[2014094] Pete Johansson

[2014094] Pete Johansson

Pete Johansson @ Rhino Room – Howling Owl

10:00pm, Fri 7 Mar 2014

It had been a bloody good day for comedy so far – starting good and building to brilliant, I had wondered whether one more comedy act would be pushing the theme of the day a little bit too far. After all, I knew nothing about Pete Johansson (other than his wacky Guide précis), but SA Comedy superhero Craig Egan bigged him up, so… I wound up back in the half-full Howling Owl. And I must admit that there was a moment of fear when Johansson – after gently rolling through his Canadian introductory spiel – warned us that he was trying out some new material… that we might miss some of his top-flight jokes.

But if that was his “in progress material”, then I can’t imagine what it would be like when it’s polished. Because I just about wept tears of lunacy for much of his set.

Johansson’s style initially appears to be unremarkable – accent aside, he’s got a very familiar stand-up delivery. But you’re soon getting caught up in his enthusiasm, which he drives with his variations in pitch – his little-girl-woman voice has just enough heart to not be disrespectful, and his emphasis tones are golden. But the variations of his delivery speed really suck me in – he’ll drop from regular joke-merchant to high-speed data pummeller at the drop of a hat, and it’s an utterly bewitching effect.

In terms of material, it seems like pretty standard fare – sex, drugs, travel, and the occasional gentle (well, he is Canadian) political statement – but two jokes alone were worth their weight in gold. The first addressed a muslim-hating friend, which devolved into a fantastic bee-inspired rant; the second was a tiptoeing-on-the-edge discussion of his wife’s rape fantasy, which featured an angry use of the phrase “you’re not a very good rapist.”

But even if those two jokes hadn’t been in the set, Pete Johansson still would have been well worth the effort. Jokes that are deep and creative and a little more obscure than the average fare, delivered by an incredibly likeable chap with an appealing delivery… what’s not to love?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *