Thursday, May 3, 2007

Comedy Honka Honka

Far too many show titles were a pun on the comic's name.
Also, there were about five burlesque shows including Burlesque Idol. Is this normal for the festival or has there been an explosion in interest in burlesque?

Keating! the musical we had to have, I already wrote about. But I'd like to add that the beauty of a good comedy show is to build up to the point where the audience with lovingly forgive some wonderfully horrendous jokes or lyrics. In this case it was in the duet of Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot.

Evans: My heart's in peril, Cheryl....

to which Kernot replies: Heavens, Mr Evans...

Jeff Green, England. Pretty standard standup with a few real gems.
Hitting on grannies: "Did you break a hip when you fell from heaven?"

Watching his son being born: "I cried. I was watching my wife's vagina being stretched and I thought 'It's like watching your favourite pub burn down. (sob) Ruined! (sob) I used to love going in there! (sob) It'll never be the same."

Andy Zaltzman, England. Very good topical satire. His material was excellent and eminently quotable.
Energy policy: "The English used catholics as fuel for 400 years. At least catholics are a naturally renewabke resource. Hey, I can make jokes about the catholics - I'm jewish., and we've suffered under catholics so we'll call it even. It's one all. Well, 2-1 if you count us killing Jesus. Not that he wasn't guilty! He was guilty. Not by today's standards, but back then he was clearly guilty. He knew what he was doing."

Iraq: "I'd like to compare Iraq to going to your friend's house and doing a great big shit on the rug. What do you do?
Do you (a) clean up, apologise, and swear it will never happen again?
(b) laugh and leave?
(c) keep on pooing until there's a big pile that eventually, somehow, they'll thank you for, and you can go home?
We seem to be stuck at (c)."

Josie Long, England. Awesome. A wonderful study in whimsy. Unique, refreshing, uplifting and a beautiful show. She is a natural, having started in May last year and winning the Best Newcomer at Edinburgh.
The show was about things she loved, and finding beauty in the everyday. It was like beinbg subject to a personality avalanche.
If you EVER get the chance, see her.
"Sometimes if you want something beautiful to exist you have to make it yourself."

Daniel Kitson, England.

Kent Valentine, Australia. He, with Sam Bowring, set up the Mic-in-hand comedy nights at the Friend-in-hand hotel in Glebe. I've been to about sixteen shows there. He was pretty good, but forcing it a little.
Animal self defense mechanisms: "There's an animal whose self defense mechanism is to shit all over itself so that it tastes foul. So that next time the predator won't try an eat one. What's it called? Um..oh.. It's... Baby! That's it! I'm never eating one of those again."

David O'Doherty, Ireland. Didn't know who he was until he started and I realised I'd heard him on JJJ on my way to the Regrow music festival/doof. Very very very good. Very Irish. Stupid songs and excellent material.

Mark Watson, Wales. This wqas an extra show late at night. He explained that last year he'd also sold-out his shows and thus put on another way due to popular demand. the trouble was that noone bought tickets to it, so it was cancelled due to popular indifference. He was very quick. Excellent improvisation.

The shattered remains of Anthony Morgan, Australia. I remember seeing him on "Denton" back in 1993(?). He's now 46, and is suprised that he's still alive.
On himself: "The only person who shares my birthday is Keith Richards. (makes arms-held-wide 'Explain that' gesture) Neither of us should be alive for the same reasons. I don't think either of us will actually die. After everyone else goes, it'll just be me and Keith walking the earth for ever. The aliens will land and they'll see civilisation destroyed in the background, me, and Keith. And I'll say (gesture at civilisation, then at self and Keith) "Work it out for yourselves! Buggered if I can explain it."

Russell Howard, England. Awesome. Another natural with rapid fire standout material.
On the media getting up in arms about teaching three-year-olds about same sex couples: "Three year olds are interested in two things: lollies and jumping. And if they can fit it into their busy schedules they like to spin around going 'Weeee!'
(as father) Son, sometimes a man has a relationship with another man, and a woman with another woman. Any questions?
(as son) Yes. If jellyfish eat jelly do they blow up?"

Phil Nichol, Canada. Mheh. Trying to be Jack Black. Some funny stuff but he spent the first half over-selling offensiveness. He ended up nude, which I think was the main reason for the comments about it being a show unlike any other. A nice touch was that the three piece metal band that played a song halfway through came back on for the finale also nude.

Stephen K Amos, England. Another latenight extra show. Not as edgy as I'd seen him before, but funny enough.

Rod Quantock, Australia. He explained that his show was at the Swiss Club again because it is neutral. We waited in the bar before the show, so I sat up the back reading near a display of large decorative cow bells. After a while I heard "Book boy! Watch your head", and Quantock rang the bells enthusiastically and then announced it was his impression of Canterbury Cathedral. He started at the back of the audience, grabbing the people who came late to make The Latecomer's Choir. They sang the last verse of Amanda Vanstone's childish patroitic song that is set to Land of Hope and Glory. The rest of the audience pretended to be strings or brass, with three at the back being percussion and two at the very back putting their fingers in their ears and yelling out "That's fucking awful!"
He had an interesting idea that if it looks like Howard will lose his seat he will be "taken ill" to avoid that embarrassment. (Liam Hogan and Fyodor think this is a completely unlikely scenario).

Tom Gleeson, Australia. My favourite Aussie comic. One of the times I saw him at the Friend-in-hand he had the whole audience crying with laughter. Astounding.
He talked about how he went to Iraq and Afghanistan to entertain the troops over New Years.
After one show where he thanked all the American troops for supporting Australia's War on Iraq, he drove an ASLAV in Iraq and fired the gun. And in Afghanistan he was at a base ringed by Taliban controlled hills where the only light at night was the spotlight on him. He was reassured by a soldier that they've never had rocket attacks two nights running, and since there was one last night he should be fine.
Then he played poker with the SAS.
On being worried about our PM being hard of hearing: (as reporter) Are you going to save our parks?
(as Howard) Invade Iraq?! Let's go!

Charlie Pickering, Australia. He was pretty good. Regaling us with the story of his father's ten year prank-contest with his neighbour and best friend.


Fyodor said...

"Is this normal for the festival or has there been an explosion in interest in burlesque?"

There has been an explosion in interest in burlesque.

Apparently it's all to do with being slutty in a feministically empowered and totally non-sexist way. Or something.

Needless to say, it's an excellent development.

harry said...

I totally agree with whatever feminist/non-feminist movement is providing the driving force for this.

a) Dyed hair
b) tats
c) Grrrrrrr

I give it ten Ryan Seacrests out of ten.