Tag Archive: comedy


Chris and a cannon at Edinburgh Castle

On Tuesday we had a nice meal at Olly Bongo’s Cafe Bistro, a Turkish place with a warm and friendly atmosphere, a nice contrast to the busy, wet and cold street outside. It was a bit more expensive than most eateries we’ve been to, but it was a good meal and we wanted to be close to Udderbelly to minimise our time in the rain.

That night we had tickets to see Heath McIvor’s show, Randy is Sober. Randy is a purple puppet, we knew what to expect as we’d seen him before in Rickett’s Lane back home in Brisbane. It is a show so hilarious that we went to see it twice, so I didn’t book it for Edfringe. What I didn’t expect from Randy is Sober, was the fair amount of audience interaction we got. Just because his eyeballs aren’t real, don’t think Randy can’t interact with the audience. In fact I enjoyed those bits best, Heath has a very quick wit, or should I say Randy? Anyway the show was excellent and played to a full house.

Talking of full houses, Tim Minchin tweeted the other day for folks in Edinburgh to go and see Anyone for Tennis? This was very good publicity for them and ensured a well deserved full house for their next show. They rock very hard even when the audience is small like on the night we went to see them, so it’s nice to know they are playing to bigger crowds in their first Edfringe. I bumped into Doody and Jase in the street the other day, and they’re lovely guys.

Anyway, after Randy’s brilliant show we went to see The Horne Section, a shambolic (in a good way) show incorporating the jazz band Horne Section plus other guests, and a large spinning wheel to dictate the elements of the show. We got a game of Top Trumps between audience members, a hilarious Morris Dance by three of the band and then one of them was stripped, yes, all the way to a bare bottom. My favourite guest performer of the night was The Boy With Tape on his Face. We are seeing his full show tomorrow. There was also a funny and talented guitar player, Antonio Forcione, Swedish group Fork, and lastly poet, Tim Key.

Yesterday was quite sunny so we went to Edinburgh Castle and spent three hours wandering around with earphones and audio guides. As usual for Edinburgh there were many hills and steps.

Lang Stairs at Edinburgh Castle. 70 steps.

My overall impression of Edinburgh is oldness, comedy and steps, and to a slightly lesser extent, drizzle. We finished our castle visit with a latte in the coffee shop and by nearly 4.30pm we could see big grey clouds rolling in so we made our way back down the hill while ducking in and out of the many souvenier shops to find presents to take home and to drip dry all over shop floors.

Chris at Edinburgh Castle. Grey clouds coming.

We grabbed a delicious chicken and cheese melt from The Square, just around the corner from our hotel and took it back to our room to have with a cup of tea. Then we went set off into the night to see The Pajama Men’s show, In the Middle of No One.

We saw the Pajama Men’s show last year so we knew we’d probably spend most of the show watching a multitude of different characters played by two men in their pajamas, with only two chairs for props, and wondering what on earth was going on before everything tied up nicely at the end. The show did exactly that, again it was bewildering, funny, clever and silly at the same time. The stand out character for me was what I imagine to be an eagle type of bird with a very unusual cry.

After that, the night took an unexpected turn as we met up with some online forum friends for a drink at the Guilded Balloon. It was brilliant to meet the comedy fans I’ve got to know online for the past couple of years. After a pint and a half of cider and lots of comedy-talk some of us went to a one-off free Sammy J gig, which was also recorded for a DVD. Jase and Doody from AFT? were in the audience, along with lots of venue staff, and a few other people silly enough to still be up this late. We ended up walking back to our hotel room at 3.30 am. I was a very happy fangirl.

We climbed the 67 stairs to our room and eventually rolled into bed at 3.45am. This is exactly how I wanted Edinburgh to be: but not all the time, I’m too old to cope with this much awesomeness every night.

Today the forecast is for rain… all day. A good day to do the laundry and catch up on my blogging duties. This morning Chris and I trudged through the rain for about 25 minutes to Ace Cleaning Services to do our laundry, we had an early lunch at the very friendly and inexpensive Flip! café while our clothes were washed and dried a few doors down the road. We wimped out and took the bus back to our hotel for a very reasonable one pound 30 each.

