Aussie comic Jim Jefferies says his FX series, Legit — which premieres at 10:30pm Thursday — is basically about him as he was five years ago. That was when booze and women were paramount in his life, and he was wondering whether this comedy thing was going to work out. But now he’s in a stable relationship with the mother of his newborn son, and star of his own sitcom, a gleefully vulgar affair that also features a surprising amount of tenderness.
You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Empire. I’ll take a Rolling Stone, and I’ll take a Playboy. The thing is about Playboy is I’m going to say that I appreciate that it has good articles in it, because it’s just the right level of pornography. I don’t know how it still exists with the Internet and stuff, because it’s so tepid. But I do like Playboy, I think it’s the kind of magazine everybody wants to be interviewed in. The problem is the only time I read magazines is on a plane — and it doesn’t matter how good the articles are — you can never pull out pornography on a plane.
Your DVR only carries three shows. Which ones would you want?
Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and because I have to live with my girlfriend, RuPaul’s Drag Race.
What’s been your strangest fan encounter?
I once went back to a girl’s house for a one-night stand and she had all my posters on the wall. That was pretty creepy.
Tell me about a time when you were starstruck.
I met Paul McCartney at the Q Awards in the U.K. I met Paul McCartney and I freaked out. Then I went into the gift room — I’d never been in the gift room before with all the other celebrities, and my girlfriend was drunk and I was standing behind Neil Finn from Crowded House fame, who’s a big deal to me. I was off drinking at the time, and I asked her to get a photo with Neil Finn and she said the camera was out of batteries. I did that thing through gritted teeth where I went, “Oh, that’s no problem,” then I whispered in her ear, “All you had to do was bring the @#$%ing camera.” She burst into tears and ran out, then everyone stared at me. And Paul McCartney yells across the room, “That wasn’t cool.” My two biggest heroes in the world thought I was a dick within 30 seconds of meeting me.
What are three things you must have in your fridge or pantry?
Pineapple juice, gyozas (Asian dumplings) from Trader Joe’s and Vegemite.
You’re an Australian who likes baseball. What’s that about?
The thing is whenever you move countries or continents or whatever, I find the best way to mix in with the people is to talk about sports. So when I move to England, I got into the Premier League and I supported the team that was local to me. Then when I got to America — I’d always hated American sports, I’d always had a little foreign chip on my shoulder: Why do you have to have different things? Why do you have to have the month before the date? Why don’t you have the metric system? Why do you have to have different sports from everyone else? But I thought I better get into one of them. So I went and saw a hockey match, I went and saw a football match, I went and saw a basketball game, but the only one I really enjoyed a lot was baseball. I like to sit and chill out for three hours. Everyone goes on about how slow it is, but it’s so fast in comparison to cricket. I love cricket, but cricket takes five days to watch a game, and I was like, “I’m watching this thing in three hours. This is a breeze.” So I got into the Dodgers, and now I’m really considering buying my own season tickets to see the Dodgers. I think they’re going to win the whole lot next year. I threw the first pitch out at Wrigley Field, and I grounded it in the dirt. When I was standing out there and they handed me the ball, I realized at that moment that I’d never physically held a baseball. So I’m not a player of baseball, I’ve never swung a bat, but I enjoy watching it.
What’s your best new-dad joke so far?
I wrote a joke the other day about it. I’ve written a few little things about the birth and all that, but the problem is that almost everything about being a dad has been already said by guys like Bill Cosby. But I wrote one yesterday, we were on location shooting for three days, and I’ve never missed anything more than my child. And then as soon as I held him I realized, he’s basically the same as cigarettes. I just want to hold him for five minutes every hour, and then for the rest of the hour I’m thinking about how he’s ruining my life.
Photo: Credit: Matthias Clamer/FX