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It could be said that the difference between a comedian and a great one is how much they take in from the world around them. We all like to relate to things, it makes us connect, and part of that is the ability to find what makes people tick.

Armed with a little notebook each day, Jimeoin is like the David Attenborough of the comedic world; taking notes of the things he sees and turning them into sources of laughter when he steps on stage.

His comparison with the 89-year-old nature lover is quite an understanded one and, so far, there’s been no rebuttals on the likeness.

“He’s an alright dude David Attenborough, and I’m looking forward to his new series on the Great Barrier Reef,” Jimeoin says earnestly, continuing to question what channel he’ll have to switch on to watch it.

As we speak, the current notebook of choice is a small brown one, though no doubt many have been filled by his scrawlings over the years.

“I have a book and there’s something about writing things down that helps my memory,” he says.

“So before I do a gig I’ll write down a little bit of a joke, and it’s sort of a ground map of the show. It’s a really good thing to have to write things down and it sort of helps your memory when you see it written down on the page. Then when you think about it later on, you don’t have to remember it for rememberings sake, but you can remember it from writing it down. I think there’s been a lot of studies done on writing things down, and I’m not a big fan of texting and typing, so it’s nice to have something actually written down.”

The studies Jimeoin mentions are those done on the modality effect, and it’s well known that writing things down significantly increases memory recall. But the little notebook has much more power within its pages than just being a recall tool – it’s actually a great chance to reflect and recoup.

“I write down after the show and I also write down during the interval, and that’s a really good time to write because your brain is absolutely firing after you’ve just done the first half, and you’re a lot sharper,” he says.

“Sometimes the start of a show can feel like the start of the day and you’re just not on the ball as much. The first show is crucial for setting up the night, as then the next show you’ll just be killing it and you won’t be blocking yourself – you’re flowing from your face [sic].”

In the comedic world, often the observation is conducted on a completely external level, but the comedians themselves are also quite interesting people to observe. Despite their exuberant, excitable nature on stage when delivering line after line, comics are often much more contemplative in real life.

“That would be painful, my God!” Jimeoin laughs at the thought of being “on it” 24/7.

“Hopefully I have a good mix of emotions. Well my kids say that I look very worried sometimes, which probably means I’m just deep in thought. They’ll just say, ‘Dad, you look really worried what’s wrong?’. Sometimes I’ve got shit to do in the middle of the day, especially when you travel all through the day with four kids. I’m not always in high joke mode.”

Talking to Jimeoin as he watches his kids poolside, there are moments where he lapses into what his kids often query. Between answering questions and telling his son to get off the diving board, it’s a testament to his versatility in emotions and his ability to observe the chaos of a pool on a hot day while conducting an interview.

No doubt there’s a lot he’s observed since first coming to Australia 28 years ago from his home in Northern Ireland, and we’re sure there’s going to be many more insights into the Australian way of life in his shows.

Jimeoin has had many jobs in the past, but out of all that he’s had, life as a comedian is the least that feels like work. “It doesn’t have to be like a job, I think of it more like bungee-jumping. So just take the plunge and go bungee jump!”

During this comedy season, many comedians are making the trip to regional cities. Ross Noble is one who will be doing a show at the Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool on March 16, at GPAC in Geelong on March 17 and Her Majesty’s in Ballarat on April 1. Arj Barker also has a show at GPAC in Geelong on May 20.
Written by Amanda Sherring

When & Where: Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – March 5