Jimmy Rees has done it again.
The Australian comedian of ABC Giggle and Hoot fame has released another short video subtly roasting Canberra’s quirks (and not so subtly our politicians), following on from his ‘Meanwhile in Australia’ series.
The nearly four-minute-long YouTube clip is set up in the style of a border control investigation, where the man in the brown Harrington jacket and wide-brim hat can only pass if he can correctly answer a series of questions about the capital city.
The interview starts with a question born out of an ACT Government press conference during the COVID pandemic when auto-captions on the live video feed turned Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s pronunciation of “Canberrans” into … well, this:
“Everyone in Canberra is called what?” Jimmy asks, sitting at a computer in what would be business guise if it weren’t for the high-visibility vest beneath his navy sports jacket.
“Ken Behrens,” the ‘other’ Jimmy answers.
The questions continue: “What do Ken Behrens wait for in summer?”
“For it to cool down so they can go outside.”
“And when it cools down, what do they wait for?”
“For it to warm up so they can go outside.”
The interaction goes on to explain how ‘Ken Behrens’ wait for buses in bomb shelters “because it’s more likely a bomb will strike than a bus arrive” and go to Tuggeranong “to get stabbed in the front” and Parliament House “to get stabbed in the back”.
A lanyard is our number-one style accessory, “Queanbeyan-ians” our biggest tourist group, and as for our biggest export, that goes to political “lies”. The pronunciation of Manuka also comes up as Canberra’s very own shibboleth. The video only seems to take a serious turn when it comes to the city’s rapid growth in 2020, only to put it down to the growth of marijuana.
The video pauses midway while border-control Jimmy takes a leisurely lunch. Ultimately, the wannabe Canberran passes the test and is handed a showbag.
“Okay, now I’ve got four hours to play Wordle,” border-control Jimmy says.
‘Border Control for Canberra’ follows another video nine months ago entitled ‘POV (Point of View): You’re from Canberra’. This has racked up 163,000 views on YouTube and 6300 likes for similarly styled jabs that take the form of scanning Canberra items at a ‘checkout’.
“Constantly defending Canberra saying it’s not boring but you actually realise it is boring when the main event for the year is an international flower show called Floriade,” a hippy Jimmy says, before pretending to scan.
A few months later, in July 2022, Jimmy hosted a series of comedy shows over three days at the Canberra Theatre Centre as part of his Meanwhile in Australia tour, inspired by his hit video series of the same name.
Tickets sold out in no time, probably helped by his impression of Mr Barr’s neck thrust when announcing daily COVID case numbers at press conferences.
The Victorian-born 36-year-old is described as a “beloved TV and radio personality, comedian, performer and now a viral internet success”. Up to this point, he was known for his position as ‘Giggle’ on the ABC’s children’s program Giggle and Hoot, where he would interact with a puppet owl while trying to mend various objects.
He left Hoot behind in 2019, saying a “gruelling schedule” involving shooting for 47 weeks a year had made it difficult for his growing family.
He, his wife Tori and their three sons, Lenny, Mack and Vinny, moved from the Central Coast to Mornington Peninsula in 2020.