And this is a little bit off topic, but I've always said it's that comedy is like taking heroin the first time you do it. It feels fantastic. It's the greatest thing ever. And then as you do it more and more and more, you need it just to feel normal.
The highs get lower and the lows get higher. Because I remember when I had my first death on stage, I got booed off or whatever, and the depression that came along with that took weeks to get out of. I couldn't get out of it because I felt like nothing. And now if I have a bad gig, I got like this, I well, you know, there's another one coming. You can't stop them. So the good gigs don't feel as good, the bad gigs don't feel as bad, and then it just feels normal.
So I guess you're getting older. That's very astute. I am getting older. I'm 43. I think that the gift has been a little bit of not feeling the hot and the colds in an irrational way.
Yeah, yeah. Now you can rationalize what happened. I even feel like things like if I take weight right, I take an edible. I used to get paranoid and go, hey, everyone hates me. You know what if this thing from my past haunts me again or what about that stupid thing I did to that person in high school or whatever your fears are that you keep to yourself, you know? Yeah. And now when I'm on weed, when it happens and then it starts to kick in, I go, oh, I'm on weed.
That's all right. You're being silly. It's not going I feel like that tomorrow. You're all right.
My fan base is pretty much the same all across the world because they've already seen the specials. You do. So they sort of know what they're going to expect when you start doing comedy is probably when you find out more about. Hands is because you're playing to a mass of people who don't know who you are, you know. So when I first came to America, I remember, like I used to a lot of atheist jokes and stuff that I was in Kansas and there was walkouts and stuff like that.
And I really never thought about like this whole Bible Belt type of religion thing coming from Australia. I never experienced that. That was a different feel to me. And I found New Yorkers were very like, we've seen everything we know well, we've seen everything you want to see. And Las Vegas people are very unappreciative.
Crowd What do you mean? The people who have probably seen another show already that day they showed out. Right.
They may have gone seen Criss Angel and then they come and see you and they may have also just lost five hundred dollars twenty minutes before they've come to see you.
So they're in varying moods. They're all drunk. And at my shows normally like eleven o'clock at night, they're a difficult crowd. And sometimes they say you uh. Well, we have to see something. They're not even up for a show, you know what I mean? Like we have to say something. We're in Vegas. It's the obligation to have a meal. You got to gamble. You've got to see a show, maybe go to a strip club type of thing or a Vegas thing with the people, with the hats.
That's usually when people talk about strip clubs, they talk about the people with the hats.
I'm talking about those, you know, those Vegas things where they all come out dressed all Vegas with that big head set.
And you want them to be a little bit more strip club than they are. Yeah, yeah. And you're like, is this titillating? I'm not quite sure what this is, you know what I mean?
It's an appreciation of foul. I think so, yeah. Peacocks. All right.
What qualities do you look for in a friend? See, the simple answer to this is that everyone would say this loyalty.
Loyalty is what you want from a friend. And that is something I really do like in a person, of course. But my favorite quality in a friend is if they're an easy hang, you know what I mean? Like someone who you can bring to a party and you don't have to warn anybody that they're coming. You don't have to give us a little speech. You don't have to apologize for them after they leave. We all have the friend where you have to go.
Yeah, but she has a good heart.
Or look, when he gets drunk, he can get a little bit loud, he can do a thing, but he's a he's a good guy and a friend.
You have to vouch for post socialization.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Someone you don't have to vouch for you that you know when you take him somewhere they'll just get along with people and easy hang if they're on a road trip with you. You don't have to worry about that friend getting along with that friend.
I love a friend who doesn't give me a guilt trip if I call them after a year of not reaching out, I do think, fuck man, girls give each other guilt trips.
Oh, no. Yeah, of course they do. Men do we tell me about it. This comforts me.
There's always a friend that like I hate when you like you get drunk at a party and then you have that one friend that goes, you are drunk last night and you're like, did I say anything mean to anyone?
If I did that, I feel bad. If I was rude to a person, I feel bad. But what I was a little sloppy or something like that fuck off reeks of jealousy to me.
Jim, I bet you were fucking hysterical and your friend wanted to get laid. Yeah, exactly.
I mean, definitely give each other guilt trips. Yeah. Yeah they do. I don't know if it's as bad but I couldn't be sure.
It makes me curious about do you believe that men gossip as much as women, some men.
I don't think it's as common across the board, but I definitely known men who are very, very gossipy.
The stand up comedy community can be a bunch of bitches, men like in dressing rooms and stuff like that person is not very good. This person is a hack. This person's great. Oh, you're not friends with that person. There's a lot of that in stand up comedy, a lot of it, a lot of stand up comedians who I said aren't good hanging's. They're not easy. Thanks. I do believe that men can be as bitchy and as two faced as women can be.
Yeah, I'm very feminist on this one. Yeah, men are just as bad.
Do you believe that you must have had men in your life where you like, like early witnessing in high school guys talking about, you know, a girl that like gave them a blowjob at the party, a keg or whatever, and like overhearing that kind of thing is so overwhelming for me at least.
I was like, do I want to be that person? No, I don't want to be that girl that they're talking about. However, do I want their attention for sure.
And I was also raised in a very unreligious household, but with this weird stipulation that I should remain a virgin until I was married.
Really? That is weird. It was weird to me. I was brought up in a similar thing. When we weren't religious, but my mother lost her virginity to my father and she expected the same from us, but like it wasn't enforced in any way, we weren't told to do it, but we should do that. That's the right thing to do, which is such a weird thing to keep your virginity until you're married. Like, who the fuck?
Why would you do that?
I'm so lucky that I have the most loving parents, but I think that they were worried that I would have a stained reputation which feels so archaic he didn't know any better.
You know what I mean? Did they expect the same from your brother? No. Yeah, I love it. You asked me that.
It's a double standard that I believe I would have as well, even though I know it's wrong. I think if I had a daughter, I'd be like, oh, don't sleep around and blah, blah, blah. And with my son, I'll be like, oh, she's all right. Well done, son. I know it's not a good double standard, but it's still in me. Yeah. Do you talk about sex openly with your parents now?
It makes them very uncomfortable. But, you know, they listen to the podcast and my first movie I did, I got sprayed to the ceiling with like five gallons of sperm back up.
Why did you get sprayed to the ceiling with five gallons of sperm? What happened?
Oh, I did this movie called Scary Movie.
Oh, yes. Scary Movie. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yeah. It was my first movie in L.A. I know the scene now.
Oh, you do. Good. Good. Yeah, yeah.
When my parents finally saw the movie, I asked my mom to go to the bathroom during that scene and she didn't tell her relatives about the movie, even though it was crazy, successful.
