James "Jimmy" Carr
(born 15 September 1972) is an
English comedian, known for his deadpan
delivery and dark humour
. He is also a
writer, actor and presenter of radio and television.
A former marketing executive for Shell
, Carr moved to a career in comedy in
2000. 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
dual Irish-British citizenship, as he was born in Isleworth, London to Irish
parents from Limerick.
Grammar School and Royal Grammar School, High
Wycombe before gaining a place at Gonville and
Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a 2:1
degree in Political Sciences.
working at JC Productions with his father, Carr made his first
television pilot / short film at Pinewood starring
Craig Charles, Roy Dotrice and himself.
mockumentary, The Colour of Funny
was essentially a vanity
project for Carr.
Carr has hosted Channel 4
Your Face or Mine?
has also presented the 100s
series of programmes for
Channel 4: 100 Worst Pop Records
, 100 Worst Britons
, 100 Greatest
, 100 people who look most like Jimmy
(a spoof) and 100 Scary Moments'." Carr has
also presented a series of Commercial Breakdown.
to 2006, Carr hosted a United States version of Distraction for Comedy Central.
Also he was 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 4 shows each December
(2005 - 2008). He currently hosts the quiz show 8 Out of 10 Cats
Carr is also a prolific writer as well as performer, with writing
credits including Bo' Selecta!
(C4), Meet Ricky Gervais
(C4) and material for Lily Savage
Carr was a guest presenter for one edition of Have I Got News For You
he joined Ian Hislop
's team in the
edition of the show first shown 23 November 2007, chaired by
with whom he “flirted”
outrageously. Widdecombe later vowed "I will never appear on
Have I Got News for You
Carr has appeared on Never
Mind The Buzzcocks
twice, as well as on 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
' segment. He was described as "the worst driver we've ever
had" and "the luckiest man alive" by Top Gear'
driver The Stig
. His re-appearance on
in May 2006 placed him last in the brand new
Reasonably Priced Car, with the slowest time ever. Carr also hosted
a highlights edition of the show.
In the United States, Carr has appeared on Late Night with Conan
twice and The Tonight Show with Jay
three times. Carr has also appeared on the Irish news
comedy show The
In 2003, Carr was in the music video for the song Proper Crimbo
Carr appears at the end credits of Ross
DVD, where he punches Noble on his
way back to the dressing room. Noble had joked in his show that
Carr only performed for a "weak" 1 hour 20 minutes, as opposed to
Noble's 2 and a half hour show. Carr can also be seen for a few
seconds in the audience for Dara Ó
's live DVD.
2008 Carr appeared on E4 show
Celebrity Hijack as a hijacker for the day.
Carr also appeared on the Royal Variety Performance
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
. The show
had a strong emphasis on toilet humour.
Features, of varying popularity, 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
- The Songs You Should Like And The Songs You Do Like (But You
Like The Song You Should Like As Well) — This catchy-titled item
consists of playing in sequence one credible but underrated or
overlooked song (The first was 'Touch Sensitive' by The Fall) and one guilty pleasure (Liberty X's 'Just A Little Bit' followed) On the
9th of July 2006, the item was renamed 'A Song to Patronise, A Song
To Sanitise.' Traditionally, items are carried out with little
professionalism, presumably to match the rest of the show
In January 2006, Carr made a joke on Radio 4's Loose Ends, the
punchline of which implied that Gypsy
women smelled. Although the BBC issued an apology, Carr refused to
and continues to use the joke during his acts.
Jimmy is also a regular guest on The Chris
Show on BBC Radio 1
Recently, his voice can be heard in Lloyds
Carr was a guest on the Christian
breakfast show at Absolute
on 20 November 2008.
On 22 January 2009, he covered Zane Lowe's evening show on BBC
Radio 1 between 7-9pm.
Carr does stand-up tours continuously over the course of the year,
taking only five weeks off between them. In 2003 he sold out an
entire month's performances of his Edinburgh Festival
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
using a joke that Carr considered 'his'. 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.
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
which he won the 2006 British
for "Best Live Stand up". He released his third
DVD, Jimmy Carr: Comedian
in November 2007. He also
performed at the 2006 Just for
festival in Montreal, as well as making a return visit
to the Newbury Comedy Festival. In 2003, he was listed in
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 Autumn
2008, Carr began touring his new show, entitled Joke
. As with his previous tour, he performed many shows
at the Edinburgh Festival, even adding an extra date due to ticket
His latest DVD, Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes
was released in
On 23 April 2009, the dates for Carr's latest tour, entitled
, were announced. The tour opened on 20 August
2009 with 9 shows at the Edinburgh
before touring the country.
