Published 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.

Hailing from Adelaide, Ben's stand-up style is chilled out, friendly and down to earth. His material meanders across numerous topics - finding the funny in doing night fill at the supermarket, and the types of people you meet at the gym. Every now and then he takes a break to show a video. The clips are very DIY - bad sound, fuzzy images - but Ben's warmth and enthusiasm smooth it all out.

The show ends with Ben calling his seven-year-old self on speakerphone to let him know everything is going to be okay. Ben's former self sounds less than convinced. 'Why do you only call me when you're drunk' he asks.

Like the videos, this part of the show is also very low-fi. The sound pops and crackles, and little Ben's reading-aloud skills need some work. Some might find the ramshackle production values irritating, but I reckon it adds to the charm. Ben has done the best he can with the resources available, and as these resources improve - better equipment, more time away from his day job - so too will the polish on his shows. Keep an eye on this one - he's made a good fist of it this year and will be back with more.