18 April, 2007

...and hilarity ensues

I'm not a huge fan of stand-up comedy. Here is a formula I worked out to explain:

IF(SUM(laughs experienced during 1 hour watching (ComedianX)))(SUM(laughs experienced during 1 hour spent with (MyFriends))), THEN(ComedianX) deserves my ($$$), ELSE (ComedianX) can (FuckOff)

and let it be said that I have VERY funny friends.

So as you'd imagine, I don't get too heavily involved in the Local Festival of Laughter etc. We tuned into a few minutes here and there of the Fantastical Charity Gala Shebang. Here's how it seemed to me:

Peter Hellier: I am a woefully unfunny bogan!
*bogans laugh, others cringe*

Shappi Khorsandi: No one trusts Iranians these days!
*hilarity ensues*

Dave Hughes: I am an irritating bogan whose every routine contains exactly one funny line!
*everyone laughs at the one funny line*

Fiona O'Loughlin: I don't really like my family that much!
*hilarity ensues*

Wil Anderson: Here is some internet humour from last month, passed off as my own fresh material!
*nostalgic chuckles from the crowd*

I'm sure there were some other acts in amongst them but you know... meh.

Of course, I went to see The Jim Henson Company's PuppetUp!, Henson having been one of my absolute personal heroes since before I entered Primary School. I am not ashamed to say that when Brian Henson took the stage - looking more like his late Dad every day - I actually had to hold my breath for a second so as not to burst into tears... which, you know, is probably considered odd at a Comedy show.

Now, any kind of improvised performance makes me slightly uneasy (due to bone chilling memories of highschool Theatre Sports contests when I would invariably remember mid sketch that I would rather be hacked to death with an egg-beater than appear in front of an audience without a prepared script). And in fairness, there were a couple of sketches in Puppet Up! that fell flat. But mostly it was inspired and hilarious.

I also attended two more traditional comedy/stand-up shows (purely because I happened to score free tickets as part of a winning trivia-night team). Let's see how the two shows compared:

Ben Chisholm - "Voicebox"
The Venue: Some dank shitbox deep in the guts of Trades Hall.
The Show: (sample joke, paraphrase) So you know what the best insult is? I reckon, instead of calling someone a Dickhead or a Cock, you should just call them a Penis! You're a Penis! Coz they'll just stare at you for a second, not getting it, and then suddenly they'll be like, "Did you just call me a Penis?!" and they'll totally wig out!
He then proceeded to sing a Robbie Williams song. Badly. For no reason.

And the survey said: NOT FUNNY.

Tim Minchin - "So F**king Rock"
The Venue: Capitol Theatre
The Show: Opening by captivatingly deconstructing his own persona, he proceeds to engage his increasingly adoring audience with hilarious stand-up, linking his songs that are beautifully performed, brilliantly inventive and achingly funny. Don't judge this guy by an excerpt you might have seen on the telly - you need to see a full show to appreciate his genius.

And the survey said: REALLY FUNNY and also occasionally TOUCHING and strangely ONGOINGLY THOUGHT-PROVOKING.

So that was my experience of the Comedy Festival.

- a lot of stand-up is rank;
- some stand-up is worth watching on the telly, but most is not worth paying money for;
- if everyone in the world was a Henson, the world would be a happier place (inevitable inbreeding notwithstanding);
- I wish Tim Minchin was my friend; and
- "ongoingly" is not a word.

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Blogger Jacob said...

I know what you mean about Dave Hughes and Pete Hellier.

You know how people say that a sense of humour generally indicates a higher intellect? Well, people who think these two pieces of comedic treason are funny are the proof that this statement is false. I hate them.

I also know what you mean about Tim Minchin. He seems like the kind of guy who you could really get to like in a very short time. *sigh*

(my word verification was thisclose to being 'rhythm': rlhytm)

May 03, 2007 10:13 pm  
Blogger Penni said...

I am sure Dave Hughes used to be funnier (you know, like 2 funny lines). Back before anyone told him he was funny. Peter Hellier on the other hand...he was never funny. I like a bit of poignancy in my comedy. Layers. David Hughes and Peter Hellier are layerless.

(Meanwhile, my word verification is almost glue ass.)

May 08, 2007 11:28 am  
Blogger Dr Philm said...

I wasn't going to leave a comment but then I noticed the word verification and couldn't resist:

How cool and 'gay-yee' is that?!?

May 08, 2007 2:46 pm  
Blogger mindlessmunkey said...

How did this comment thread become a Word Verification sharing party?

May 15, 2007 2:46 pm  

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