On Twitter, Jimmy Carr released details about his new DVD entitled
Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes
. The DVD was released on the 2
2009 Carr revealed that he is currently touring with the popular
Vegas band The Killers.
Killers frontman Brandon Flowers
explained that it was part of his vision for his band’s shows to
become more of a Las Vegas-style spectacle. Flowers, who grew up in
Vegas, said: “We had met Jimmy before, at a Comic Relief
gig, then we bumped into him again
at a party a couple of weeks later. “We were just throwing ideas
around and having a comedian as part of the show sounded like a Las
Vegas thing to do — it used to be common in the Sixties and
Seventies - “Jimmy seemed to like it so we are giving it a
- Jimmy Carr Live (2004)
- Jimmy Carr: Stand Up (2005)
- Jimmy Carr: Comedian (2007)
- Jimmy Carr: In Concert (2008)
- Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes (2009)
On 21 December 2006, Jimmy 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
Carr's Second Life show took place on Saturday, 3 February 2007 at
7pm, at Adam Street Bar and Members Club in central London. Fifty
MySpace friends made up his live audience, with 100 virtual
attendees in Second Life itself. The show was enjoyed by both sets
of audiences, with excellent feedback received on both Jimmy's
MySpace profile and within Second Life.
Carr hinted at the show that he may perform future shows in Second
In March 2007, Laura Jackson from the Guinness Book of World
Records confirmed that Jimmy had obtained the world record for
being the first comedian in cyberspace
following on from his Second Life
On 2 November 2006, Carr, together with advertising copy-writer
friend Lucy Greeves, released a book called The Naked Jape
(the U.S. version, re-titled Only Joking
, was released on
21 September 2006), a discussion of the art and history of joking.
It includes a selection of over 400 of the best jokes ever
Detractors of his humour include Conservative
politician Ann Widdecombe
, who—following an appearance
with Carr on BBC One
panel show Have I Got News For You
in the Daily Express
"His idea of wit is a barrage of filth and the sort of humour most
men grow out of in their teens".
Veteran comedian Arthur
was quoted in the Sunday
in 2005 as saying "He has a terrible act. There
I've said it and already I feel better". Smith has gone on to
criticise Carr on other occasions. In a 2009 interview with
he said: "He (Carr)
makes jokes like little clocks. He has no interest in their context
or meaning, only that they cause an explosion of laughter. I want a
comedian to have a hinterland. The best comedians are interested in
jazz, poetry, and the world".
When Carr appeared as a guest of Michael Parkinson
in 2004, the interviewer
expressed open disdain towards the comedian, questioning the bad
taste of his humour and the programmes he chose to appear on.
In October 2009, Carr received criticism from several Sunday
tabloid newspapers for a joke he made about British soldiers who
had lost limbs in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan. The newspapers
themselves came under criticism for falsely claiming the audience
reacted with stunned silence when the joke was told. Carr himself
has defended the joke as "totally acceptable" in an interview with
, in which the
interviewer noted his tendencies to make jokes about disabilities
Carr currently (as of December 2008) lives in North London with his
girlfriend, Karoline Copping, a commissioning editor for Five
During an appearance on BBC's Would I Lie to You?
1, Episode 3), Jimmy Carr revealed that he had been a Christian
until his mid-twenties, and remained a virgin
until the age of 26 due to his faith. Carr became aware of the
writings of Richard Dawkins
renounced his religion, becoming an atheist. He stated that he felt
religion limited people's desires to live their own lives.
In March 2004, Carr's father Jim, a self-made millionaire, was
arrested by the Metropolitan
after Jimmy Carr and his brother Colin accused their
father of harassment. Mr. Carr Sr was later acquitted of all
charges and awarded costs by the Court. Mr. Carr's acquittal was
followed by a written apology from the CPS
. Later the Metropolitan Police
also apologised and paid him substantial damages in an out of court
settlement of the false arrest and false prosecution charge.
- 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
- BBC Story on Carr's Second Life
- Accessed at findarticles.com
- Arthur Smith, the comic who would be Daphne
- Parkinson Television Programme, Air Date Saturday,
March 27, 2004
- Anger over Jimmy Carr's joke about war
- Behind Jimmy Carr's wisecracks, This Is London
"Jim was a self-made millionaire who rose to become treasurer
of computer giant Unisys in Europe and Africa before setting up his
own marketing business."
- Comedian's father 'given damages'. BBC News.
Retrieved on 13 May 2007.