My mother wasn't allowed to sit in the audience of my shows because she came to a couple of them and I could see her and I'd sweat so much on stage being able to see her. And I was telling dirty jokes and she was quite an imposing figure and I could see her in the audience. And so after a couple of times I said, look, you've seen it, now you're not laughing. So I'd rather you don't sit in the crowd anymore.
And she said something to me that it's very sweet that stuck with me. And she goes, but I enjoy seeing everyone else enjoy it. Right. She acknowledged that she didn't enjoy it, but she enjoyed that everyone else was enjoying it with her.
Very sweet. Yeah. I'm sure that's exactly how my folks feel as well. Yeah.
And so towards the end of it I said no more, you can't come here. And my father would come and he'd enjoy it and he'd bring all of his mates and they'd all sit there. And then my mother just started going, well, I should be allowed to sit in the dressing room with everyone else and have fun back there and see all the other comedians and eat the food and all that type of stuff. I mean, all right. But then I had to put security guards on her that she wasn't allowed to crawl up and walk into the wings because I'd get on stage and she'd start trying to.
And she she had a cane and everything would take a fucking 12 minutes to get up. Three days. You know, to me, as I said, don't let her up.
The security guards stopping me mother from leaving a dressing room. And she tried to escape. She got I'm just wondering how they define I'm looking for the toilet, I'm lost and I'd catch you coming into the wing. They'd have to escort you back out of the theater gym.
Isn't it fucking rad that you can have complicated memories of your mother with knowing that she's proud of you? How does that feel?
I take a lot of solace in that, you know, because when I first started doing jokes, I was talking about one on stage. I was talking about taking drugs and I was doing jokes that were obviously outrageously offensive that I didn't even mean. I just thought they were funny things to say. When your mother says you want a special telling, a horrendous joke about you taking cocaine off a toilet seat in a gay nightclub in South Africa, and it's like you just have to shrug your shoulders and go, all right, I guess everything's out now.
I guess this is how we talk to each other. And she was depicted in so many of my jokes as well. She was like sort of through storyline.
And I think the best gift she gave me that I've spoken to other comedians that they haven't gotten is she never complained about it, you know, because other people wanted to tell stories about their childhood.
But then when I went back for Thanksgiving, they were in trouble. I was allowed to sort of mine that field of my childhood on stage.
I do think sometimes in my attempt to have this open, honest relationship with my mom that it's all for me.
It's probably more than what she wants to hear. But it's more comforting to you. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So you studied musical theater in college, correct. What's your favorite musical?
West Side Story. And I'll fight anyone who says differently. That's the best musical that's ever been written and nothing's come close. I like I think Hamilton's very good and I think Limeys is very good. And there's probably 20 musicals that I really enjoy. You know, I don't think you need more than that in your catalog. You don't have to enjoy all the way will rock you and the Billy Joel musical and all that type of stuff and Mamma Mia and all that crap.
But I like an old musical like My Fair Lady and stuff like that.
Give me specifics. Sell me on West Side Story.
Well, I'm a white guy, so I would be a. Jet, I think in our modern climate that I couldn't even perform as a shock, so I am a jet, I would be a jet. And when you're a jet, you're a jet till you die.
Yeah, look, all of a sudden they just fit together so beautifully. Stephen Sondheim was, I think, like 20 or something when he wrote the lyrics for it before he went off and started writing all of his own musicals. And Leonard Bernstein, it's almost classical music and then it's mixed in with like Latin flair before the interval. And all the songs are meshing together. And I even like the more B side songs like they could be, who knows, there's something due any day.
I will know right away soon as it ends. And like a minor note, like maybe to night like ends in a bit of nothingness. It doesn't have resolution at the end of the song, you don't go down to the magic. And so you're still sitting up there going, well, something is going to happen and then it never happens in that exact moment.
And then everyone remembers that moment of love at first sight that normally really happens in your teens where you just like that person forever, you know what I mean?
And you can have lost at first sight as an adult.
But I think when you mistake it like this is love, because this person looked at me in a party and the world stopped and it's only you and that other person and everyone around you doesn't matter if you're in a group of friends or in a nightclub or whatever. That gives me happy memories of my teenage years and stuff like that. Jim, wait, wait, wait.
Before we go on, can you tell us what your first love her crush was? Oh, OK.
So the first girl actually, I took Summercamp like a two week drama course rather than going to, you know, volleyball school or whatever the fuck everyone else does, tennis camp or whatever. Right. I took a two week drama called Nahida, which is the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia. And there was a girl called Sam. And we met on the first day and we were both just obsessed with each other, just obsessed.
And we were 15. We walked into the drama class and everyone had to play a game where they had to say their name and catch a ball or some shit or do the zing zap Zop fucking exercises that I make you do and I type of stuff and mean this girl, like, just was staring at each other, just staring and then breaks for lunch. And I just want to have lunch with me and she's like I do and both virgins and just completely obsessed I'll tell you we story.
OK, so my original name is Geoffrey Nugent. The first time I walked on stage because it was Geoffrey with a G and Nugent NUJ, E.A. and the emcee introduced me on stage as Godfrey Nagant and I thought Godfrey Dugan's not going to make it in this world. Changed it. I used my middle name and my first name and flip them. And so I actually was telling a story about how I lost my virginity on stage and going, Oh, and this happened and that happened.
And because it was in Sydney doing a show and every time I drive past the building where I lost my virginity, I always make a joke. If I've got my brother in the car, I always go, there it is everyone.
I can't believe they still haven't put a statue up. You think there'd be some type of plaque to remember the moment, but they've done nothing. And so I would say this joke over and over again over the years anyway, my sister in law, who I've known since I was 13, she was driving past that building and she remembered my stupid joke. And she glanced ever so slightly at the building and she rear ended a car. Right. So my stupid joke got someone in trouble, you know?
So I was telling that story and I was on stage and the girl I lost my virginity to was in the audience, but she didn't know I was Geoffrey Nugent. She'd come to see Jim Jefferies. What? Yeah, we hadn't seen each other since I was 16. And so that's fucking mental.
So how did you know this? They kept on going.
Someone wants to come and see you in the dressing room. And I'm like, no, you know what I mean? Like, I'm sitting back. So it was like a two thousand seat theatre. Right? And then they, like, said her full name and I just went, what? Yes. Yes, of course. Let that girl in. And we were both forty year olds now. And, you know, pretty mental to be watching something that must be pretty bizarre for her.
But do you think like how we romanticize the what have should have cut us? Oh, I don't think that would have ever lasted for at the time when it ended, I was devastated. I was devastated. I thought the world would never be the same in Australia.
Do you have the high school reunion? That is sort of the element of that concentrated the expectation of running into the person you lost your virginity to? I think we do have it.
But I was living in Britain when my ten year high school reunion happened and my twenty year reunion, I was living in America. But I think now with high school year with social media, what's the fucking point?
