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Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Carr 09.jpg
Carr at the Elle Style Awards in 2009
Birth name James Anthony Patrick Carr Jr
Born 15 September 1972 (1972-09-15) (age 37)
Hounslow,[1] Greater London, England
Medium Stand-up, television, radio, books
Nationality British/Irish
Years active 2000-present
Genres Observational comedy, Satire, Deadpan, Black comedy, Blue comedy
Subject(s) Current events
Influences Steven Wright, Paul Merton, Emo Philips, Mark Lamarr, George Carlin
Domestic partner(s) Karoline Copping
Notable works and roles 8 Out of 10 Cats
British Comedy Awards
Best Live Stand Up
2006- Gag Reflex

James Anthony Patrick "Jimmy" Carr (born 15 September 1972) is an Anglo-Irish 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,[2] Carr moved to a career in comedy in 2000.[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.


Early life

Carr holds dual Irish-British citizenship, as he was born in London to Irish parents from Limerick. He attended Burnham Grammar School and Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, along with rugby player Matt Dawson, before gaining a place at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a 2:1 degree in political sciences.[3][4]



Whilst working at JC Productions with his father, Carr made his first television pilot / short film at Pinewood starring Craig Charles, Roy Dotrice and himself. The mockumentary, The Colour of Funny was essentially a vanity project for Carr.[citation needed]


Carr has hosted Channel 4 game shows Distraction and Your Face or Mine?. He has also 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'." Carr has also presented a series of Commercial Breakdown.

From 2004 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 5 shows each December (2005–2009). He currently hosts the quiz show 8 Out of 10 Cats.


Carr is also a writer as well as performer, with writing credits including Bo' Selecta! (C4), Meet Ricky Gervais (C4) and material for Lily Savage and Frank Skinner.

Guest appearances

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 vowed "I will never appear on Have I Got News for You again."

Carr has appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks twice, as well as multiple times 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 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. His re-appearance on Top Gear in May 2006 placed him last in the brand new Reasonably Priced Car, with the slowest time ever (due to the fact that he spun off on his timed lap). Carr also hosted a highlights edition of the show.

In the United States, Carr has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien twice and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992 TV series) three times. Carr has also 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 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 Briain's live DVD.

In January 2008 Carr appeared on E4 show Big Brother Celebrity Hijack as a hijacker for the day.

Carr also appeared on the Royal Variety Performance in December 2008.


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 played.
  • 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 content.

In January 2006, Carr made a joke on Radio 4's Loose Ends, the punchline of which implied that Gypsy women smelled.[5] 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 Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1. Recently, his voice can be heard in Lloyds TSB adverts.

Jimmy appeared in 2 episodes of the radio series of Flight Of The Conchords in 2005.

Carr was a guest on the Christian O' Connell breakfast show at Absolute Radio on 20 November 2008.

On 22 January 2009, he covered Zane Lowe's evening show on BBC Radio 1 between 7-9pm.

Stand-up comedy

Carr performing during his Jimmy Carr: Joke Technician tour at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in January 2009

Carr does stand-up tours continuously over the course of the year, taking only five weeks off between them.[6] 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'.[7] 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, 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 Autumn 2008, Carr began touring his new show, entitled Joke Technician. As with his previous tour, he performed many shows at the Edinburgh Festival, even adding an extra date due to ticket demand.

His latest DVD, Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes was released in November 2009.

On 23 April 2009, the dates for Carr's latest tour, entitled Rapier Wit, were announced. The tour opened on 20 August 2009 with 9 shows at the Edinburgh Festival before touring the country.[8]

On Twitter, Jimmy Carr released details about his new DVD entitled Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes. The DVD was released on the 2 November 2009.[9]

In July 2009 Carr revealed that he is currently touring with the popular Las 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 go.”

Carr's 6th Live DVD, Jimmy Carr: Making People Laugh, is set for release on 8 November 2010.[10]

DVD releases

Title Released Notes
Live 8 November 2004 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
Stand Up 7 November 2005 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
Live Collection 13 November 2006 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

Second Life

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 friends.[11]

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 Life.

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 show.[citation needed]


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 told.


