My Comedy Hero: Abigoliah Schamaun on Jim Jefferies

My Comedy Hero: Abigoliah Schamaun on Jim Jefferies

credit: Steve Ullathorne

The UK-based US comedian picks a close-to-the-bone Aussie as her comic idol

I didn’t watch a lot of stand-up as a kid. And it never even occurred to me to become a comedian. It’s something I stumbled into after college when I was fed up going to 6am open calls to audition for the role of Francis in some civic theatre’s production of 42nd Street. When I started on the open mic scene in New York, I’d use all my time not being booked on actual shows, lapping up any comedy I could. And that’s how I found Jim Jefferies’ first HBO special I Swear to God.

I remember sitting there with my mouth agape (mostly because I was laughing so hard) thinking, ‘we can be that dirty? That’s an option? I want to do that!’ And then I spent the first three years of my stand-up career emulating Jim. Luckily, I’m an American woman, not an Australian man, who is horrible at mimicry so no one saw the resemblance. But if it wasn’t for Jim’s story about getting a vibrating egg stuck in his ass, I may have never had the courage to talk about a threesome I had with two Israeli men, where I bit one of them while the other tried to invade my Gaza Strip.

Comedy is not the only thing we have in common either. Both of us went to university for musical theatre. I can hardly wait for the day where we can perform ‘A Little Priest’ from Sweeney Todd. I imagine it’d be at one of those nights where the whole point is for comedians to fail at other art forms.

Jim’s ability to weave a funny, vulgar story is amazing to watch. He has inspired me to talk onstage about whatever I want, no matter the content. So thanks Jim. You’re the best.

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