Jimmy Carr

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Jimmy Carr
JimmyCarr.jpg
Carr in 2007
Birth name James Anthony Patrick Carr, Jr.
Born (1972-09-15) 15 September 1972 (age 42)
Hounslow, London, England[1]
Medium Stand-up, Television
Years active 2000–present
Genres Satire, one-liners, deadpan
Subject(s) Politics, sex, gender differences, celebrities, current events,
Partner(s) Karoline Copping
(2001–present)
Notable works and roles 8 out of 10 Cats
Distraction
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year
10 O'Clock Live
Website jimmycarr.com
British Comedy Awards
Best Live Stand Up
2006– Gag Reflex

James Anthony Patrick "Jimmy" Carr, Jr. (born 15 September 1972) is an English stand-up comedian, television host and actor, known for his signature laugh, deadpan delivery, dark humour, and use of edgy one-liners. He is also a writer, actor and presenter of radio and television. Carr moved to a career in comedy in 2000 and has become a successful comedian.[2][3] After becoming established as a stand-up comedian, Carr began to appear in a number of Channel 4 television shows, most notably as the host of the panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats and also The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, a comedy panel show that airs in late December to review the past year.

Early life and education[edit]

Carr was born in Hounslow, London[1] to Irish parents from Limerick: James Anthony Patrick Carr, Sr. (born 1945), an accountant who became the treasurer for computer company Unisys, and Nora Mary (née Lawlor; 19 September 1943 – 7 September 2001). He is the middle of three brothers.[4] His parents married in 1970 and separated in 1994, but never divorced.[4]

Carr spent most of his life in Slough, Berkshire, where he attended Farnham Common School and Burnham Grammar School,[5] then completed sixth form at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire where he was classmates with future rugby international Matt Dawson.[6] The family remained in contact with its Irish roots and made frequent trips to Limerick, and Kilkee, County Clare. Carr holds both British and Irish citizenship[7] and is a self-described plastic Paddy.[8]

After earning four 'A' grades at the GCE Advanced Level exams,[9] Carr read political science at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He graduated with a 2:1 in 1993.[2][10]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

At age 26, he had what he calls "an early midlife crisis", during which he lost his Catholic faith.[11] He has since made comments critical of organised religion.[12] Carr has stated that he underwent a lot of psychotherapy (specifically neuro-linguistic programming) at the time of his crisis in order to help him cope with his loss of faith, and that he has qualified as a therapist.[13]

Television[edit]

Hosting[edit]

Carr has hosted Channel 4 game shows Distraction and Your Face or Mine?. He presented the 100s series of programmes for Channel 4: 100 Worst Pop Records, 100 Worst Britons, 100 Greatest Cartoon Characters, 100 People Who Look Most Like Jimmy Carr (a spoof) and 100 Scary Moments.

From 2004–06, Carr hosted a United States version of Distraction for Comedy Central. He was also nominated for the 2006 Rose d'Or award for Best Game Show Host. Carr presents the Big Fat Quiz of the Year on Channel 4, having presented the first 9 shows each December (2004–2012). He hosts the quiz show 8 out of 10 Cats. In April 2010, Carr hosted the first British version of a comedy roast show, Channel 4's A Comedy Roast. On 6 May 2010, he was a co-host of Channel 4's Alternative Election Night, along with David Mitchell, Lauren Laverne, and Charlie Brooker. He joined the three presenters again for 10 O'Clock Live, a Channel 4 comedy current affairs show, which started airing on 20 January 2011.[14]

Guest appearances[edit]

Carr was a guest presenter for one edition of Have I Got News for You; later he joined Ian Hislop's team in the edition of the show first shown 23 November 2007, chaired by Ann Widdecombe with whom he "flirted" outrageously. Widdecombe later stated, "I don't think I shall return to this program." Carr has appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks twice. He has appeared on at least one episode per season of A League of Their Own and QI. During a guest appearance on the BBC motoring show Top Gear, Carr set a new celebrity test track lap record on the 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' segment. He was described as "the worst driver we've ever had" and "the luckiest man alive" by Top Gear's test driver the Stig.