We can check on everyone. That person got fat, that person got married, that person had 17 kids. That person is a drug addict, you know.
I mean, that person successful, Jim, I think we know what the point is to show up in it.
Yeah, I've had somewhat of a high screen because every time I go back to Sydney, all the guys that I went to school with, a lot of them reach out to me like, hey, can I come to the show like people I hadn't seen in years? And I'm always like, OK, I sure. And some of them are still hanging out with each other and stuff like that. But it does show you how people's memories of things are different, because there was a guy that came and he used to bully me, but his memory was that me and him used to have a lot of laughs and used to pick on each other.
In my mind, maybe he wasn't even bullying me. His memory was we were great mates, totally.
But that is the deception of memory. Yeah. Neither version could be fully accurate.
Yes. There's something in the middle there. Yeah.
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And Maker's Mark, we believe when you've made it through all this or get done with this, there's nothing that quite compares to a little of it.
So keep the music going, grab a glass of Maker's Mark and seriously enjoy your downtime with nothing but this. But West Side Story, a sad story, I'm very unhappy with the Steven Spielberg movie coming out. What's that Steven Spielberg is bringing out West Side Story again. We've been out of the loop for a while here in covid.
I couldn't even fake it, Jim. Yeah, the movie's already made. They're just waiting to release it and they've done a full redoing. And I don't think it's a modern interpretation. I think it's basically set in the same time. I could be wrong, but why do that?
It's a perfect film. It is a perfect movie. Why remake a perfect movie like it's only going to be compared to the other one? The other one won Oscars and the soundtrack sold in the millions. And now you're going to be like, OK, the best I can hope for is they did a good job. That was pretty good. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm happy with that. It's like when they remade Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie the Chuck Fact.
The original movie is a perfect movie. Don't fuck with that movie. Is it a perfect movie?
The first movie is a perfect film.
Yeah, it's dark and dangerous and they have real dwarfs. The other one used one dwarf and then they just multiplied them a thousand times.
I know I could have done a Veruca Salt like nobody's business. Yeah. Yeah.
Oh I want to go. I've met verruca. Sold what. The Edinburgh Festival. There was a comedian who was doing a whole hour show and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and how that was his favorite film. Matthew Hardy's his name, the comedian Sir Matt Hardy was doing a show on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And then Veruca Salt was at the Edinburgh Festival just watching shows or visiting or lived there, I don't fucking know. But she came along to his show and then afterwards in the bar, like it got around very quickly in the comedy community, people were texting each other.
Veruca Salt is in the bar, right.
And all grown ups, people were running down to this bar because what a kitschy, great celebrity to meet them.
Veruca Salt, I love that it's a weird movie that I don't know whether I should show it to my son because I enjoyed it so much as a kid. And I feel like I shouldn't have enjoyed this film. Was it just because my mother liked watching this film? I don't know what it was, but I think I've seen The Sound of Music like a hundred times and it's like I can't bring myself to show it to my seven year old son.
And I was watching it at like five and enjoying it because I don't see a world where he would enjoy the sound of music.
I've made my son watch it, but I'll be ridiculous.
And it you know, I don't like people who moan about musicals, like, why wouldn't they just say these things? What do they have to break into song like? It's a fantasy land. It's not a real thing. I know people don't break into songs and dance routines. I know it's not a we're not watching a fucking documentary. It's an art thing.
If you could tap dance, would you? I got a story about this. Here we go. Is me talking again? I, I studied musical theater. We had to do one different type of dance every semester that we had to pass. We had to repeat the subject. Right. And as I said earlier, it brings back the coordination thing. We had a semester of tap and so I had tap shoes and would be trying to do my time steps at the back, you know, the steps that they make you learn for the examination.
And then I was going to have to tap dance in front of a board of teachers like Flashdance. But with tap, you know, they sit at a table and you have to come in and dance and they've all got their pads anyway. So I lived in a house in Perth where all the floors were tiled.
Oh, that's a loud tapping. Yeah.
And it's not good for the tiles because it would make scratches and stuff on the top.
So what happened was I bought myself a little maybe three by three foot bit of wood. Right. That I'd put on the floor and then I would tap on that and learn all my time steps. Right. So the morning before the exam, I was in the house. Now it was a little tiny place, one bedroom upstairs and a living room. And it was all very compact and type of stuff. The only place I could find to put this bit of wood was the top landing of the stairs.
And so I'd gotten up in the morning. I still in my underwear and I knew I had this exam. I didn't put any clothes on. I was just in my underwear and I put my tap shoes on. So quite the look, you know, a pair of tidy whities and tap shoes. And I've gone out to islanding and I'm tapping. I'm learning missteps and all that stuff. I trip and I fall down the stairs. They're all terracotta bashed, my head concussed, concussed.
I roll down the stair. Now, I always think to myself, if I cracked my head open then and died, which was a possibility that such a terrible way to die.
Oh, no, it's a magnificent way. I think about the tragedy.
A young child in Australia attempts a dream, but they would have always made a lot of assumptions about me after I died.
I think about the donations that are that have poured into your family.
I and I don't think it's a very relatable story, though, like people are going to start ringing my parents and going. My son died the same way we have a community group where we all talk to each other. OK, what was your first boss like? My first real boss.
I had an actual job, which was nine to five and 40 hours a week on some stuff with a guy called Paul Spice's. And I used to sell mobile phones back in the infancy of mobile phones. This is like when they were like four thousand dollars each and they were big as a brick and they had eight hour batteries and people were like, wow, eight hours and 20 minutes of talk time. And so that was my job to sell them.
And I sold subwoofers and car stereo is that industry doesn't exist anymore. Paul Soccers was a Greek Italian fella. Paul, if you're listening, I'd love to have a beer with you next time in Australia. I thought you're a good guy. There was nothing wrong with you. But I used to drive this bloke fucking mental. He liked me as a person on a level, but at work I drove that bloke fucking crazy. And one time in front of all the other staff, he strangled me flat.
I'll tell you this story. What happened was we finished work and we're all we're all standing around. I'm behind the counter. He's giving us all of his grievances for the day he's going. And you're not selling enough of these phones and you're not selling enough of this. And you pay and you're too lazy. You're taking too long a lunch break. And also he goes and I'm not getting my messages because we were selling mobile phones, but none of us had a mobile phone because they were too expensive.
So we were selling a product that we couldn't even afford ourselves. So are you guys are here?
Family members of mine and stuff have been ringing in our go home. And they say, I tried to ring at work, but I never got the message, has anyone rung for me today? And so I had my notepad and I went, oh, yeah, there's been a few messages. I'm sorry I didn't pass these on now. And I am. Your mother called. Call me back. It's important. Nine, ten. She called again.
Your father is very ill. We need you back home right now. I should have passed that one on. And then nine forty five. Don't even bother. It's over there right now.