The past few days have been a blur of Festival Fringe comedy shows and sight-seeing. Two days were spent just wandering around to get our bearings, but mostly getting lost. We were amazed by funny and talented street performers, while we dodged the drizzle and enthusiastic flyer-hander-outers, and spent a fair amount of time finding free toilets. Quite by accident we came across the Elephant House, place of Harry Potter’s birth, well, where JK Rowling wrote the first novels anyway. We had a cuppa in there, it was hot but the ambience was nice.

Tea at the Elephant House, a place full of elephant pictures and ornaments, wood panelling and mis-matched wooden tables and chairs.

By day three our feet were screaming for mercy, so we took three open top bus trips in a row to sight-see while sitting.

The Scott Monument. For 3 quid you can climb all 287 steps to the top, given our fitness level and sore feet, I think this will not be high on our agenda

We got off the Majestic Tour at the Royal Yacht Britannia for a tour of the yacht and afternoon tea.

Chris posing with a pretend pint on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

It felt a bit voyeuristic to be looking at the double bed that Charles and Di slept in, but it was a pretty interesting place to visit and my lemon drizzle cake and Earl Grey tea at the Royal Deck Tea Room was very swish.

Afternoon tea at the Royal Deck Tea Room

We went to the Military Tattoo on Saturday night, there was a little drizzle but it didn’t matter as we wore our shower proof jackets just in case. In fact we have been carrying them around all over Edinburgh and they’ve been very handy. The Tattoo was good, my favourites were the Band of the Royal Netherlands Army Mounted Regiments, they were on bicycles, very funny. They came back later without their bicycles and played something from Harry Potter too: excellent. The night ended with the Massed Pipes and Drums then spectacular fireworks. The DVD will be out in October so we will be ordering that online so we can relive the night.

Military Tattoo massed pipes and drums

On Sunday we spent a few hours wandering around the Scottish National Museum. It’s a massive and grand building. Chris was very happy to see a bubble car and I was amazed to see a ZX81 computer. I remember when they came out, they were 50 quid. There were lots of Christian religious artifacts, a fantastic collection of rocks and a huge amethyst geode. There were stuffed animals, including Dolly the sheep, and dinosaurs bones, fossils and Egyptian coffins, it was all very interesting.

Chris and a bubble car

The comedy shows so far have been extraordinary. I’ve already blogged about Sammy J’s show, Potentially, since then we’ve seen five more shows. Alex Horne’s, Seven Years in the Bathroom was very good, tightly scripted to keep up with the momentum of living a whole life in an hour, but it didn’t feel too rushed. Next up was Melbourne duo, Anyone For Tennis in Prepare to be Tuned. Doody and Jase sang beautiful harmonies about Margherita pizza, that time of month, and finding your one true love (among other things). They rocked very hard with their guitars for a tiny audience of about a dozen people. They so deserve a full house for their first Edinburgh Fringe.

On Tuesday we saw three shows, our first was Chris Cox in Fatal Distraction. A mind-reader who confesses straight away that he can’t read minds, but it doesn’t matter a jot. By the end of the show, I’m sure everyone in the audience was amazed by what they’d just seen. During the show he’d recited a bit of Tim Minchin’s beat poem Storm for me, so I was a very happy fangirl. Next up we saw Asher Treleaven in Matador. We saw him last year in Secret Door so we knew we were in for a slick performance. This show tackled racism in a hilarious way, he’s quite a physical performer and my personal favourite was an impression of a squid. You had to be there. Lastly we saw The Hermitude of Angus, Ecstatic,  quite possibly the most physical and weirdest show of the Fringe. Think of Angus as Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean, but more socially inept and child-like, and wildly changing into other characters along the way. There’s a messy encounter with chocolate cake and some dancing too, this is a show that you think about for a long time after it’s over.

So that’s the story so far. It’s still raining outside but tonight we are seeing the purple puppet Randy in Randy is Sober and Alex Horne again, but this time with jazz comedy band, The Horne Section. Can’t wait.