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—wrote in the Daily Express that "His idea of wit is a barrage of filth and the sort of humour most men grow out of in their teens".[12]

Veteran comedian Arthur Smith was quoted in the Sunday Mirror in 2005 as saying "He has a terrible act. There I've said it and already I feel better".[13] Smith has gone on to criticise Carr on other occasions. In a 2009 interview with The Times 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".[14]

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.[15] The newspapers themselves came under criticism for falsely claiming the audience reacted with stunned silence when the joke was told.[16] Carr himself has defended the joke as "totally acceptable" in an interview with The Guardian, in which the interviewer noted his tendencies to make jokes about disabilities and rape.[17] Carr would go on to describe the interview, with Guardian journalist Stephen Moss in the paper's G2 section, on his Twitter account as about "[selling] my DVD to the liberal elite."[18]

Personal life

Carr currently (as of December 2008) lives in North London with his girlfriend, Karoline Copping, a commissioning editor for Five.[3]

During an appearance on BBC's Would I Lie to You? (Series 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 and renounced his religion, becoming an atheist. He stated that he felt religion limited people's desires to live their own lives.[19]

In March 2004, Carr's father Jim, a self-made millionaire,[20] was arrested by the Metropolitan Police 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.[21][22]


  • 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


Year Film Role
2006 Alien Autopsy Gary's manager
Confetti Antony
Stormbreaker John Crawford
2007 I Want Candy Video Store Guy
2009 Telstar Gentleman


  1. ^ James Anthony P Carr born Hounslow
  2. ^ "Jimmy Carr on Dave". Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  3. ^ a b c "Taboo-buster: the dark side of Jimmy Carr". The Independent. 2008-11-18. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "BBC apologises for joke about Gypsy women on radio show". Guardian Unlimited. 5 January 2006.,3604,1677955,00.html. 
  6. ^ Carr, Jimmy. Interview with Melanie Sykes; Des O'Connor. The Paul O'Grady Show. Channel 4. 3 November 2008.
  7. ^ "Stand-ups square up over fat joke". BBC News. 5 August 2004. 
  8. ^ Tour Dates
  9. ^ Telling Jokes
  10. ^ - Jimmy Carr: Making People Laugh
  11. ^ BBC Story on Carr's Second Life performance.
  12. ^ "Widdecombe disgusted by Carr's 'filth'". mediamonkey (Guardian Unlimited). 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  13. ^ Accessed at Quigley, Maeve (2005-12-04). "Jimmy Carr's dad to sue British CPS". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  14. ^ Arthur Smith, the comic who would be Daphne Fairfax
  15. ^ Anger over Jimmy Carr's joke about war amputees
  16. ^ Dominic Lawson: Jimmy Carr and the pomposity of those professing outrage
  17. ^ Stephen Moss (5 November 2009). "Jimmy Carr: 'I thought my Paralympics joke was totally acceptable'". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  18. ^ Jimmy Carr (5 November 2009). "G2 in The Guardian today - did an interview with Stephen Moss (nice fellow) to sell my DVD to the liberal elite.". Twitter. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  19. ^ Jimmy Carr on Richard Dawkins
  20. ^ 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."
  21. ^ Comedian's father 'given damages'. BBC News. Retrieved on 13 May 2007.
  22. ^ "Jimmy Carr's dad to sue British CPS". Sunday Mirror. 2005-12-04. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jimmy Carr in 2007

James Anthony Patrick Carr Jr (born 15 September 1972 in Slough, England) is an English comedian, author, actor and presenter of radio and television, known for his deadpan, satirical and often very dark humour.


