Ben Darsow in 30 Minutes
Ben Darsow @ Gluttony – The Pig Pen
8:15pm, Mon 11 Mar 2013
I’ve often lamented that some comedians have performed miracles in an ensemble setting – they’ve got a perfect five- or ten-minute chunk of material that matches the mood of the evening – yet fail spectacularly in a setting where they’ve got a crowd to themselves for the best part of an hour. So I’m secretly a little pleased when I see comedy shows peg themselves under the hour that seems de rigueur… and, having seen Ben Darsow perform at a few ensemble shows in the past, I figured it’d be pretty hard for a thirty-minute show of his to go wrong.
And, given Darsow’s rapid-fire delivery of one- or two-liners, the shortened length of the show feels perfect. From the moment he hits the stage, there’s a freneticism about Darsow’s delivery – he’s got a ton of jokes to get through, so there’s no time for dilly-dallying around. Even the audience interactions are brief and focussed: throwing a fast “HelloWhatDoYouDo” to an audience member (tonight we had a scientist, an image processor, and a dog catcher) either results in an immediate joke or an expedient retraction… there’s no painful attempts to find the funny in the person.
In fact, there’s no need to find the funny in the audience at all, because Darsow brings it all with him. Whether it’s tales of speeding, or N-jokes with his Sudanese housemate, or swapping washing powder with cocaine, the jokes come thick and fast; the near-full room barely has time to catch their breath before it’s over.
And when the show is over, you’re left with the feeling that there was very, very little filler material in those thirty minutes. And, whilst the content may have been familiar to anyone who’s seen Darsow perform around the traps before, it’s all solid material – and the enthusiasm with which it’s performed, along with the breakneck pace, make this a very compelling show.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 11, 2013