And he leapt over the counter and started choking me with my hands and he he had to be dragged off. Now this is the difference between our generation and those millennials and all that type of stuff. I knew that I said the wrong thing and I didn't complain and I apologized. I came back to work the next day and was very humble, even though he did choke me. I work for the guy for another year.
Yeah. Oh, God. Oh, all right.
I assume he still is doing something with mobile phones or something like that. He was a pretty clever fellow. I could probably make millions by now. He was that type of a bloke. Ambitious.
Jim, you got married last month. I did. How was that?
It was fantastic. It was wonderful. You ended in Vegas. I would like to thank covid for helping me out on this one because, you know, we were spending all that time together and stuff like that. And I was thinking about marrying early. And then I was like, oh, maybe we should wait a bit longer. And then, you know, just that intense amount of time that we spent together every single day, I was 100 percent positive.
This is the person for me, you know, that's really romantic. We just enjoy each other's company so much and just living so codependent with each other and just becoming one, you know. And the beautiful thing about the covid was she's British, I'm Australian.
We couldn't invite anybody. I'm sorry you couldn't come to our wedding, but bloody covid. And we just got two friends. My ex came along and my son, you know, I saw eight people. We got a little private jet. We went to Vegas and we did it in the little white chapel. It was beautiful and we had a wonderful time.
It was romantic because we didn't have to worry about all of our guests and all of the different people and making them unhappy. And who do we have to write present letters back to and all this other bullshit? It was just about us in that moment, and it was fantastic. And I'm very happy.
Jim, I was hesitant to ask you actually about this. I haven't put it on my mind social media, because I believe it's private and it's between us. And I put it on my personal one, friends and family, social media and other stuff. And and we had all of our friends and family zoom in and they all watched it from around the world. And I do like to keep things private. I'm pretty private about that. And, you know, so I don't want to talk about it much more than what I've already said.
But I'm very happy and it makes me very happy for you. Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. I am a very cynical romantic.
I'm a romantic in the sense that I believe in love and all that type of stuff. But I am a cynic in the sense that, you know, so many people get divorced and so many people like this and all that other stuff. You know, we did all the whole prenup stuff and all that jazz.
That is so romantic, isn't it?
Yeah, I think is very unromantic type of thing. But, you know, I think what's good about that is you don't feel like anyone's trying to get. Anything out of you, apart from you, yeah, I mean, yeah, I think the argument for prenup feels a little bit like life insurance, I guess. Yeah, it's kind of like you're making your will. Yeah. And then there is the comfort in feeling like I guess that sorted.
Yeah, I guess that's sorted. But it's also it's like this person loves me that I love my money. They just want to be with me. I love that. I say the prenup is romantic.
I am with you, ok. To whom would you most like to apologize and why?
There's a few people in my personal life, the person I'd like to apologize to, the person that I've never met, that I made a joke about on stage. And I've made jokes about a lot of people that I've never met, celebrities and whatnot, politicians. And it's hard to even say this. The person is Jenny McCarthy. I would like to apologize to Jenny McCarthy. And the reason for that is this. Now, Jenny McCarthy is an anti Voxer, and I think that's a force of evil in the world.
That's my personal opinion. I'm pro vaccination. I think vaccinations have saved millions of lives.
I don't believe in the myth that vaccinations give children autism. I don't believe that. I've spoken to a doctor on my podcast that explained the correlation between the time that we started diagnosing autism versus the vaccines and the two things that correlated in time and have nothing to do with each other. But I don't want to get into that right now.
But what I did wrong was I did a joke. Now I had a doctor that said maybe I was on the spectrum and all this type of stuff, and it was a joke about me.
It was a joke about me and my ex arguing over whether I should vaccinate our child. And she was like, maybe we should wait a little while and maybe we should do them sporadically, you know, this type of stuff. And I was all pro vaccination. And then I said on stage, I said, oh, Jenny McCarthy is fucking Jenny McCarthy and her fucking protests about bloody vaccinations because her kid has autism. And I said, does her kid really have autism or is it just Jenny McCarthy's kid?
Did we really think that she was going to have a genius for. And it was just, you know what? I should be a better person than ever, bringing up someone's child and especially someone's child with a condition, and that's something that has weighed on me a lot, that I made that joke.
And no matter what my political differences are with Jenny and what she believes versus what I believe. I don't believe I had any right to make that joke, even if it's funny or whatever. I just think that was a little bit cruel. And I think that I'm better than that. And I regret saying that joke. There's a small chance she's never heard the joke. Me saying this now is going to bring a light onto it and get me into more trouble.
But if she's listening, I would like to humbly apologize. That was wrong of me. And I feel terrible about doing that, Jack.
I think that's amazing that you just said that. Oh, good. All right.
I thought you meant to go. I think that you're horrible. You're a horrible person.
I still stand by my opinion on the virus. But the real thing that I did wrong that I really regret is so often when you write a joke about another person or what have you, and I'm a big fan of, there's always a victim in a joke. I don't believe you can have victimless humor. I don't think that's a thing. You know, even slapstick is someone falling over the victim can be you in the joke.
The victim can be whatever. The victim will be a huge group of people.
But there's always someone who's the part of it somewhere in the joke somewhere. And so I try not to do it about individuals as such unless I think they really inherent people, you know. And I thought that Jenny really did do something detrimental to our society. And a lot of kids didn't get vaccinated because what she did and I could have voiced that without making a personal attack and also a personal attack about someone's child. And if someone did that about my child, I would be mortified and I would be so angry at that person.
Just at the time when I did the joke, I was very passionate, pro vaccination person that I detached myself from the human that I was attacking. That was really wrong of me. All right. Next question. OK, all right. All right.
What or who has influenced your career the most? So on the larger scale, George Carlin is the comic that I look at. I really tried to emulate, I guess, you know that I thought that was what I wanted to be. And now as I've progressed, I know that's a bad way to look at comedy going. I want to be like him. So now you try to be your own person. But the person who lit the spark in me as a kid was Eddie Murphy watching Delirious.
I just was so amazed by watching a person tell stories where all the other comics I used were telling jokes but telling stories about his child and his mother making hamburgers because he couldn't go to McDonald's because they were poor. So they had to do it. You know what I mean? It's funny that I would relate to a black American guy being a white Australian kid. My life couldn't be further removed from his experiences to my experiences, but somehow I really related to him.
Yeah, I love the idea when you speak about stand ups doing stories, because that is their relatability. That is the thing that, you know, a young, white, blond kid watching delirious, feeling a stronger bond with Eddie than like the obnoxious kids that I was watching it with.
Was there an actress or actor that you saw with the child? I want to be like them.
No, no. You really are your own thing, though. There's never been another one of you. You're very unique. Thanks, Jim.
Well, it's not like people compare many people to you, you know what I mean? And that's a good thing.
