Trevor Crook Plus One
Trevor Crook @ Austral Hotel – Red Room
8:30pm, Mon 12 Mar 2012
Trevor Crook’s standup is wonderfully dry and laconic – as experienced at a Rhino Room Late Show last year – but I was curious about whether he could hold an entire show. And maybe Trevor himself was wary of carrying the burden alone – the “Plus One” in his show’s title was there in honour of the “special guest” planned for each show.
But I’m only the fourth person to find my way upstairs to the Red Room this evening – Trevor waits for a fifth to arrive (two more bustle in later) before starting the show with an apology: things haven’t been going great. There’s no “plus one”, and no sound tech, so there’s no microphone. Still, he muses, what do you expect for five dollars? At least we had a fan.
Trevor’s style is fantastic, and totally suits the small room: he’ll mumble his jokes (seemingly to himself) and watch his own shuffling feet as he searches for his next vein of material. It’s a remarkably unassuming and raw delivery, and – despite the occasionally awkward feeling that you’re just watching a man talk to himself – it somehow makes him much more engaging than a loud comedian yelling into a microphone.
It doesn’t hurt that his material is fantastic, either; it’s dry as a bone, with lots of jokes at the expense of his spouses. His first wife, a Chinese immigrant seeking a quick visa, provided some bizarre slipper-related jokes and simmering resentment; not as much was said about his second wife, though – “she actually likes me.” Trevor also channelled stories from his dole-bludging days, with exploitation of sickness benefits providing more money; that also lead to the concept of days off being called “healthies.”
Yes, there was a bit of familiar material – but his wonderfully silly story about tunnelling from his house and inadvertently coming up in a mosque is worth hearing a dozen times. And suddenly, after another prolonged stare at his feet, Trevor announces he’s done for the night – and that’s a little sad, but it’s been a great show. Well written jokes, endearingly performed… you can’t ask for much more than that.