Carr hosted a highlights edition of the show, and on the Top Gear Live World Tour of 2009–2010 he hosted the section 'Carmageddon' in which the Stig successfully attempted a 'gear change'. In the US, he has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien twice and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno three times. Carr appeared on the Irish news comedy show The Panel. In 2003, Carr was in the music video for the song "Proper Crimbo". Carr appears at the end credits of Ross Noble's Randomist DVD, where he punches Noble on his way back to the dressing room. Noble had joked in his show that Carr performed for only a "weak" 1 hour 20 minutes, as opposed to Noble's 2 and a half-hour show.

A 15ft-tall replica of Carr's head was used in an advertising campaign for Walkers Crisps and has subsequently appeared in various publications. In July 2013, ITV News[15] and BBC Cumbria reported that Skiddle were transporting the replica from Preston to the Wickerman Festival.[16] He has also appeared as a contestant on a celebrity edition of The Chase.

Carr wrote and starred in a sketch for the 25th anniversary special of Comic Relief in 2013

Carr also appeared in BBC's Top Gear in episode 1 of the 20th series.

Radio[edit]

Carr is a regular guest and interviewer on Loose Ends (BBC Radio 4) and The Fred MacAulay Show (BBC Radio Scotland). In January 2005, Carr hosted 'It's Been a Terrible Year' — a comedy review of 2004, on BBC Radio 2. Up until July 2006, he had a Sunday morning radio show on Xfm, with the mercurial comedian Iain Morris. Features of the show have included:

  • Goth Classics — Item lasting about four weeks in which the Sisters of Mercy track "This Corrosion" was played twice.
  • Now That's What I Call A Jukebox – Long running item invented by Iain Morris where a number of songs are selected from a Now That's What I Call Music album, and are put to a vote. The song with the most votes is played.
  • The Songs You Should Like and the Songs You Do Like (But You Like The Song You Should Like As Well) — This item consists of playing in sequence one artistically respectable but underrated or overlooked song (The first was 'Touch Sensitive' by the Fall) and one guilty pleasure (Liberty X's "Just a Little" followed) On 9 July 2006, the item was renamed "A Song to Patronise, A Song To Sanitise".

In January 2006, Carr made a joke on Radio 4's Loose Ends, the punchline of which implied that Gypsy women smelled.[17] Although the BBC issued an apology, Carr refused to apologise and continues to use the joke. He appeared in two episodes of the radio series of Flight of the Conchords in 2005.

Stand-up comedy[edit]

Carr does stand-up tours continuously over the course of the year, taking only five weeks off between them.[18] In 2003 he sold out an entire month's performances of his Edinburgh Festival show Charm Offensive by the second day of the festival, and received 5-star reviews from four major newspapers. In 2004 he performed sold out solo shows at Dublin's Vicar Street, Leicester's Comedy Festival, Glasgow Festival, Kilkenny Cat Laughs and the Galway Festival along with appearances at the Bloomsbury Theatre where he filmed his first live DVD.

Also in 2004 he threatened to sue fellow comedian Jim Davidson for using a joke that Carr considered 'his'.[19] The matter was dropped when it became apparent that the joke in question was an old one used for decades by many different comedians. He toured the country with his show, A Public Display of Affection, starting on 9 April 2005 at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury and ending on 14 January 2006 at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End. He also appeared at the EICC during the Edinburgh Festival in August 2005 with his Off The Telly show. Later on in the year, in late November, he released his second DVD "Jimmy Carr: Stand Up".

In August 2006, he commenced a new tour, Gag Reflex, for which he won the 2006 British Comedy Award for "Best Live Stand up". He released his third DVD, Jimmy Carr: Comedian in November 2007. He also performed at the 2006 Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, as well as making a return visit to the Newbury Comedy Festival. In 2003, he was listed in the Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. In 2007, a poll on the Channel 4 website for 100 Greatest Stand Ups, Jimmy Carr was the 12th. A new national tour commenced in autumn 2007 named Repeat Offender, which began at the Edinburgh Festival that year. In late 2008, Carr began touring his new show, entitled Joke Technician.

