David O’Doherty – David O’Doh-Party

Pun logoPublished on The Pun, 12 April 2010

American business guru Tom Peters says that the secret to success is to ‘under promise and over deliver’. Funny Irishman and tiny Yamaha keyboard guru David O’Doherty appears to subscribe to this advice.

His first song for the evening instructs the audience to ‘please lower your expectations’. Then he tells us how bad he is at telling jokes. Then he laments that every review he has ever received has essentially said, ‘It’s good, I suppose. If you’re into that sort of thing.’ And then he over delivers. Continue reading “David O’Doherty – David O’Doh-Party”

Felicity Ward Reads From the Book of Moron

Pun logoPublished on The Pun, 30 March 2010

When it comes to self-deprecating humour, Felicity Ward can deprecate with the best of them. Her performance at last year’s MICF, Felicity Ward’s Ugly as a Child Variety Show, contained a liberal sprinkling of anecdotes about her idiotic misadventures. This year she cracks open the Book of Moron, a hefty tome she has penned full of stories of her own stupidity.

Wearing a blazer and cravat and clutching a pipe to her mouth, Felicity sits in a comfy armchair and reads aloud from her book. Across the way onstage, fellow Ronnie Johns Half Hour/3rd Degree member James Pender accompanies her on guitar, dressed as a dog. Continue reading “Felicity Ward Reads From the Book of Moron”

Reginald D. Hunter

Pun logoPublished on The Pun, 29 March 2010

The unofficial title of Reginald D. Hunter’s show is Trophy Nigga, owing to the media’s habit of booking him for commentary only when race-related issues are in the news. His response to such requests is to insist that he be introduced as ‘Reginald – King of the Blacks!’, which tends to be a dealbreaker.

He has a reputation for controversy and an obvious, deep-seated belief that everyone should get their thoughts, no matter how unpopular, out in the open. A recent profile in The Age said that he has been labelled a misogynist by some thanks to his ‘referring to rape in a punchline’. Actually, in this show he jokes about rape no less than four times. The profile paraphrases him as saying that anyone seeing a comedy show might assume that the performer is joking. You might also assume that in a room with more than, say, ten women in it, at least one will have experienced sexual assault. Continue reading “Reginald D. Hunter”

Akmal – It’s Not My Fault

Pun logoPublished on The Pun, 29 March 2010

Born in Egypt, brought up in Sydney and banned in Rockhampton, Akmal Saleh’s stand-up show It’s Not My Fault is based on extracts from his recently-published memoir, The Life of Akmal. Musings on being raised in the Coptic Orthodox Church, battling through ‘special English’ class as a new Australian, and the early days of his comedy career give us a CliffsNotes version of the book.

Akmal calls it like he sees it – and then ducks. His quip that ‘the Lebs took the credit for inventing felafel, and they also took my car stereo’ is followed quickly by, ‘It’s a joke, relax!’ No comment is out of bounds but he delivers his offensive japes in such a gentle, unassuming manner that this reviewer rather wanted to give him a cuddle. Continue reading “Akmal – It’s Not My Fault”


Pun logoPublished on The Pun, 22 April 2009

Ben Darsow has aspirations to be one of the world’s great supermarket managers. In the meantime, he’s doing stand-up to get by. His show, Connected, is all about plugging in to the flow of life and using it to go for your goals and ‘be the best version of yourself that you can be’. But don’t be put off by the high-falutin’ self-helpy theme of the show – Ben is one cheeky little dude.

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Burlesque Idol review

The Pun 2007Published in The Pun 2007

I don’t get this show.

On the one hand, it features three highly polished, superbly entertaining burlesque performances. On the other hand, these are couched within a plodding, cringe-worthy panel-style show complete with fading rock star jokes and mullet wigs. One minute we’re sucked in by a striptease, the next we’re shifting uncomfortably in our seats as the host and judges ‘pretend’ to sexually harass the stars.

The acts change from one night to the next, but we were treated to three consummate performers. Lola the Vamp is classic in the Edwardian sense as she slides out of a corset and satin bustle. Natasha the Pasha’s frothy feather dance is sexy and silly, while National Institute of Circus Arts graduate Marawa hoolas more hoops than I could feasibly lift.

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Quantock: Inspiring Sedition

the-pun-3-2006.jpgPublished in The Pun, Issue 3, 2006

Question: what if Australia’s pre-eminent political comedian, described by The Age as ‘a living Melbourne treasure’, were charged as a terrorist? It could happen. Last week Rod Quantock hosted The Inaugural Golden Guy Fawkes Award, in which local and international comedians competed for the ‘Comedian Most Likely to Blow-Up Parliament’ Award. Rod was expecting some very special visitors to the event, held at The Old Melbourne Gaol.

‘I sent invitations to ASIO and the Chief of Police,’ he says. But how would we know if they were in the audience? ‘They’re very subtle and undercover people, but I’m sure they were there. One night you’ll go to see Greg Fleet’s show and he won’t be there at all. He’ll have just disappeared. And we’ll wait for another fifty years and he’ll come out with a really great show about what’s it’s like to be in prison.’

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Puzzle Boy Lawrence

Published in The Pun, Issue 3, April 2006the-pun-3-2006.jpg

To anyone who has ever ‘solved’ a Rubik’s cube by peeling off the stickers and rearranging them – go to Lawrence Leung’s show, The Marvellous Misadventures of Puzzle Boy. Lawrence has spent the last twenty years trying to learn the secret behind solving the iconic 80s puzzle toy. ‘There are hundreds of different methods, but they all require a lot of memory and pattern recognition, and the most important thing is patience,’ he says. So has he cracked it?

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LaLaLuna review

Published in The Pun, Issue 2, 2006 Pun 2 2006

LaLaLuna is the story of the night the light went out in the moon, and its caretaker, played by Wolfe Bowart of The Schneedles, had to find a way to defy gravity and replace the bulb. During his quest, though, Bowart (equal parts mime, magician, acrobat and clown) keeps getting distracted—by the washing, a concert performance, and piles and piles of toy rabbits.

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Damien Callinan has Spaznuts review

The Pun Issue 1 2006Published in The Pun, Issue 1, 2006

You’ll need to do some preparation before you go see Damien Callinan has Spaznuts. First of all, don’t ejaculate for three days before the show – as Callinan points out, it can spoil the sample. Second, do some research and come prepared with a few euphemisms for testicles to shout out in the audience participation moments. All my group could come up with was ‘fly eyes’. Don’t let your team down.

Yep, Callinan’s show is all about testicles – or, more specifically, male infertility. Callinan takes us through his experiences as a sufferer of a condition his wife calls ‘Spaznuts’. The show is autobiographical and self-revealing – and not just because he keeps taking his pants off.

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