Fellow musical-comedy fan friends have often mentioned Eddie’s work to me, so he’s been on my radar for a while. But money is tight and my comedy dollar has to go a long way, Eddie has never made it onto my schedule until now.

Misanthropology is Eddie Perfect’s latest show and he performed it at the Brisbane Powerhouse from July 20 to July 23. I was there on Saturday the 23rd with some of those aforementioned friends. The room was dark, we were sat around a table to the left of the centre-stage cat-walk. A deep voice echoed in the darkness. “In the beginning… there was nothing, and then our universe was created with a bang, (small noise.) a BIG bang, (bigger noise,) and then lots of stuff happened…”

The ‘lots of stuff’ seems to have slowed down in recent years, and Eddie, resplendent in an 80s looking silvery suit lamented that man has done so much great stuff, but there are always those that let the side down. They betray our humble beginnings as sea animals that happened by some accident of evolution to have crawled to the shore, and then went on to evolve hands and use tools.

As a species we have made great inventions but still manage to do some very stupid things, and think some very stupid thoughts. We have ourselves on a pedestal above all other animals and presume to know what they think, when really we don’t have a clue. And although we should know better by now, we are still doing awful things to the environment, messing up our world, and almost worse than that, awful pretentious things in the name of art.

You wouldn’t think that such a depressing subject would be so funny, but the seven songs with stand-up in between, had the room laughing all the way through. He mocked humanity, with great wit, touching on several examples of how we seem to have hit a glass ceiling in evolution. Having the three-piece backing band on bass guitar, electronic drum kit, and keyboards, left Eddie free to walk about the stage and onto the catwalk. From my vantage point I could clearly see the perspiration on his forehead glistening as he energetically belted out the songs.

He did pop behind the keyboard for a brief stint during his song about a father who bought breast implants for his 22-year-old daughter. That song was my favourite one in the show, full of razzamatazz, brilliant lighting and just a fantastic performance. Be warned, it’s the sort of song you can hum after only one listen.

One of my friends has been watching the Tour de France and she enjoyed ‘Self-Righteous Cyclist’ a lot, the tightly clad in lycra Eddie was enjoyed for other reasons by other members of the audience. Possibly those that watch him on Offspring. He also impersonated a well-known female presenter who seems to think sportsmen who behave appallingly with young girls are OK, and the girls really wanted what they got, which was raped. Another song about how living with a primitive tribe may not be all it’s cracked up to be, saw Eddie wearing a headpiece that would not look amiss on Jay Kay of Jamiroquai.

If it all sounds a bit dark and twisted, well, it is. But it’s dark, twisted and funny.

Me and Eddie after the show on July 23, 2011. Thank you Kim for taking the photo. 😉

The encore was a semi-serious song, performed solo, with just Eddie on the keyboard. I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t get the poignancy of it at first as I was too busy enjoying the performance to actually listen to the words. In fact there were a few instances throughout the show, where I’d hear a laugh around the room and realise I’d missed a punchline during a song because I was too busy enjoying the voice and music without actually listening to the lyrics. But that’s my fault, I tend to drift sometimes when listening to good music.

Thankfully Eddie had CDs of the show, recorded at The Famous Speigeltent, at the Sydney Festival for sale in the foyer for $25.00. And although he had not been well, he still stayed behind after the show for autographs and photos. What a lovely guy.

For more information on Eddie Perfect go to his official website.

Last night my husband and I went to our last two shows of the Brisbane Comedy Festival for 2011, today is the last day of the BrisComFest. If it wasn’t for the live broadcast of Tim Minchin Vs The Sydney Symphony Orchestra tonight on ABC2, I’d be feeling pretty sad.

We saw London comedian, Stephen K Amos, and Australian, Harley Breen. I had not seen either of them live before, but I had seen Stephen on TV, so I had an idea of what to expect from his show.

Both were very good at what they did, which prompted the pondering of value for money. Harley’s show I Heart Bunnings, was less than half the price of Stephen’s show The Best Medicine, and yet, I enjoyed Harley’s show more.