On 23 April 2009, the dates for Carr's 2009–10 tour, entitled Rapier Wit, were announced. The tour opened on 20 August 2009 with 9 shows at the Edinburgh Festival before touring the country.[20] On Twitter, he released details about his new DVD entitled Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes, which was released on 2 November 2009.[21]

In July 2009, Carr toured with Las Vegas band the Killers.

Carr's sixth Live DVD, Jimmy Carr: Making People Laugh, was released on 8 November 2010.[22] Carr's 2010–11 tour, entitled Laughter Therapy, was announced on 8 April 2010. The tour started with a run at the Edinburgh Festival before touring the country.[23]

Carr also appeared at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal in July 2011. At which he performed his 2010/11 tour show 'Laughter Therapy'. Carr's latest stand up DVD was released on 18 November 2013 with the title of Jimmy Carr: Laughing and Joking.

Second Life[edit]

On 21 December 2006, Carr announced plans to become the first major comedian to perform in the virtual reality world of Second Life. This was confirmed on his MySpace webpage on 3 January 2007, and a competition launched to choose a select audience from the list of his MySpace friends.[24] Carr's Second Life show took place on 3 February 2007 at 7:00pm (19:00), at Adam Street Bar and Members' Club in Central London.

The Naked Jape[edit]

In 2006, Carr published a book entitled The Naked Jape: Uncovering the Hidden World of Jokes on the history and theory of joke-telling.

Controversy[edit]

Iraq and Afghanistan[edit]

In October 2009, Carr received criticism from several Sunday tabloid newspapers for a joke he made about British soldiers who had lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that the UK would have a strong team in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.[25] Carr defended his own joke as "totally acceptable" in an interview with The Guardian.[26]

2012 tax avoidance controversy[edit]

In June 2012, Carr's involvement in an alleged K2 tax avoidance scheme came to light after an investigation by The Times newspaper.[27] The scheme is understood to involve UK earners "quitting" their job and signing new employment contracts with offshore shell companies based in the low tax jurisdiction of Jersey. British Prime Minister David Cameron commented on the issue: "People work hard, they pay their taxes, they save up to go to one of his shows. They buy the tickets. He is taking the money from those tickets and he, as far as I can see, is putting all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes."[28] Carr has since pulled out of the scheme, apologising for "a terrible error of judgement".[3]

Viewing figures of the episode of his topical show 8 out of 10 Cats, recorded on the day of his apology and broadcast the following day, almost doubled compared with the previous week.[29] Earlier in 2012, Carr lampooned people who avoid paying their taxes during the second series of Channel 4's satirical news programme 10 O'Clock Live.[3] A sketch from the show, in which he poked fun at the 1% tax rate of Barclays Bank and described tax lawyers as being "aggressive" and "amoral", was regarded as having "come back to haunt him".[3]

Personal life[edit]

Carr lives in North London with his girlfriend, Karoline Copping, a commissioning editor for Channel 5,[2] whom he has been with since 2001.[30]

Legal issues with Carr's father[edit]

After becoming a widower, Carr's father remarried in 2003. In March 2004, Carr's father was arrested by the Metropolitan Police after Jimmy and Colin Carr accused their father of harassment.[31] Their father was later acquitted of all charges and awarded costs by the Court. His acquittal was followed by a written apology from the CPS. Later, the Metropolitan Police apologised and paid him substantial damages in an out of court settlement for the arrest and prosecution.[32]

Awards[edit]

  • LAFTA Awards 2008: Best Stand Up
  • LAFTA Awards 2007: Funniest Man
  • British Comedy Awards 2006 – Best Live Stand Up
  • Rose D'Or Nomination 2006: Best Game Show, 'Distraction'
  • LAFTA Awards 2005: Funniest Man
  • Rose D'Or Nomination 2004: Best Presenter, 'Distraction'
  • Loaded Lafta Award 2004 – Best Stand Up
  • Royal Television Society Award Winner: Best On-Screen Newcomer 2003
  • Perrier Award Nominee: 2002
  • Time Out Award Winner: Best Stand Up 2002

