Jim Jefferies

Jim Jefferies performs a comedy routine at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts during an event hosted by Accent Speakers Bureau on Thursday.

 

Davio Rodriguez / Alligator

When Jim Jefferies looked out at the crowd of about 950 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, it looked a little different than he expected.

“I thought it’d be more diverse,” he said. “I’m looking out at the crowd, and this is fairly close to a Klan rally.”

The Australian comedian performed at an American university for the first time Thursday night in front of what he heralded as the most sober audience he’s ever seen. During his hourlong routine, Jefferies touched on everything from President Donald Trump’s election to single parenting. Jefferies was paid a total of $125,000, according to Alligator archives.

Jefferies promised to remedy the audience’s sobriety after the show.

“We’ll go drinking afterwards as a group,” he said. “I’ll try to sleep with one of you, but I’ll do it fully consensually.”

Jefferies, known for his stand-up routine about gun control, commented on Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law and proposed a solution for two of America’s problems.

“If there should be one piece of gun control, it should be that only women can have guns,” he said. “That would fix the gun problem and the ‘Me Too’ movement.”

Despite the laughter in the Phillips Center, Jefferies shared that not all of his performances have been well-received. The comedian recalled one show where he had bottles thrown at him for telling a joke about dead babies and another uncomfortable surprise performance at Mariah Carey’s 50th birthday.

During the Q&A portion, instead of slinging punch lines at Trump and other celebrities, Jefferies shifted his aim toward the audience.

When one student approached the mike with the intent to heckle the comedian, Jefferies shut it down.

“You’re acting like a moron and now you’re trying to write it off like you’re the cool guy,” he said. “This will always haunt you.”

Emma Berkenblit, a UF exploratory freshman, said Jefferies was one of the first comics she ever watched with her dad. Although she knew other people were upset John Mulaney’s performance was canceled, she was ecstatic to see who his replacement was.

“I was totally, like, happy about it,” the 19-year-old said. “They’re definitely of equal caliber.”

Although this wasn’t the first time Ashley Kassay saw Jefferies live, it didn’t stop her from being first in line outside the Phillips Center.

The UF political science freshman arrived at 6 p.m. sporting Jefferies’ name on her shirt and clutching her ticket.

“He does not care what anyone thinks,” the 18-year-old said. “It’s kind of vulgar, but it’s really funny to me.”

Contact Jessica Giles at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jessica_giles_

Jessica Giles is a junior journalism major and Commission Reporter for The Alligator. Starting as a copyeditor in the Spring 2017, she now covers all city and county affairs. She'll never turn down a cup of coffee or the opportunity to pet a beagle.