The Jimmy Show

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The Jimmy Show
Directed by Frank Whaley
Produced by Beni Tadd Atoori
Mary Jane Skalski
Written by Frank Whaley (screenplay)
Jonathan Marc Sherman (play)
Starring Frank Whaley
Carla Gugino
Ethan Hawke
Music by Georg Brandl Egloff
Cinematography Michael Mayers
Edited by Miran Miosic
Distributed by First Look Studios
Release dates
  • September 13, 2001 (2001-09-13) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • December 13, 2002 (2002-12-13)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Jimmy Show is a 2001 drama written and directed by Frank Whaley, based on the Off-Broadway play Veins and Thumbtacks by Jonathan Marc Sherman.[1] The film stars Whaley, Carla Gugino, and Ethan Hawke.


The film centers on the life of Jimmy O'Brien (Frank Whaley), a warehouse clerk by day and a standup comedian by night. He lives with his wife (Carla Gugino), daughter, and a disabled grandmother. Jimmy's aspiration to succeed contrasts sharply with the numbness of his pothead friend Ray (Ethan Hawke), who is just trying to get by. When performing, Jimmy contradicts the role of a comedian and instead uses the stand-up form to relate the tragedies in his life, which causes indifferent to hostile reactions from the audience; however, he also provokes members of the audience. Eventually Jimmy is fired from his day job for stealing beer, which he abuses, and his wife leaves him. At the end of the film, Jimmy runs seemingly aimlessly in different directions in what appears to be him either on the verge of nervous breakdown or spiritual awakening.


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