Yeah, I get compared to people all the fucking time, like, oh, just other people with Australian accents on it.
OK, now let me cover up my awkwardness by asking you if you could have a dinner party or a party with five guests living or dead, like who would you pick, Kate?
So John Lennon, I would like to meet John Lennon and chat to him. I would like to meet my grandfather who died before I was born. I would like to sit and see because I have so many mannerisms like my father. I wonder if he was a similar fella to me. So that's more of a vain thing that I'd like to see some history of who I am. Marilyn Monroe. Now, that sounds really cliche, but they reckon as soon as she entered the room, everyone just thought about sex and all that type of stuff.
And then she was just so appealing, gorgeous, lost their shit when they were talking to her. I just think it would add a nice mix and maybe my grandfather would enjoy that, you know. So are you going to make everyone at the party happy? Can't just be all about. All right, and then I wouldn't mind having, like, someone evil, evil, someone evil, everyone always goes for people that they would like, you know what I mean?
Yeah, even Hitler, because, you know, he must have been charming to convince that many people but like Ted Bundy say now I'm going to get in trouble. Someone's going to be in line saying Jim Jeffries wants to have dinner with Hitler. I don't want to have dinner with Hitler. I want to make that very clear. So I'm going to scrap him from the list.
OK, my argument is, how does someone do that? Like Ted Bundy, someone like Ted Bundy, they always go on about how charming he was and what type of stuff. And he was good. I didn't think he was good looking at all. What are people fucking talking about?
I think he was good looking for the late 60s. Early 70s. Right.
All right. I'm going to scrap those. I'm going to say so. John Lennon, my grandfather, Marilyn Monroe.
You want George Carlin now? I just feel like I know George Carlin. I know his daughter reasonably well. I feel like I just know the guy, you know, I just don't think there's any mystery there for me. Maybe I'm wrong and I want to be one of the party funnier than me. I want to be the funniest person at the party. You're not invited, George. You're not going to bloody outshine me. It's my fucking dinner party.
OK, so after three, I'm going to throw a few know Elvis. I don't know. I actually have one more meeting.
Elvis, if I could bring Elvis in there. You're telling me Elvis and Marilyn wouldn't go home together at the end of this party?
Fucking. What about your grandfather? Yeah, my grandfather. What age is he coming at? I don't know. I want him to about seventy once. He sort of knows the way of the world, but I think he died in his 60s, so it's going to be fucking difficult.
And then maybe someone who's alive.
Let's pick another live person who is shaped the world, someone who really did something big, you know, like a bomb would be interesting.
He's a good talker and I feel like he could do any conversation with that fella. But, you know, I don't want to quit. My assistant just went the queen. I don't need the fucking queen there. She's done nothing. I would love to stand as she walked in. I don't need the queen.
Does she ask a lot of questions? Besides, how was your journey?
I think she just gets offended a lot by if you don't do the right protocol. That's my image of the queen. Who would be a fun.
OK, nice. I will do like I want George Best. The Footballer. George Best. George Best. Now, George Best was a soccer player who is regarded by many to be the greatest footballer ever, and he was a rampant alcoholic.
Back it up for a second. What country does he play for Australia now? He played in over Ireland because of that. He never made it into the World Cup. And Pele said that George was a better player and he came over and played here in L.A. towards the end of his career. And he he dated like eleven missed worlds and all this other stuff. And he was like handsome and he was charming. He's the guy who did the quote when all of his money ran out and they said, what happened to all your money?
And he goes, I spent it on women and alcohol and the rest I just wasted.
There's a lot of quotes and stuff. And he was a real Jack the lad type of thing. And he was an alcoholic. He had a liver transplant. And then he continued to drink until he died and he died when I was living in Britain.
And I just think he would be a real fun guy to have a drink with, plus sort of fascinating to have that much talent, not much raw ability in this world and that much charm and then not be able to get rid of your addictions. I just think he's an interesting fellow that I'd like to chat to.
And then our last one will be a musician on a very good John Lennon there. He was a musician of sorts.
I tell you what, I tell you what the next one's going to be George Harrison.
I've already got one Beatle, but I'd like another person at the party to fact check these stories. So that's not what happened there.
John, you're making that up now. That's not what happened. You know, that would be good. So two Beatles are going to have to Beatles. Just a fact check each.
Jim, that's brilliant.
Yeah. They can do the little pithy things between each other and all that type of stuff. Marilyn can sit there giggling, walking over events occasionally.
Yeah. Is it's a good group and that's a good group. And my granddad would be like, well, who are you again? What's all this about? My grandfather died in the nineteen fifties so he's going to be like the what just sounds like noise to me. Yeah. That can't be good to have there. Yeah I'm happy with that.
OK, we don't talk often about like political shit. Jim on the show maybe in 2015 we had this caller, this woman called up and she was dating a guy in Virginia who was a solid like Trump supporter. And she's like, this is such a turnoff. I don't know what to do, but there aren't that many guys in this region. And he's nice and I like him. They can I overcome this hurdle.
But I said, don't worry, because there's no way he's going to get elected. So, you know, this will pass.
It'll just go away. Did you follow up? Is she still with him? Sure did not, because then I went. Through my own like, which is truly an indication of how far apart we are in terms of our relatability in this country, at a time when you would think that social media or whatever, like an exchange would be reasonable or at least accessible. And yet at the same time, it feels like this is so much more divisive.
We're choosing in a very particular way our source of information, which is being fed the things that we want to hear because we get to choose them, though, right?
Like it's not like NBC Nightly News is our only source anymore. Yeah. How do you think the election is going to go, Jim?
I think Biden will win. I think it will be not by a landslide.
I'm very worried that Trump will win. I would not be surprised if he does.
All these people are like, oh, no, no, no, it's not going to happen this time. I remember them all. No, no. Knowing the first time. And they got all the polls are different now and these states and blah, blah, blah, and and he's lost this vote and lost that vote. And I'm like, I don't know. And when he got covid, I remember thinking this is good for him. As long as he doesn't die, this is good for him, because if he gets really sick, then he gets sympathy.
And if he comes out of it like it's nothing, you can just go, oh, it's nothing which he did do. He came out and said, I feel stronger than I've ever felt. I'm going to kiss everyone. There's no problem. So now it's like he gets to play the whole the liberals are trying to keep you scared and in your houses and all that type of stuff. And this isn't bad at all. So I feel like that might have helped him a lot.
It's baffling. I feel like different news organizations are scrambling to find the undecided voter who is the fucking undecided voters.
So who are these people? Who are these people?
That's why I think that it's like you have to scrape and scrape and scrape for the undecided voter at this point. But we're all curious about who that person would be. But can I ask you, what is your biggest takeaway about America?
