Friday, July 07, 2006
The Death Of Good Comedy
I was in Sydney as part of the Commonwealth Games Avoidance Scheme this year. One day,whilst walking past the Enmore Theatre,I noticed they were promoting a cache of comedians that were appearing there prior to going to Melbourne for the annual Melbourne Comedy Festival.I then thought "that's right- the comedy festival is in April." I perused the posters to se which ones I wanted to see and after a short glance,sadly, I realised that I wanted to see none of them.
When I returned to Melbourne and obtained a copy of the comedy festival booklet, I still didn't want to see anyone. I watched the opening Comedy Gala on telly as it usually a good way of seeing 2 or so minutes of everyone's shows and I still was not impressed. There are a few that I liked but not enough to get my large derriere out the door to pay whatever it is to put it on a seat for an hour or so. All we seem to get is the usual suspects, Wil Anderson,Hughsy,that fuckwit that does the red haired jokes. Don't get me wrong, self depricating humour can be really funny but not when it is the whole running gag. Use it to light and shade but don't base your whole routine around it. I'm sick of Nick Giannopoulos and his one trick pony, The Wog Thing. I think he ran that concept into the ground and it's been to his own detriment. He tried breaking out of that mould and making that film The Wannabes which by looking at the ad's was a heap of shit. Nick- don't make car ad's either - you are now officially off the artistic roll call. Wil Anderson with his high pitched, very 'Strahlian accent using terms such as 'root' and' shit house' with abandon is extremely boring. The wacky funster wearing of thongs and Sonic Youth tshirt is a yawn fest too. Merrick and Rosso -fuck off. I've never liked you and your style of WF humour either. Lano and Woodley at least had the foresight to pull the plug ( a bit late for me but as they say, better late than never). Look, I'm not saying they were never funny, they are just fricken BORING now. I hate to sound like a traitor to my own but I can't pretend anymore. (Note to Rove McManus & Peter Helliar,Scared Weird Little Guys,Tripod,Umbilical Brothers-kill yourself, kill yourself, KILL YOURSELF NOW!).
I think this epiphany occurred when, at a rather late stage in my life, I discovered Bill Hicks. I had heard bits and pieces of him over the years and admired his original style. A friend loaded all his material onto my mp3 player and he blew me away. Truth as humour! Angry ranting! No holds barred facts delivered with an M-16esque precision. I love listening to Bill because when I feel lost,hopeless,depressed and a total freak, he puts it all into perspective in a really unexplainable way. Bill is no longer with us. He died after a battle with pancreatic cancer in 1994. As the caption on the above photo states:"American Fucking Hero" which he is to me. http://www.billhicks.com/
All is not lost in the comedy stakes. I discovered Eddie Izzard about 8 years ago when friends who were living in London told me about him. We had a English backpacker stay with us for a while and he got his dad to send over his copy of 'Repeatable' and it was hilarious. I am alway amazed at people who can just improvise things. He came to Australia with his 'Circle' show and the girls and I made sure we got tickets the day they went on sale as there was no way we were going to miss out. Eddie did not disappoint. All the way home I kept fantasising about snogging him whilst we both wore red lipstick... A few years after, he played at Hamer Hall with his 'Sexie' show and I loved it. Especially starting with a history on what he had gleaned about Australia and Melbourne and his reaction when he asked the audience who discovered Melbourne and a woman in the front shouted "Batman"! (For non historians and Australians- Melbourne was discovered by a man named John Batman. Hence 'Batman Avenue'... might be the next in the sequels). If you've ever seen the 'Dress To Kill' DVD, you'll know how talented this man is. Who would ever think to use history as humour? Religion yes but I like how Eddie does not offend with any of his views. Classic lines such as "bless me Father for I have sinned. I poked a badger with a spoon!" "Now that 's an original sin! Do 5 Hail Mary's & 2 Hello Dolly's!" and of course the most classic of them all "Cake or Death"!!! http://www.eddieizzard.com/
So, in closing, I personally blame Bill Hicks & Eddie Izzard for ruining the Melbourne Comedy Festival for me. Because of them, I now have a discerning taste in comedy. Muchos gracias hombres!!!