  • I immediately adored performing. It really empowers you when everyone's laughing. It gives you an immense buzz. You just feel on top of the world.
    • Paddy Hoey (April 6, 2007) "Football's loss was definitely stand-up's gain", Daily Post.
  • I think being successful in comedy is being funny and making jokes - anything beyond that is the icing on the cake.
    • Charlotte Cripps (January 31, 2007) "Stand up and be counted, comedians", The Independent.
  • But what's true about comedians is that we've all got a huge hole in our personality. In a room of 3,000 people, we're the one person facing in the opposite direction - yet we have this overwhelming desire to be liked.
    • Stephen Armstrong (December 3, 2006) "He who laughs last... - Comedy", The Sunday Times, p. Culture 10.
  • Jokes spread around the world and embed themselves in our shared culture; the most resonant of them get lodged in the language in the same way as clichés or old wives' tales do.
    • Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves (September 21, 2006) Only Joking: What's So Funny About Making People Laugh?, Gotham, ISBN 1592402356, p. 3.
  • So they've laughed and then they've thought, should we have laughed at that? Well, too late now. You did. I imagine I get more than my fair share of that.
    • Patrick Barkham (September 9, 2006) "Here's Jimmy!: Jimmy Carr as Jack Nicholson in The Shining", The Guardian.
  • The great thing about being a comedian is that it kind of doesn't matter how you look. It's actually a disadvantage to be too good-looking. There's a Darwinian advantage to being funny. If you're a good-looking fella, you can't be bothered to make up jokes.
  • I did quite a lot of TV shows over the latter half of 2004 - all those 100 Greatest and 100 Worst and all that kind of stuff. So I was a little bit overexposed. But I think you need to do that once in your career, and that's how you become famous. You get overexposed once, and then people know your name and you can relax a bit.
    • Peter Ross (August 14, 2005) "The Joker As the face of Channel 4 he's known for his sharp suits and sharper one-liners, but what has spurred Jimmy Carr on during his swift rise from anonymity to ubiquity?", The Sunday Herald.
  • TV's not the same buzz. If someone tells you three million people watched the show last week, that's good but, when you walk out in front of 1,000, you think, 'Oh my God, this had better be good'.
    • Paddy Hoey (July 15, 2005) "Carr's a comic with universal appeal", Daily Post.
  • I'm a stand-up. And no one on the circuit's terribly impressed if you're on TV. I suppose I've stolen my ethos from Jay Leno. You can do all the TV in the world, but that's a team game, and anyone can be dropped from the squad. And if you haven't gigged in a while, you're not firing, you're not match fit. So I try and do it whenever I can.
    • Ed Caesar (February 21, 2005) "Think this is a laugh? You must be joking", The Independent.
  • I literally can't believe my luck. Torturing Americans should not only be easy, but a pleasure!
    • On hosting the American version of his game show, Distraction — reported in James Rampton (February 19, 2005) "Comedy: Pick of the Week", The Independent.
  • As soon as I did my first five minutes of stand-up I knew that I would rather be a failure at comedy than a success in marketing.
    • Will Hodgkinson (December 16, 2004) "Comedy's overgrown schoolboy", The Irish Times.
  • I love those people who do story-telling and who ramble on, but I don't do that, I tell jokes - the sort of jokes that anyone really could tell in the pub.
    • Nick Ahad (November 19, 2004) "Comedian who delivers some nice lines", Yorkshire Post.
  • I think that comedians, more than any other type of celebrity, have to keep their humour and keep their feet on the ground. If they start taking themselves too seriously, they're heading for a fall.
    • Charles Hutchinson (November 19, 2004) "Preview: Jimmy Carr , Grand Opera House, York November 20", North Yorkshire County Publications.
  • My writing process is editing. It's taking all the funny thoughts you've had over the last 12 months, and editing out everything that's shit. You're left with an hour and a quarter of funny stuff.
    • Alastair McKay (August 10, 2004) "Obsessed by punchlines", The Scotsman, p. 4.
  • To me, my approach is the most sensible. You're a comic. Therefore you want to get laughs. How do you get the most laughs in an hour? Tell short jokes. And don't say boom boom at the end. Just let the audience laugh then tell another joke. It's the shortest route to where you want to go.
    • Allan Brown (August 1, 2004) "Benefits of being game for a laugh - Edinburgh Festival", The Sunday Times.
  • All comedians are a bit attention-seeking and I'm no different. Anyone with the audacity to want to be listened to for an hour and a half must be.
    • Beverley Lyons and Lee-Ann Fullerton (February 28, 2004) "The Razz: Jimmy's Brent on being funny", The Daily Record.


  • His idea of wit is a barrage of filth and the sort of humour most men grow out of in their teens.
    • Ann Widdecombe — reported in Adam Sherwin (December 24, 2008) "Gordon is game for a laugh at Chequers lunch - People Adam Sherwin", The Times, p. 11.
  • He's basically the only comedian on telly at the moment and the rest of us are all jealous.
    • Howard Read — reported in Leo Benedictus (August 16, 2005) "G2: Arts: Edinburgh: Trendspotting: Carr crash humour", The Guardian.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Jimmy Carr
Birth name James Anthony Patrick Carr
Born 15 September 1972 (1972-09-15) (age 38)
Hounslow,[1] Greater London, England
Medium Stand-up, television, radio, books
Nationality British/Irish
Years active 2000–present
Genres Observational comedy, satire, deadpan, black comedy, blue comedy
Subject(s) Current events
Influences Steven Wright, Paul Merton, Emo Philips, Mark Lamarr, George Carlin
Domestic partner(s) Karoline Copping
Notable works and roles 8 Out of 10 Cats
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year
British Comedy Awards
Best Live Stand Up
2006– Gag Reflex

Jimmy Carr (born 15 September 1972) is an English comedian. He was born in Hounslow, West London. He is the presenter of 8 out of 10 Cats on Channel 4 and has presented other TV shows on the same channel. He travels around the country and performs a lot of comedy on-stage (stand-up comedy). He has released 6 DVDs. He has won awards.

Personal life

Carr lives with his girlfriend, Karoline Copping, in North London. She works for Channel Five. Carr is an atheist. He used to be a Christian. Importantly, because of his religion, he did not have sex until he was 26. He stopped being a Christian in his mid-20s.


Some people, including a Member of Parliament, newspapers and other comedians have criticized Carr. Some of his jokes and comedy are seen by some as being offensive.


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