my melbourne trip o' laughs
Every year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival brings great comedians not only to Melbourne, but also to tour other cities around the same time. It's my favourite time of year. I'm on a stricter budget just now as I'm buying a friend's car in about four weeks time, so I chose just three shows to see from the many, many available: Danny Buoy, Judith Lucy and Adam Hills (of purple balloon fame).
And then I got a call from the people at Thank God You're Here! Turns out the studio audience tickets I requested last year finally came up. TGYH is an improvisational comedy show. Each guest (mostly well-known comedians) walks into a scene, with only their costume as some sort of hint as to who they are. They need to figure out their character and respond to various prompts on the fly. To give you a taste of what the show's like here's a fabulous TGYH piece from Cal Wilson:
Well, the taping date they offered me was right in the middle of the comedy festival. So I had to see some more comedy shows, right? I mean I couldn't go to Melbourne during the festival and not see any comedy - it just wouldn't be right! So my 2009 entertainment budget suddenly expanded to include Potted Potter (fun, but more fun for kids), The Delusionists in Bunker Five (small budget production I can't recommend highly enough ~ if you're in Melbourne, check it out), Fiona McLoughlin and (drum roll please)...Janeane Garofalo (awesome).
I was in Melbourne for three days and it was so great. Carl Barron was a guest on the TGYH episode we watched, which was a treat. Brian Nankervis was the audience wrangler ~ there were lollies and juggling and jokes ~ he was great.
As a nice bonus, I met Janeane Garofalo in the park on Sunday. She was gracious about me interrupting her reading and I was pleased to hear she'd like to come back for another comedy festival. I'd definitely go see her again.
I happened to be sitting (also doing some reading) in a very quiet, blocked off Collins St when 500 or so people walking the 'Way of the Cross' for Good Friday descended in orderly fashion on their way to the next huge, old, beautiful Melbourne church on their list. At each stop they read a scripture and sang - it was quite beautiful (a fabulous tenor was leading the crowd in the hymns) and I travelled along with them for a few stops before heading into the city for lunch. Nice way to be reminded that it was Easter.
I'm determined that one year I'm going to take two weeks leave, go to Melbourne and wallow in the comedy festival goodness. It's going to happen, people. It is.
And simply for your listening pleasure, David O'Doherty on Spicks and Specks performing his song, 'Very Mild Superpowers':