Posts Tagged ‘Melbourne International Comedy Festival’

Comedy Festival: We’re halfway there

comedyfestposterWell, we are half way through the Comedy Festival and I have mixed feelings on this year’s festival. It’s sort of like asking halfway through the season last year about the Geelong Cats. Most would have said, they are great and are going to win the premiership. You can’t say the same after last year’s Grand Final. With sporting teams and comedy festivals, your impression can be changed by the last thing you saw them do.

I started out the festival with seeing Steven K Amos and was not disappointed.  The comedy was simple. Steven K Amos and a microphone on stage, telling us stories, interacting with the audience, and even talking about the current events of Melbourne.  The entire audience was continually laughing. I laughed so hard I cried. That is good comedy.

The great thing about the festival is its ability to give anyone a chance. The whole city turns into amateur hour for a month. This is great and has seen many comedians excel in comedy. Unfortunately, there is no licencing or guidelines for comedies, and what you can get is a mixed bag.

So due to different sets of circumstances, I ended up seeing Jokey Joke Time and Accidental Identity. I had the same feeling for both shows: is this the Comedy Festival or is this the Fringe Festival? JJT was well presented in the courtroom of the Melbourne Gaol and featured  Eric Hutton performing standup comedy mixed in with the occasional rap, saxophone playing by Jennifer Wong, and pictures/sketches to accompany some topics. As a presentation or something fringy, it was good, as a comedy it failed to make myself or the audience laugh. It reminded me of  PowerPoint presentations I had to do at uni with myself making the speech and my partner controlling the computer. An ability of a good comedian is to connect with the audience and while the content of the comedy was funny, I don’t feel like the audience or myself connected with him. He did make me realise one thing; it really grosses me out when someone talks with a mouth full of food.

Accidental Identity was definitely far from what I expected from the comedy festival. This was a full length play with an intermission, that happened to be in the comedy genre. As a comedy I found some parts of it amusing but as a play I found the show very interesting and well acted. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of plays in fact the only thing resembling a play I’ve seen in my years is the Lion King.

Maybe I set my standards too high? Do I expect too much to just see either standup or improv that can make me laugh? Has Youtube ruined me? Maybe, but I think you have to keep it simple. The most sucessful comics at the festival are people who can connect with audience, who can talk about things that relate to the audience, and appeal to people of all ages and interests.  But what do I know? I would have picked “Man getting hit with Football“.

Funny Flora

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It’s April, which besides all the pranks going on, it’s the start of the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.  What’s with putting International in every festival and show? The only thing I know about the Flower show is that I noticed the parking lot underneath was full and loads of people bustling around at 9AM this morning. As for the comedy…

This year’s international headliner is Janeane Garofalo, in which I haven’t heard anything from her in about 10 years.  All of her shows have sold out so apparently she is appealing to an audience.

It’s hard to make heads or tail of which shows are good. The Age has a small summary of interesting shows but as they are one of the sponsors, I can’t see them saying any of those shows are crap.

links

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

April 1- April 5, Carlton Gardens

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

April 1-April 26

Comedy Festival

comedyfestival.jpgThe comedy fest is in full swing, yet once again everyone is left with the task of figuring out what to see. As usual, The Age is useless and only ever gives good reviews or no review at all. Here’s my shortlist.

Patton Oswalt-Spence from King of Queens seems to have a vast resume of comedy. Fat weird looking dudes are usually pretty funny. A clip from his standup shows.

Daniel Kitson-Always funny and always odd looking. He seems to get more angry and cynical every year.

Mark Watson’s Earth Summit– A presentation of “An Inconvenient Truth” in a comedic style.

Ross Noble , Jason Byrne, Arj Barker, Stephen K Amos

What the?

Busting Out– The opposite show to Puppetry of the Penis. This show looks strangely interesting.

I Want to be a Mokbel– A comedy act on Melbourne’s underworld and Tony Mokbel. Ok sure, why not.

Faulty Towers-The Dining Experience – Fawlty Towers was probably the best Britcom ever. I’m not too sure about this one but $69 for a three course meal and a show is not too bad.

Happy Yoga with Guru Dudu – Comedic yoga where the audience participates.

Missing in Action this year

Shappi Khorsandi-I’m not really into female comedians but this one had me laughing. Looks like her show is postponed.

Dylan Moran, Danny Bhoy, Adam Hills

Then there’s the hundreds of other shows on this year. Anyone have any recommendations?

Links:

Last Laughs: The Comedy Elite

2008 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Picture by jsarcadia

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