Works[edit]

Tours[edit]

Title Years
Charm Offensive 2003–04
A Public Display of Affection 2004–06
Gag Reflex 2006–07
Repeat Offender 2007–08
Joke Technician 2008–09
Rapier Wit 2009–10
Laughter Therapy 2010–11
Gagging Order 2012–13
Funny Business 2014–15

DVD releases[edit]

Title Released Notes
Live 8 November 2004 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
Stand Up 7 November 2005 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
Comedian 5 November 2007 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
In Concert 3 November 2008 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
Telling Jokes 2 November 2009 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
Making People Laugh 8 November 2010 Live at Glasgow's Clyde Auditorium
Being Funny[33] 21 November 2011 Live at Birmingham's Symphony Hall[33]
Laughing and Joking 18 November 2013 Live at London's Eventim Hammersmith Apollo

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
2006 Alien Autopsy Gary's manager
2006 Confetti Antony
2006 Stormbreaker John Crawford
2007 I Want Candy Video store employee
2009 Telstar Gentleman

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "James Anthony P Carr born Hounslow". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  2. ^ a b c "Taboo-buster: the dark side of Jimmy Carr". London: The Independent. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Profile: Jimmy Carr". BBC News. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Independent corrections". London: Independent.co.uk. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Jones, Alice (18 November 2008). "Taboo-buster: the dark side of Jimmy Carr". The Independent (London). Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "A class apart: How does this state school get so many boys into Oxbridge?". London: The Independent. 11 October 2007. 
  7. ^ "Top comic Jimmy Carr for INEC". Independent.ie. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2013. [dead link]
  8. ^ Post your comment. "News | Jimmy Carr announces Irish dates". Joe.ie. Retrieved 20 May 2013. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Jimmy Carr Profile". Dave Channel. 
  10. ^ Chris Harris. "chrismoyles.net". chrismoyles.net. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Brian Logan (22 June 2012). "Will Jimmy Carr's career survive the tax avoidance". London: Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Jimmy Carr interview with Richard Dawkins". Richarddawkins.net. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  13. ^ BBC Radio 4, The Museum of Curiosity, Season 4, episode 1, broadcast 3 October 2011.
  14. ^ "10 O'Clock Live". Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Most Bizarre Carr on the A75". ITV News. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  16. ^ "Unusual Traffic Report from BBC Cumbria". BBC Cumbria. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  17. ^ Campbell, Duncan (5 January 2006). "BBC apologises for joke about Gypsy women on radio show". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  18. ^ Carr, Jimmy (3 November 2008). The Paul O'Grady Show. Interview with Melanie Sykes; Des O'Connor. Channel 4. 
  19. ^ "Stand-ups square up over fat joke". BBC News. 5 August 2004. 
  20. ^ "Tour Dates". Ents24.com. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  21. ^ "Telling Jokes". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  22. ^ "Jimmy Carr: Making People Laugh". Play.com. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "Ents24: Jimmy Carr". Ents24.com. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "BBC Story on Carr's Second Life performance". BBC News. 3 January 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  25. ^ Staff (25 October 2009). "Anger over Jimmy Carr's joke about war amputees". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  26. ^ Stephen Moss (5 November 2009). "Jimmy Carr: 'I thought my Paralympics joke was totally acceptable'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  27. ^ Malik, Shiv (19 June 2012). "Tax avoidance scheme used by Jimmy Carr investigated by HMRC". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  28. ^ "Jimmy Carr tax affairs 'morally wrong' – Cameron". BBC News. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "Jimmy Carr: Tax row sees Channel 4 ratings soar". BBC News. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  30. ^ Interview by Jon Bennett (9 March 2008). "What I know about women". London: Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  31. ^ Viv Groskop. "Jimmy Carr: Laughing on the other side of his face | Viv Groskop | From the Observer | The Observer". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  32. ^ Comedian's father 'given damages'. BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
  33. ^ a b "Jimmy Carr: Being Funny". Twitter. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 

External links[edit]