Stephen’s show was first at 7.00pm, we had centre-stage, second row seats in the big Powerhouse Theatre. I was careful not to meet his eye as there was quite a lot of audience interaction which was funny and seemed to crack him up as well as the audience. I also enjoyed the short readings from the diary of his 15-year-old self, but I felt the rest of the show jumped around a lot without a cohesive thread. Some of his show sounded familiar too, I’m not sure if I’d seen him do the same routines on TV or whether he was just covering familiar ground for comedians such as technology and stereotyping young vs old. Saying that, I did laugh and grin all the way through, and he only told one joke that failed, and he blamed that one on jet-lag.

His show did yield one surprise; I did not know that Stephen is gay. This year we’ve seen Asher Trealeven, who because of his performance style, I presumed to be gay but he isn’t, and Stephen, whom I wrongly presumed to be straight: comedy is full of surprises. It seems that my show choices this year are one-third openly gay comedians.

After the show, Stephen had a merchandise table for the sale and signing of a couple of DVDs, but due to me being out of work for six weeks now, and no money for such frivolous purchases as DVDs, or expensive drinks, we went down to the Brisbane River and watched the party boats and City Cats going about their business. Then we went for a walk along the river, chatting and listening to the fruit bats in the trees. I noticed it was pretty dark as the street lamps seemed to be broken on the river path but still working on the main entrance path. I didn’t think of it then, but I later realised we’d been walking during Earth Hour so perhaps they were off on purpose.

After checking out the racks of Council push bikes near the ferry terminal, we hurried back to the Powerhouse for our last show of the BrisComFest, Harley Breen’s, I Heart Bunnings. This show was downstairs in the tiny Turbine Studio. It was a bit unnerving to see him wandering around chatting to the audience before the gig instead of hiding backstage. But it was all part of the experience, knowing a bit about his audience meant he could interact with ease later on during the show. Unfortunately, not long after the show started, three drunken girls interrupted the flow by coming in late and talking loudly. They continued to talk several times, until eventually Harley had them ejected. I don’t blame him, the atmosphere was much better after they had gone.

The show was cleverly written, original and down to earth, and I felt much more of an emotional connection to him and his material. Whether it was the more personal content or the small confines of the room, I’m not sure, it was probably a combination of both.

Harley talked about his brotherly love for his younger brother Clifton and older brother Randall, and his feelings of not being manly enough to be a role model for his 8 month old son. He also gave some wonderfully accurate insights into the tradesman’s world. He referenced Brisbane’s sometimes scary weather and floods, and he had the audience in the palm of his unblemished hand, unlike the hands of his construction site-scarred brothers.

I’m glad I took a chance on someone I didn’t know. I thought it sounded like a good show and my carpenter husband might find it funny. Chris did enjoy it, he said it was ‘good’, (he’s a man of few words). He knows people just like the tradesmen Harley described, including one with ‘one nut hanging out of his shorts’ ewww!

Harley ended the night with a lovely sight-gag that I didn’t see coming and I’d have liked to hang around after and thank him for writing such a good show, but Chris felt pretty tired so we went straight home.

So that’s it, for us the third Brisbane Comedy Festival is over: for everyone else, there’s one more night to go. I recommend Harley Breen, tickets are only $20.00 and he deserves a full house.

Around this time last year we saw our first Sammy J & Randy show 30 Ricketts Lane (with puppeteer Heath McIvor). It was amazing and I became a fan. Since then we have seen Sammy J solo a couple more times,  so we knew what to expect of him in his festival length show of, Skinny Man, Modern World.

Chris and I and our daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Daniel, all went to see Sammy J at the small Rooftop Terrace room at the Brisbane Powerhouse. We arrived with ten minutes to spare, but because we’d never been to the Rooftop Terrace before, Chris insisted I ask the box-office lady how to get to there. I said, ‘but it’s obvious we go up in the lift until it can’t go any higher, the name kinda gives it away,’ but I asked anyway. Sure enough, we were directed to the lift. Duh! The room was quite wide but not very deep, and not as dark and dingy as the Turbine Rehearsal Room downstairs. We sat roughly in the middle of the room and a few minutes later Sammy bounced onto the stage. He seemed genuinely pleased to have such a full room for a Tuesday night, it probably held close to 100 people.

