Comedian Jim Jefferies is not a man who allows his personal feelings to fester deep inside for long periods of time. He gets out on the stage and he lets people know every off-color, anti-religion, intoxicant-induced thought he’s having, audience reactions be damned. And while he has morphed his material slightly to fit the sitcom format of his FXX series Legit, this is a show that couldn’t have come from the mind of anyone else. I mean, who has Andy Dick for an acting coach?
We recently caught up with the hilarious Australian to talk about the quickly approaching second season of Legit, which begins Wednesday, February 26. Aside from learning that his birthday is on Valentine’s Day and that he has no interest in watching the hours of footage for his Funny or Die Valentine’s video, we found out quite a few of the directions these characters’ lives will be headed in. (Hint: none of them are up.) Beyond the onscreen antics, Jefferies also shared the background behind some of the storylines, which are both silly and slightly depressing. And he wouldn't have it any other way. A smattering of foul language will follow.
Jim is a (Sort of) Diagnosed Sex AddictIn the first episode, Jim pays a visit to Dr. Drew Pinsky on Loveline, and it soon becomes apparent (as if it ever wasn’t) that Jim is a sex addict, and his road to recovery is filled with boob-shaped speed bumps, including Steve (Dan Bakkedahl) and the wheelchair-bound Billy (DJ Qualls). Like many episode threads from the first season, Jefferies went into his own past for this slice of life. As strange as it seems, the conversation actually happened, and while some people would have been far too embarrassed to reveal an addiction of any kind, Jefferies just lets it all hang out.
“That conversation with Dr. Drew actually pretty much all happened. I was doing Loveline and he sort of diagnosed me as a – with sex addiction and told me to go off and get some therapy. I went to a couple of SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) meetings. So although it’s not a stand-up routine, it was lifted from my life. I didn’t find a woman who likes big cocks to go fuck a disabled person. You know, you gotta take some liberties.”
Sounds like the privileged pants area of Billy will be getting lucky while Jim is trying not to. Cue the fireworks montage. But maybe the monogamous life won't be impossible for Jim, as Jefferies states, “I have a love interest that follows me through the season.” We all know his qualities with women involve cheating on them and not quite wanting them to get raped by home invaders, so it's not surprising that his completely innocent sex joke to an actress has followed him, blackballing his career. Both Steve and Jim are on a downward spiral, he said, and his lack of work means that everyone is running out of money. So why, then, would he quantify that statement to say he'll actually have "two girlfriends" this season. I guess the financial crisis of a stand-up comic isn't always the Life of Riley for everyone.
One wonders how either this celibacy or fidelity will be handled once happy endings get involved, as Jefferies also said a later episode will contain a “a rub and tug parlor scene with five actors and five Asian masseuses.” Now why wouldn't he have gone into the background behind that plot?
Jim's Parents On The Show Are Based On Jefferies Actual Parents.For two episodes in Season 2, we’ll get to meet Jim’s parents as they visit for the holidays, allowing a far wider and more horrific set of source material for Jim to reach into and find his story arcs. You can bet there won't just be lovey cooing once these three get together, and I'm hoping that delicious sense of discomfort smothers every scene. i asked Jefferies about the difficulties of mining such personal memories for material, and his answers was far surprisingly sweet for such a foul-mouthed lad.
”At times, you feel when you’re recreating bits of your life, you feel a little bit like, ‘Fuck, am I sharing too much? When it gets a little bit serious is, this season I’ve got my mother and father, who are in two episodes. Well, people playing my parents. Pretty much the dialogue is lifted directly from conversations I had with my parents, and I think my parents will notice it. So I’m more nervous what they think rather than what people think of my personal life. I’m worried about hurting people that I know. But I still rip off their existence and put it on television.”
You couldn't pay me to air out some of my family's more awkward moments. (Yes, you could, and please do.) Considering how nuanced Jefferies and co-creator Peter Fallon have made Steve and Billy’s family, I expect nothing but amazement once we get to meet those that brought Jim into the world. And if anything gets too weird or personal, I'll just assume that's the part he made up.
Jim Goes to AfghanistanThis was an idea that Jefferies was thinking about using in the first season, but it might have clashed with FX’s Louie, which also featured a USO tour-themed episode, and Legit was already being compared to that series enough as it was, despite being cut from a different strip of filthy cloth. So he’ll go this season, and the trip will provoke Steve to want to enforce the second amendment.
”We even touch on gun control for a little bit. Steve wants to get a gun after we go to Afghanistan and we have a little debate from that. We try not to split audiences. We try to give a very measured argument on both sides.”
And if that weren't controversial enough: “I’m gonna be dealing with, let’s say an abortion from my childhood,” Jefferies shared, without going into detail. Such touchy subjects will no doubt give a sardonic but critically responsible viewpoint that might ruffle a few feathers for no reason. These dark subjects, along with religion (which he said wont' come up much this season) are staples of his stand-up acts, and while he'll probably pull some punches, his aim may be more direct. Boy I sure hope Steve isn’t trying to get a gun after…
Steve Takes His Drinking Problem to the Next Level“Steve suffers with alcoholism,” Jefferies said, “and becomes like a full-blown drunk.”
Bakkedahl plays Steve the way I think Charlie Brown would have turned out as an adult: over-indulgent and passive-aggressively angry with the world. So I can’t wait to see where he takes this character once he starts hitting the bottle more.
There’s no denying the guy’s life is filled with toxic baggage, so perhaps his swim with the bottle will be provoked by his dad Walter, played by Cheers vet John Ratzenberger, who will “move in for a few episodes.” The genuinely aloof approach Ratzenberger brings to the character is one of the show’s many strengths, and it’ll be nice for Walter to finally get a roof over his head again. Maybe he can have more than six beers a week now.
Billy's Facing A Harsh RealityLegit has been championed for including so many disabled actors, so it’s great to see that it’ll continue in this fashion, but not in such a depressing way. Billy's best friend is going to die in one of the episodes. But don’t worry, Jefferies confirms it’s “Not Rodney,” the lovably harsh character played by Nick Daley, who has Prader-Willi Syndrome. Jefferies talked for a moment about the back story behind this particular plot, involving the friend who inspired Billy's character. It's a side of life that doesn't get talked about very much.
“The guy that I grew up with that had muscular dystrophy, I found it very weird that when he was 30, he was the last one left out of his group. it was like being an old man in a nursing home when you’re 90 and all your friends are gone… So we have him dealing with the reality that everyone else you grew up with is gone and you’ve really just got the two of us now.”
Now you know why I put this item last on the list, right? But morbid humor is what these guys do really well, so I can’t imagine it will go too dark with drama over comedy. At least I hope.
Wednesday night. 10 p.m. EST. Legit on FXX. Watch it, and look for our review of the first four episodes.