What I would say about Americans that is different from everybody else in the bank's extraordinarily patriotic, the obsession with freedom, where the word freedom almost gets bastardized, if you want to bring up a topic, go, hey, how about we do this?
And how about we give you a health care? And how about we help the homeless and then it all turns? You're trying to take away my freedoms. We need to wear masks. But what about my freedom?
It's just like this blanket word that you use more than any other country in the world. And it's like this myth that you believe that you're more free than other first world countries that have democratic parties in Australia. We vote we a free place, we're free. We don't have to say it all the time. You think the people in England aren't free? You think most of Europe isn't free? It's a load of rubbish.
Also, this idea of the and I like America because I've been asked this question. The American dream, I think is a ridiculous statement to just go, oh, it's the American dream.
This is a dream of anybody anywhere in the world, like in a free country where you work hard, you make money, you might be able to get yourself a house and you might be able to drive a car.
And you get to you know, this dream isn't unique to you in any way, but somehow you've hijacked this idea that you're the only people who can have it.
Yes, I think that we magnetize words like you speak about freedom, how that triggers an American or the idea of feminism or liberalism or conservatism, like the magnet words that we use that are so loaded, it's almost like we can't hurtle beyond.
You can stop something that is helpful to the people by just calling it socialism. And then socialism gets confused with communism. All your isms bastardized over here.
We like are things spoon fed to us?
Yeah, well, no, no, you're not force fed to you because that would take away my freedom and just spoon fed a little bit.
I don't know. Give me a word. I'll eat it up. Hey, Jim, thank you so much for doing this.
Thanks for having me on it. Let's do it again in six months or something.
I would love that talk soon by the Qualified Advice segment is supported by better health.
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So get started today at better HELOC P dotcom slash SARS. Talk to a therapist online and get help. Hey, everyone, I am joined today by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, who is a psychologist, teacher, podcasters and prolific author, Scott's research focuses on intelligence, creativity and human potential. You can find more information about Scott and our other experts at unqualified dotcom. Hey, Scott, thank you so much for joining us today. Oh, my pleasure.
Can we talk to you?
OK, we are going to call Jenna. Hello. Hey, Jenna, nice to meet you. Oh, my God, thank you so much for doing this. I'm here with Scott. Barry Kaufman is a psychologist at Columbia University. Hi, guys. Jenna, would you mind telling us your story?
So I am one of the relationship casualties of this pandemic. So I was in a relationship that started in late January of twenty twenty. And we were in like the fun, you know, exciting, sexy time of the relationship.
And then, you know, I'm in New York City, so shit got real, really fast. And in mid-March, when the pandemic happened and everything shut down, we were still in the snow getting to know each other phase. And because we had to, like, only hang out at home or do Zoome calls, it became really serious, really fast. Like we weren't able to go out and do the fun things that we were doing in the beginning.
And it just got really intense. And I think he freaked out. And in June, he called things off and said, you know, in a different time, maybe we could make this work, but we don't have much in common beyond experiential things, you know, out in the world. So we've spoken once or twice since June, but I just can't shake that. There was something special there. And, you know, I'm thirty four, so I've had relationships and this one just really clicked.
And I know in my heart something between us still. But we haven't spoken since July and tomorrow is his birthday. And I'm toying with like, do I reach out, is it too late? Do I just need to move on and be done? How do I get over this or what do I do? Oh, gosh.
Well, Janet, do you mind if I read a tiny bit of your email? Sure. OK, you wrote hey it.
I started a new relationship in February. It was a whirlwind seeing each other three to four times a week. Best sex of my life. I'm 34. We just really meshed and covid happened.
First of all, I have definitely had the best sex of my life in my 40s. And as I get older, it's just it gets better and better.
I so feel. Eugena So you had this phone call in June. He called you and said, I think this isn't right. We did like a Zoome call.
And he basically said, I've been thinking for a little while that I can't do this anymore. It's too intense. We can't go out and do things. We're just talking. And there's nothing to talk about right now. You know, both of us are in careers that pretty much slowed down because of the pandemic. So it was just like, hey, how are you? Good. How are you know, it wasn't right.
Those are the worst kinds of conversations, like how was your design? And like, you're both doing other things.
China, did he use the word intense? Like, did he actually say this is a bit too intense for me?
He said it's moving faster than it would have if we were out in the world and pandemic wasn't happening. He did use the word intense at some point, emotionally intense.
I mean, that means something if you use that word, Dino's relationship history.
I am his first real relationship. He is four or five years younger than me.
If this is his first relationship, that's a big thing. Right. And let's assume that he's like twenty nine. Yeah.
Really big. And I think there's a situation here where you can personalize a lot of this China and ruminate about it. And that's not helpful for you or your own wellbeing. Right. There's so much going on here that just doesn't have to do with you. It seems like it right. One possibility, you know, there's different attachment styles. Usually when someone has an avoidant attachment style, a real trigger for them is if things look like they're getting too intense too quickly, that's a big trigger for people with more of avoiding attachment style.
And it sounds like you have more of the anxious attachment style where you get all in, right?
Oh, yeah. You're all in her.
I'm an all in her. Heartbreak is tough when you're in OLINER.
Yeah. So that's one possibility is that you've wired some of these fears and that it's not that things were actually getting intense because he doesn't have a lot of frame of reference from other relationships. Actually, you could just be having a normal loving like relationship. And when you're in that just experience all the time that can be avoidant, avoidant of intimacy. He may not like that feeling of intimacy that might be making him uncomfortable and that could be making a cuddle with anyone that he's talking with.
Janet, you know how memory sort of sharpens itself and heartbreak a bit? Yeah. Why did you believe that he is the one and why is that feeling becoming more solidified within you?
I've been in other relationships prior that. I've not been able to open up and feel as seen and heard, and he really could hold space for like some childhood trauma. Plus, he's fucking funny.
Oh, no. And I am an ex stand up comic.
That's the worst we have, like, crazy banter.
And he just is right there. And it's sexy and it's intoxicating.
I don't know if you're I was going to say ex-boyfriend, but that feels weird because I don't even know if you guys maybe defined it was it felt like everything came on too soon for you guys to define anything in that way, is that correct?
Yeah. He was afraid of labeling it, which is so common in millennials.
So as I understand it, someone with an avoidant attachment style is somebody who is going to crave the feeling of being loved and supported, just like all of us. But I guess the key difference is that they'll also feel a compulsion to distance themselves from those. They're getting close to somebody who is going to crave the feeling of being loved and supported, just like all of us. But I guess the key difference is that they'll also feel a compulsion to distance themselves from those they're getting close to.
Yeah, I mean, we don't know exactly what's going on here. It can also be, you know, just relationship and experience totally, especially in New York, like.
And do you think, Scott, that men grow up so much slower?
Yeah. Yeah, I do. I do. I guess whatever the idea of growing up is, maybe relationships aren't for everybody. And we've just been taught that these are the cycles that we have to go through.