Sammy J is not just a stand-up comedian who happens to sing songs and play the keyboard, nor is he a musician with funny talky-bits between songs. He is an all-round performer, linking funny songs at the keyboard with his stories and views on such topics as the future and death. He tells revealing and embarrassing anecdotes, such as his account of a run-in with a very angry fan, a dick(s) joke from his adolescence, and one grossly unpleasant but hilarious story about a very confusing and alarming ‘morning after the night before.’

His pin-striped, on-my-way-to-an-interview look stayed intact throughout the night, which is unusual for Sammy J. There is no stripping off in this show. This show was talk-heavy with only a few songs punctuating the insightful, silly, or naughty humour. He performed; Delete, and Driving, Time To Go, and The Mermaid Song, a narrative about his boyhood and an ugly, old mermaid called Ruth.

After the show he sold and signed his DVD 58 Kilograms Of Pure Entertainment (for only $20.00) and posed for photos.

Autographed by Barack Obama and Sammy J, well he doesn't have to sign as himself. He also asked me, "but do you know MY surname?" and I'm afraid I couldn't remember: how embarrassing.

As usual he was lovely to all of us. When he signed our DVD, he asked if we’d met before and asked my name, I said Sue and he said “Sue Coles?” I’d forgotten he reads his Facebook page. It was unnerving but nice to be mutually stalked, the last time that happened to me was with Tim Minchin back in 2009, but back then it was MySpace. How times have changed, now it’s all about Twitter and Facebook, and Tim is a pseudo rock star playing arenas and Sammy J… well, he’s still playing small rooms, but he is appearing on TV a lot more these days so I hope word spreads and he plays to more full houses, in bigger venues. He certainly deserves them.

Sammy J and Daniel pretending to be disinterested in getting a photo.

Sarah and Sammy J marvelling at iPhone 4 forward facing camera.

Sammy J and Randy now have a new show, a follow-up to Ricketts Lane called Bin Night and they’ll be bringing their fantastically clever theatrics to Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival. It’s a shame I’m such a geographically challenged fan girl. Until Edinburgh that is…

Me and Sammy J. For once I'm not grinning like a loony.

… see you there Mr McMillan. 🙂

Find out more about Sammy on his website.

Last night my husband and I braved the rain, traffic, and road works to get to the Brisbane Powerhouse for shows by Hannah Gadsby and Asher Treleaven.

We’d not seen either of them live before, although we had seen Hannah on TV. I’d booked tickets for Asher’s show purely on recommendation from another Tim Minchin fan. I haven’t been steered wrong by a Tim fan yet, having been recommended The Pajama Men’s Last Stand To Reason, and Sammy J & Randy’s 30 Ricketts Lane last year by Tim fans, so I knew we were in for a good night.

Anyway, Hannah’s show Mrs Chuckles was first up in the Visy Theatre, a cosy room with seating for up to 200 people in a sort of semi-circle around the stage.  We knew what Hannah was like from watching Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight. Her style is the same as on TV, a slow, even delivery, with brilliant timing, sometimes she doesn’t even have to talk, a pause and a few funny expressions caused many chuckles throughout the room. Her mind is anything but slow though, she can also improvise quick responses to the audience. I suggest you don’t arrive late or go for a wee unless you want to become a part of the show, but don’t worry, she’s not nasty with it, it’s all in good fun.

The show mainly covers stories of her social ineptitude, along with her concern at choosing exactly the right last words to sum up her life. Her lack of people skills often causes her to walk away from any situation in her ‘too hard basket’. In one of the stories she tells us of her high school reunion where she over-compensates for her social inadequacy and ends up having a conversation she really didn’t want to be a part of, I think the awkwardness of that situation was my favourite bit of the night.

Hannah did have a merchandise stall where she sold and signed her DVDS ($25.00) but we decided to buy it when we’re more financial: especially after splurging on Tim Minchin merchandise the night before.

