David O’Doherty – Let’s Comedy
David O’Doherty @ Nova Cinema 2
11:30pm, Fri 20 Mar 2009
David O’Doherty was someone I’ve been meaning to see ever since I did some comedy “research” in the form of consumption of the Edinburgh and Beyond series. “Nice style,” I thought, “well worth a look.”
Unfortunately, poor planning meant that the only time I could squeeze his show in was this late show. On a Clipsal Friday Night.
Now – I really didn’t want to head over that side of town any night that the Clipsal 500 was on; but that desire was ever-so-slightly overwhelmed by the need to check O’Doherty out. And, wandering down Rundle Street past people passed out on footpaths, vomiting in gutters, and yelling incoherently in my ear as I walked past, I wasn’t really sure I’d made the right decision.
However, I made it safely into the Nova. Found a nice safe seat in amongst the three-quarters-full crowd. Then, to much yelling and applause, O’Doherty came on.
And I’d love to wax lyrical about his comedy, but I can’t, really… because this performance was dominated by the audience. In fact, O’Doherty probably only held centre-stage for half the gig. Yes, after a wonderful self-introduction from behind the curtain, there was some gentle humour, only really veering into the crude when discussing dolphin ejaculation facts; but the rest of his time was spent dealing with drunken audience shenanigans.
Every minute or two, someone was ducking out for a piss; O’Doherty made the mistake of asking the first such fleeting deserter what he was doing, and thereafter every bloke on a piss break would announce their intention. His first audience mark, nicknamed The Governor (in lieu of comprehending whatever was slurred in response to an identity query), presented O’Doherty with a Planning Institute of Australia conference satchel upon his urinary return; upping the ante, one team brought a nappy-change table that they’d nicked from the toilets. The stage rapidly became littered with crap, the crowd became more and more convinced they were part of the show, the Dublin Guy thought he was funnier than the guy on stage, and… well, it was a shamozzle.
Only when O’Doherty announced that he was going to play a song did he wrest a semblance of control back from the audience; they started yelling names of his (apparently quite popular and well-known to everybody but me) jingles out, with the Text Message Song getting an outing. Which is funny and all, but…
Ah fuck it. I know this show wasn’t the best way to determine a comedian’s worth – he was basically on a hiding-to-nothing this evening. And I suppose O’Doherty was worth a chuckle or two. And I guess he handled the audience pretty well (all things considered). But I don’t think I’ll be putting him high on my must-see list again anytime soon.