My thoughts on this matters that I really like this idea of protecting Jenna here and seeing how Jenna can move forward in a way that finds relationships that matter a lot to her. So the piece felt right to you, is that right? It didn't feel too intense for you know, if that's the case, then maybe you need to find someone whose intensity matches your intensity. It's like a sports car with like a you know, like you need to have two sports cars together, you know, that are both ready.
You can't force someone to be ready for something that they're not ready to grow into.
Yeah, the wonderful scenario is that you give him a birthday greeting tomorrow and he reaches back out and says, how are you?
And then maybe the conversation continues.
And he's like, you know, I miss you, whatever. That's the best case scenario. I do think, though, even if you guys do get back into a relationship, you'll still have a tiny bit of this scar, which is overcome evil, but it's there and you need reassurance.
I did that thing in high school, you know, where the cute guy kind of finally liked me, sort of. And then he broke up with me and cheated on me. I broke up with me and then like, I begged for him back and we got back together for like three months. And then we broke up again, went through whatever it sort of shortened itself. And each time my heart felt like it was getting harder and harder towards him.
And I didn't like that. I felt so eager to have his affection that that felt awful.
That's kind of why I haven't reached out. I'm a stubborn person and I'm kind of like not wanting to make the first move. But I can't really move past this at the moment. And I've done a lot of work on myself in the last three months and figured out my end of what went wrong. So in my head, I'm hoping and thinking maybe he's done similar work on himself. He is in therapy. He is doing work. So, yeah, best case scenario, I text and everything is great, but I don't even know if it's worth my time.
So if you text him and you don't get a response, how will you feel? I think I'll be sad and hurt, but I haven't gotten a response since July, so it's really not much different. You have reached out. I know we talked in July once back and forth and then stopped.
Damn, Gina, you're a woman of your word. I like it. I love it. I'm the same way, Gina.
So I tried up Scott.
Am I crazy to suggest that I normally wouldn't do this, but am I crazy to suggest a happy birthday text? I'm with you.
I'm so with you on this. Really? Yeah. I think this is a good moment for her. It's his birthday makes total sense. Yeah.
And because Jenna hasn't been like, bombarding them with text or anything like that, just one thought, Jenna, just think to yourself, you know, how much am I willing to pull back because it's so important to respect yourself and your boundaries and what some people may do in this case, it was just complete sacrifice herself entirely and just be like, you know what, I really like you so much that like whatever's comfortable with you, I'm in, even though if it's uncomfortable for you.
So I would say to really think this through and maybe even just put something be like, hey, look, I'm totally willing to pull back a little it feels a little too intense. I respect that. I'm willing to x, you know, whatever you're willing to do that you're really comfortable with, but just make sure that you're comfortable with it, you know what I mean? Like, make sure that you're not sacrificing yourself.
Yeah. I wonder, Janetta, like I love it, that you have this great banter with this guy and you guys have the similar degree of sense of humor, which is so important. But if in the time that you guys actually were together, if he fulfills other elements in terms of being supportive or caretaking people in our industry, fuck Jenna. You know better than I do.
We're selfish and self-absorbed and insecure and difficult, a lot of fun.
But those other elements are very important to people that can make you feel like, you know, if you want to buy a small apple orchard in Pennsylvania and your partner is like, yeah, like the heady giddiness of a start of a relationship is so intoxicating and so consuming and the way I heard it.
But I heard it recently and I keep thinking about it, that under times of stress, whether it's negative stress or positive stress, your brain only absorbs about 15 percent of the information that's given to you.
And so during those heady fucking moments of amazing sex in laughter in like just rolling around in bed for 48 hours at a time and watching Netflix are so funny, but it doesn't give our brain a ton of room to absorb if this person also fulfills some other things. And that's also, Jenna, to probably why? Because the relationship kind of ended and fizzled as soon as it was like on fire.
So that leaves your memory kind of sharp about the amazing time that it was right. Which may mean that you've romanticized him in a way that maybe is accurate, but I think is an important thing to examine a bit, too.
Yeah, definitely. And, you know, I've had nothing but time, so I've been examining that quite a bit. Just ruminating. Yeah.
Have you been drawn in the past to similar personality types? If this guy is kind of an avoidant, they often come back and then leave again. Maybe it's because they don't quite know exactly what they want out of life or whatever it is. But have your previous relationships been kind of avoidance?
That's a good question. I think I've not dated someone as outgoing and energetic as him and funny as him before, but I have been love bombed in the past by men that I give a lot of upfront excitement and then kind of fizzle out. So that could definitely be something to examine.
I'm that kind of person.
I was drawn to somebody who would hurt my pride and I don't know if that's youth or whatever.
You weren't drawn to it. You were drawn into it. Yeah, I was drawn into the longing. But as a result, though, I romanticize the men that were rejecting me.
I think that has some truth to me. That rings true. Thank you.
Oh, yeah, it sucks. But I don't really subscribe to the idea of like one person out there, it feels like an impossibility. And it also feels like there's a lot of fucking great people out there that will be able to make you laugh and also make you feel amazing. And it sounds to me, not knowing this guy, it sounds like he's not in another relationship. Do you think, Jenna?
I don't think so. I don't think he was ready to jump back into something.
Yeah, but he hasn't even jumped into anything, really. Right. That's true. Yeah. You got I mean, did he grew up in New York? No, he's southern.
Did you guys ever speak about the idea of being in a relationship?
Yeah, but we did have like a marriage talk that he said he wanted to get married and we talked about that. So that's even more of why it was a little out of the blue and confusing that he ended things.
Yeah, I think that is a big red flag to me. I think he's impulsive and romantic and fun and says things like, let's move to Iceland.
That's so funny. He said we should take our honeymoon in Iceland, see and know this dude.
You know, the Iceland red flag. I know this dude. They're so fun. They're the worst. You never go to Iceland, I wonder.
It's perfectly normal in a relationship. By the way, when the fun is gone, the passion is gone for both people to want to inject more of it. So his relationship and experience, maybe he doesn't realize this is just like perfectly normal. What's going on between you two? Because there aren't all these other opportunities. I have no idea. Are there like virtual improv shows or can you, like, invite him, you know, in a cheeky way, just like, hey, do you want to join?
Like, I found this, like virtual. Stand up show on Saturday on Zoome. Do you want to come and join up with me and just try to inject, even in a friendly way, more of the fun back into it? Because it's just perfectly normal to feel this way?
I think you're totally right, but I'm not sure I like this guy for Jenna. I just don't know that much about it. Well, Scott, you're being more generous than I am. I know him.
I have slept with this dude and he slept with my best friend and they're really fun.
And we talked about yogurt in Iceland as well.
Well well, I'll defer to your expertise on the Iceland red flag.
