Binge Thinking
Xavier Toby @ Gluttony – Funny Pork
5:00pm, Fri 2 Mar 2012
I knew nothing about Xavier Toby, but I was attracted by three simple words in his précis – “we’re getting dumber,” he proposes. A favourable early timeslot on an otherwise awkward evening ensured that I got a chance to sample his wares, as I shared a near-capacity Funny Pork tent with a less-than-pleasant sticky humidity.
Toby’s got a pleasant, straight-up Australian style, and he opened strongly: a dolphin-fucking joke that just kept on giving in more and more outlandish ways. Eventually the absurdity peters out, and he settles in on the story that forms the core of the show: a dinner party with Xavier and three old mates and their wives, the group catching up after not having seen each other for seven years.
There’s a nice use of props as Toby introduces the other six people at dinner via their drinks: a pair of decent-quality wines, a longneck of Pale paired with a bottle of Frangelico, and a cask of red coupled with a bladder of something indescribable. Topics of conversation are introduced via the Three Things You Don’t Discuss – religion, politics, and money – leading to jokes about the catholic church, asylum seekers, and the environment. Xavier poses himself as the reasonable outcast, poking fun at the strongly held beliefs of the other couples; but, in doing so, he essentially ostracises himself from everyone else at the dinner party… which itself proves to be a great source of amusement.
I quite enjoyed Xavier Toby’s work: though his style doesn’t really stand out from a plethora of other Australian comedians, his material tended to be a little more intelligent than average. The act still needs a little bit of trimming – something Toby himself is aware of, as he butters us up: “I like you guys – you laugh at the funny jokes, and are quiet at the rest.” But by my reckoning, there was at least forty minutes of solid laughter in there, making this a pretty worthwhile effort.