[2012029] Rhino Room’s Late Show

[2012029] Rhino Room’s Late Show [FringeTIX]

Tommy Little, Sarah Kendall, Xavier Michelides, Demi Lardner, Imaan, James McCann, Gareth Berliner, Christophe Davidson, Mickey D @ Rhino Room – Upstairs

11:00pm, Wed 22 Feb 2012

It’s still early on in the year’s proceedings, and The Shortlist is bloody massive – I like to give variety shows like this a bash to see if there’s anyone I can knock off The Shortlist, or whether there’s any newcomers that deserve to be on it.

Tommy Little emceed, and he was – quite frankly – a revelation. His frequent audience interaction is amiable and funny, and he even managed to convince the entire crowd to shuffle forward to the front of the room! I was mightily impressed with Little’s work, and will happily bump him up The Shortlist. And it was his birthday on the 23rd so, on the stroke of midnight, the entire audience sprang into a Happy Birthday chorus… magic! :)

Sarah Kendall performed material I’d heard the previous night, but a lot of it – the “worst gig ever” bit, in particular – went over a bit better this evening.

I was already impressed with Xavier Michelides’ work (from Future World!), but his straight standup is equally as good, if not better. His kitchen-light-burglar bit takes a simple premise, turns it into a running joke, then goes all surreal; his quick impression – a cross between Robert de Niro and Chewbacca – was priceless.

Demi Lardner, a young regular on the Adelaide scene, is gorgeous, playing off her youthful androgynous looks for contrasting impact. Some of her two-liners never get old.

A little drinks break, and then Little is back warming up the crowd for the second set. It kicks off with Imaan (who I’d seen before, but not been overly impressed by), who did a couple of bits about stupid shit that people say to him (“What’ve you got?”… “AIDS”). He tried to pass his diminutive-height-disease on to an audience member by sneezing on them, and joked about what happens to people who insist on picking him up. It’s probably the best work I’ve seen Imaan do.

James McCann was on The Shortlist… was. I love surrealism in my comedy, but the manner in which McCann would tell his jokes, taking the audience somewhere they didn’t want to go, then stand back and smugly smirk, pleased with his own punchlines… well, it didn’t enamour him to me.

Gareth Berliner had been recommended to me by another comic during Feast last year – and he was fantastic. Short, punchy, consistently funny… clearly a top-flight comedian.

Christophe Davidson wandered in, serenaded the crowd with his guitar: “I love you… while you have that face,” he sweetly sings to one woman in the crowd, “but if that face changes I’ll have to reconsider.” It’s gentle humour on common topics, but his bit on how women change at the end of an evening – taking off high heels (de-shaping the butt), taking off the padded bra, wash off the perfect face – was just beautiful. He remains on The Shortlist.

Finally, Mickey D appeared as a surprise last-minute guest – and, as much as his humour tends to leave me cold, he actually put on a pretty decent set… although that fucking ice joke was trotted out again. If I never hear that material again it’ll be too soon.

In all, this was a bloody enjoyable show. There was no real impact on The Shortlist – a little shuffling, one removal – but I had a lot of laughs… and that’s pretty much what you’d expect from a comedy show.

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