But like in the past, when I've had my heart kind of broken, I can look back and realize, oh, my God, that person was a little bit lame. And I ignored a few things for her mom.
Was that you who brought up the marriage idea? No, he did. Oh, OK.
Well, you might be onto something there.
You know, he's a seducer. He doesn't want the same things that Jenna wants. That's my opinion.
Interesting. And he wanted me to meet all of his friends early on. In the beginning, I was the one hanging back like this is moving too fast. And then when he was introducing me to people before the pandemic and talking about marriage, I got a little like, oh, this guy is serious and wanting a relationship. And then I opened up and then that freaked him out and he ran away.
Jenna, would he say things like, this is the love of my life, we're getting married to his friends or to, you know, not that intent, but his friends would come up to me and say, like, he's never talked about a woman, the way he talks about you and that kind of shit.
The friends can really solidify shit like that. Yeah. Oh, my God. They really can. That can be heavily influential.
Yeah. And of course, you're confused. Jenna, of course, have some self compassion, too. You know, it's like that makes complete sense that you would be confused by that. Yeah, I'm confused, Jenna.
I don't think this is the right person, at least right now.
I don't want you to put yourself out there and feel vulnerable and exposed again.
If you wanted to see you and talk to you, he would be reaching out. That's true. And so I don't know if that means that there's somebody else or if he's just in a different place or whatever it was. And I don't think, Jenna, you should analyze any of your behavior because this does not sound like you at all.
Agreed. You know, he's in his late 20s, early 30s or whatever, and he hasn't had a real relationship. He's moved to New York and probably, you know, hanging out with a lot of friends who are also in a similar position that he's in, which is, you know, having a lot of fun, still like living in an elongated adolescence, which is totally fine and normal.
But I just don't want it to hurt you. I would say I'm on the fence about this texting tomorrow about his birthday.
Scott, what do you think?
I know now, I was less on the offense fifteen minutes ago, you know, but now I'm on the fence with you.
Oh, things OK, good. Yeah. Because, you know, I feel like fifteen, twenty minutes ago, like me and you were both like, totally obviously text the birthday. But now we got more information. I think you hit on something really, really important. The fact remains that if he really was interested in you, he would text you. Yeah. And I think we go through all sorts of self delusions and contortions and things. But that is the bottom line, right?
You know, it's not like he's waiting for you to just be like, happy birthday, like, oh, can we get back together? I was like, I don't think that's really going to happen.
But I think, you know, I would say, yeah, just know, maybe he'd say Happy birthday and be like, hey, I'm here if you want to catch up some time. Just something like as simple as that. But I think we're both on the same page that you've a lot to offer in a relationship and you deserve to have the pace that you want. Oh, I'm going back.
You go back. No, no, I'm not going back. I'm just feeling kind of solid that she should not text him.
Just totally not kind of not even if he texts something nice back, like, hello, how are you? I miss you. Or like, how are things going? He's not the proactive person. You may have a sense that you're kind of cajoling him. You're putting your heart on the line like nothing will be satisfying. I don't imagine if you text you back and he's like, I fucking love you.
I was just waiting for you to text me because I don't know how to text. We want to give you permission right now to move on. I think that's really the most healthy, productive thing right now. How could we have closure in this conversation? I think we want to empower you to move on. And maybe if you go the whole day tomorrow managing not to text him for his birthday, maybe that could be a milestone in your head that you've moved on and you can finally stop ruminating and having suffering at your own hands.
I mean, it sounds like having that little door open, even just a little bit. It's like suffering for your own self.
Right after my first boyfriend broke my heart in high school, I totally romanticized him. I mean, he was like a God in my head. I don't know why. But then I came across a diary that I had written during that time and I complained about his long fingers and I complained. About his evil laugh, and it was so nice to remember that I was able to be slightly critical even in those heady days of like high school love. All I could think was like, he likes me.
I could not get over that idea. But he was just a dick.
He was he was kind of a jerk.
He typed up lyrics to a Rage Against the Machine song and posted them on telephone poles all around our community. He was like radical.
You know, that's bizarre. Oh, man. There's a correlation between hand size and asshole. Did he know that? No way. You could show me a picture of his hand. I could actually tell you how much testosterone he had in his prenatal. Really? Yeah. There's actually a pretty sizable correlation there between your second and fourth digit ratio and how much testosterone you have, which is correlated with being an asshole. Pretty much, yeah.
That's awesome. Scutt Yeah. Jenah, avoid super long fingered men unless they pet you well with them.
Hey, Janet, did we help you at all? I'm so sorry, though, for a heart break during this time.
I'm sorry to thank you. I feel like you guys kind of mirrored what I've been going through this back and forth, but ultimately hearing like someone who doesn't know me and doesn't know him say like he's not reaching out, period. Yeah. Why put yourself through it again. Yeah. When he's not making the effort. I think because this pandemic makes meeting other people difficult, not having the time to go out and date is making me romanticize him. So yeah, I think you mirroring back I deserve better.
Yeah. Is really helpful.
I could also see you that Bonnie Raitt song.
I can make you love me if you do that came out a little bit better than I thought. That was good. Beautiful. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, Jenna. Thank you, Scott. I am going to work on my singing career because of this call.
But hey, Jenna, I hope you take at least a tiny bit of comfort in knowing that I know that your call in this talk is going to be very effective for a lot of people because I think that so many people are going through this. Yeah, and it's a different form, like in the past when we would have callers of like, OK, I'm not quite sure if this guy likes me or not. It was under different circumstances. It's almost like this is concentrated for you.
Right. And I'm sorry, I was really going to tell you to just wish him a happy birthday, but I really don't think he should.
I think I'm going to try what Scott said. And if I can get through tomorrow without the urge, take that as a milestone. Absolutely.
I was also just going to say even let this call itself right now be the closure that you need. Yeah, I think that's it. You know, and this rumination, it's so understandable. I mean, I'm sitting here, I live alone myself, and I sit here. I ruminate about everything, like from third grade. I mean, I'm going back to third grade. I'm like, oh my God. That time I said that thing to that person, you know?
So it's like so normal right now. It's so normal. Yeah.
Hey, Jenna, thank you so much for calling. And I can't thank you enough for being open. Yeah. And also, Jenna, check out a book. It's called Attatched. It's really good.
It's the new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find and keep love and to kind of break down in a more clinical way, which makes it comforting in a sense.
Jenna, also my recent book that came out, Transend has a whole chapter in attachment as well, if that's interesting.
You great. Hey, Jenna, thank you so much. Thank you for this. Thank you. Thanks, Jenna. Have a good day.
Guide you too. Scott, thank you so much for doing this today. I just had the best time. Please join us again if you don't mind, and I loved this so much. Thank you so much for having me on.
Thank you, Scott.