IRISH stand-up Jimeoin takes an unpredictable route to landing a laugh but ends up with a show called Result!, a positive prediction for his night at York Barbican on Saturday.

"The opposite of being slick is my angle," he says. "To look vulnerable and idiotic, as opposed to snarling and spitting and full of confidence, which grates with me. If it annoys you in a social environment when you see that sort of behaviour, then it’s annoying when you see it up on stage. I guess people want to see someone ruling it. Like a rock star striking a pose, but it's not what I do."

Jimeoin was born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, to Irish parents, a plasterer father and a school teacher mother. "They decided to go back to Portstewart in Northern Ireland the year the Troubles started, so that was good timing!" he says. "I went to London to work in construction, and when a friend moved to Australia and loved it, I decided four years in London was enough and went out to Australia."

He made the move at the age of 22 and took his first steps in comedy at 23, falling into stand-up by happenstance after a friend put his name down to do a spot at an open-mic night in a Sydney pub. At that time, Jimeoin had never seen a live comedy show, nor set foot on a stage, but that night he revealed a gift for disarming, off-the-cuff gags.

"They said, 'You're on next', and I know a lot of jokes, so I started telling two or three – I couldn't believe I was telling jokes on stage. They started laughing and I thought they must be laughing because they think I'm playing a character, but I wasn't" he says.

His second time "didn't go as well", but nevertheless Jimeoin found himself drawn to performing in this "vulnerable medium". By 1993 he was selling out his Edinburgh Fringe debut run; regular British, Australian and Irish tours have since followed, along with two feature films that he wrote as well as starred in.

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"When you've been doing it for a while, you know it works, but at first you're nervous," says 53-year-old Jimeoin. "I love trial nights where you can see into the white of the acts' eyes! I do those nights in Australia, spread over a month before doing the Fringe, and the rest of the time I try to hone what I've got. At first it's about getting an idea from its early stage, to making it an economical, perfect, word-fit version. Just the fluency of doing it every night helps."

Analysing his comedy, Jimeoin says: "I seem to take the mick out of myself more than anything else. I don't really like it if I'm out at a pub and someone starts making points about Brexit or Trump; I'd rather get up and walk away because I don't see it as a proper conversation. I think it's more of a lecture, and rather than preaching to the converted, I reckon 'let's make it as daft an experience as possible'."

His solution is to tackle current affairs as concisely as possible at the start– "Trump’s a bit of an idiot and Brexit’s a bad idea," he says, enough said – before cracking on with impressions, visual gags, one-liners, non-sequiturs, stories and dancing eyebrows, as he last did at York Barbican in February 2016 in his Yeehaa! show.

"Not everything has to have a narrative," he reasons. "When you go out with your mates for the evening you don’t think, 'I’ll have this conversation, then that one and then I’ll put everything I’ve said into context'. You just go with the flow. And that ends up being the narrative! I’m not trying to structure anything."

Out goes get-to-know-you banter with the front row too. "I do find people talking to the audience leaves me a bit stale. You’re at the back and you can’t even see the person who’s being spoken to. All you can see is the back of this person’s head and you’ve no idea what they’re saying," he says.

He talks on stage instead of Jimeoin, his family and friends. "It's a pleasure for me to really tap into me, where if I can get on my nerves and tap into myself fluently, it's fun," says Jimeoin. "I have a collection of friends and family who I've found funny for years, and I'm like a tribute version of myself and all the good things that happen in my life," he says. "I try to keep the show loose but I also try to give the audience what I've prepared.

"On any given night, it's wise to put a bit of thought into not doing it word for word, but it's important to get a gig 'lit', so you always do really strong gags upfront. My rule is, do your best gag first and your second best last."

He makes one promise at the show's beginning: "You’ll be none the wiser at the end of this," he says. Hopefully, that does not apply to this interview too!

Jimeoin, Result!, York Barbican, Saturday, February 16, 7.30pm. Tickets update: still available on 0844 854 2757, at or in person from the Barbican box office.