Then, after the embarrassment of trying to enter the Visy Theatre again and finding out we’d been standing in the wrong queue we scurried across to the Turbine Rehearsal Room opposite for Asher Treleaven’s show, Secret Door. The room was dark and tiny and already full of laughter as we managed to sneak to the back row without being noticed. We must have missed about ten minutes, which was a shame. At first, I didn’t know what was going on, but I soon warmed to him. The delivery could not have been more different to the show we’d just seen. Asher is very confident, and his body language physical and expressive, sometimes explosively so. If Hannah and Asher ever did a double act, he’d be the flamboyant, gregarious funny man to Hannah’s ‘straight man’. Yes I know that sounds a bit weird.

At first I thought Asher was gay too, turns out he’s not, but that was typical of the show, there were surprising twists and turns and the pushing of  boundaries all over the place. But it wasn’t crude for crude’s sake, it was absolutely filthy in places, but for comedy’s sake. He said at the end of the night that we’d been the best crowd all week, he also mentioned during the night that he’d slipped in a joke that he hadn’t dared to with the other audiences that week: we must have been a pretty ribald lot in that dingy den of iniquity on a dark and rainy Saturday night.

My favourite part of Asher’s show was the reading aloud of his sex bible, a Mills & Boon novel. His showmanship really shone brightly during this reading. I would definitely like to see more of Asher Treleaven, but due to some audience participation I’d probably try to sit at the back again… but next time I will not be late.

Saturday, 12 March. Tonight I went to see Scottish comedian, Danny Bhoy at 7pm and English comedian, Mark Watson at 9pm.  Although Danny Bhoy seems to be the better known of the two in Australia, I was actually more excited to see Mark as he’s from my home town of Bristol and I’ve followed his daily blog since March 2010.

I’d booked the tickets as soon as they went on sale so I had excellent, centre seats in the first and second row. My husband missed out on the fun because he had to work (he’s a mobile DJ,) so I arranged to go with my friend and fellow comedy fan, Kim.

It was my first time seeing Danny and Mark live, they are both observational comedians, but they deliver their stories in completely different ways.

Danny’s work was unfamiliar to me so I didn’t really know what to expect. I found his style easygoing and relaxed. He’s the sort of person you invite to a party, knowing that he will have your guests in stitches, confidently telling stories from his past with great flair and hilarious accents. And of course his anecdotes are always much more colourful than everyone else’s in the room.

I really enjoyed Danny’s mimicry. He brought his observations and imagination vividly to life with funny and convincing characters; from drunken girls on a night out, to camp vikings. He told one story from his schooldays  incorporating a French accent and smoking a pretend cigarette. It looked so real I expected smoke rings. Danny is an excellent performer, and I was left wanting more, so after the show I bought one of his DVDs, and I definitely want to see him live again.

After Danny’s merch-queue and autograph, and a shared bowl of chips from the restaurant, (thanks Kim, I owe you a coffee,) we went to see Mark’s show. As I’ve mentioned before, I know more about Mark, not only from reading his blogs, but I’ve also read all his novels.

Mark is less like your gregarious happy-go-lucky friend and more like your slightly dishevelled friend, who’s always a bit ‘glass half-empty’ but tries hard to be ‘glass half-full’. His humour is insightful and sometimes darkly delightful, and he’s a genuine person, just like you, well, like me, I can’t speak for you.

Anyway, he rambles on, well actually ramble is not really the right word, it implies a leisurely pace. Mark speaks quickly and earnestly, more like a power-walker on a caffeine-high with no defined route as he goes off on tangents.  I couldn’t let my mind wander, or I’d have been lost.  He talks about things which most people can relate to, like how to cope with confrontation, or the terrors of being a new parent, or indeed that niggling worry of  “did I lock the door?” All the usual stuff.

I’m sorry to say that the mosquitos of Brisbane seem to have been on a ‘seek and destroy’ mission with Mark Watson as their target. His arms were covered in nasty, red bumps, he told us he was allergic to the bites: poor Mark. Mossies just love thick, fresh English blood. Although I think the blotchy arms probably added a new layer of vunerability to his pale and scrawny look. I just wanted to dab his arms with calamine lotion and invite him over for a sunday roast with Yorkshire Puddings. Hmm, there’s that motherly instinct again. The same instinct that made me want to comb Josh Thomas’ hair and give him a hug last week.

