Sunday, April 05, 2015

MICF: Wil Anderson, Arj Barker and Joel Creasey

MICFIt's Melbourne International Comedy Festival time once again and there are over 500 acts performing this year from 25 March - 19 April. I have gone through the program and shortlisted a bunch of shows (we'll see how many I end up getting to). My first MICF show was last Monday with Onagh for Wil Anderson's Political Wil at the Comedy Theatre, which is only running for three shows in total on Monday nights. Wil is doing two shows this year, but this one is focused on Australian politics and other things that wouldn't fit into his regular show. He covered a wide variety of topics, including Tony Abbott eating a raw onion, the Australian knighthood of Prince Philip, refugees, violence against women and his hatred of columnist Andrew Bolt, amongst other things. It was a funny and insightful 70 plus minutes and I actually enjoyed the darker moments of the show as it reminded me of the stand-up comedy I grew up watching. As Wil stated about 45 minutes in that he was where he thought he'd be at the 15 minute mark, it will be interesting to see how much the show changes each week.

Tonight Belinda and I started our Easter evening at the Melbourne Town Hall for Arj Barker's Get In My Head. This is the first MICF show of his I have caught, even though he is a regular visitor to Australia. I'll always have a soft spot for Arj as he also grew up in Marin. The show had an overarching theme of getting older and looking back at simpler times, such as when children had manners and people didn't have control over photos because they were taken on film. Portions of the material were blokey (his anti-aging "poo facials," freezing sperm at home and erections) but overall it was an entertaining hour, with the best bits of the night being about airplane boarding systems, what Bob Marley would be like today if he smoked as much weed as in the past, and surprisingly ISIS.

Next we headed down to ACMI to see Joel Creasey's show The Hurricane. Joel recently did a stint on the Australian version of I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here in the South African jungle, so he was full of amusing anecdotes from that as well as other events in his life. His tales from the jungle were hilarious, especially about Maureen McCormick (aka Marsha Brady) and some of the other "celebrities" that were there. He also snarked about being invited back to the apartment of a closeted male star of the tv soap Neighbours for a sex party, and a particularly nasty run in at an interview with a two time Oscar winner. Joel is a fantastic storyteller and not afraid to share the inside dirt from his encounters, which resulted in a funny and fast-paced hour of comedy that ended with an amusing costume change.

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