After the show, we went to Mark’s merch-stand where instead of the usual fare of comedy CDs and DVDs, and possibly posters or Tshirts, Mark had his latest novel “Eleven” for sale for $30.00. I had already secured a signed copy thanks to a fellow comedy fan in Melbourne when Mark visited for his book launch last year, (thank you Witchy). So, in the spirit of bringing something interesting for him to sign, I brought him a plate with a picture of Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge that had been given to us when we emigrated from Bristol to Brisbane in 1988. He was chuffed to see it and I told him it will be proudly displayed on my kitchen wall: and for that I was later immortalised in his blog.

Not wanting the night to end, we also went to Chalkboard where we were lucky enough to see Mark again, along with Josh Earl (MCing,) Geraldine Quinn, and a couple of local comedians. If I had more money and time and could travel down to Melbourne I think I’d go and see a full Geraldine Quinn show. Her performance and singing was so amazing I wasn’t actually listening to the words half the time, so I’m sure I missed out on a few funnies. By this time it was obvious that Mark was really dying to give his arms a good scratch, but he performed well without repeating too much of what he’d said earlier that night. The room was so tiny, he didn’t even use the microphone, which made it all the more like having your friend there on stage, just talking earnestly about his view of the world we live in, and life in general. (Sly inclusion of Depeche Mode lyric.)

So that was it, my second night at the BrisComFest. Next weekend I’m seeing Hannah Gadsby and Asher Treleaven.

Oh, and I do have two important reminders:

  • When going to a Mark Watson gig, make sure you get there early for bonus laughs.
  • Mark Watson’s books are very good. Do go and buy them.

We went to see Josh Thomas on Saturday, March 5, it was my first show of the 2011 Brisbane Comedy Festival. There will be a lot more shows to come. I may write about them all, or not: we’ll see.

So, Josh Thomas: I wonder what it is about him that people like so much? That is, those people who don’t find him squeaky and annoying? By the way, I don’t think that… I think Josh is funny.

Josh talks about himself in his shows, so we know about him and he knows precious little about us, so I think it’s a plausible idea that girls see him as a friend. Some deluded girls seem to want to marry him; and older women (like me) want to mother him, give him a hug and comb his annoyingly wayward hair.

As for men, well, I can’t really speak for all of them but I guess most men also want to befriend him, deluded ones may also want to marry him, but he’s already got a boyfriend, and Queensland still doesn’t allow gay marriage which strikes me as ironic. I can give one man’s opinion, my husband said the show was ‘alright’. He’s a man of few words.

In Josh’s latest show, “Everything Ever” he tells us stories of his chubby childhood, his angsty adolescence, and shares sordid tales of being a grown-up on holiday somewhere I can’t remember the name of, it’s got a name like Poontang, but it’s definitely not that, he doesn’t go there anymore, like I said, he has a boyfriend.

He tells tales of his Mum and his siblings, and shares a hilarious account of his Grandma and a robber, (if it’s true, his Grandma rocks). Actually, even if it isn’t true Josh’s Grandma rocks anyway. He also gives us his very funny version of events surrounding the Ruby Rose Twitter incident.

He talks a lot about sex, both straight and gay, and he drops the C-bomb a couple of times, so this show is not for everyone, there’s a reason for the no under-15s rule. This content is not the same as you get on Channel Ten’s “Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation”.  This is Josh Thomas stand-up comedian, closer to the Josh you’ve seen on “Good News Week” (shown in a much later time-slot).

I saw Josh’s show “Surprise” at last year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival and liked it enough to buy the DVD of it this year after seeing his new show. There was a long line up for merchandise and autographs, but it moved pretty quickly as he doesn’t chit-chat and hold everyone up. No hugs were allowed either, so my motherly instincts were thwarted: never mind, I didn’t have a comb anyway.

On the merch table Josh also sold posters for $10.00, with all proceeds going to Beyond Blue. A very good cause, dear to my heart. Good on him for doing something selfless and defying Gen Y stereotypes. Like someone probably famous once said, “labels are for cans not people”.

We also have Josh to thank for curating the first ever Brisbane Comedy Festival three years ago: and for that I shall be eternally grateful.