The Little Dum Dum Club

By Elyce Phillips

One of the great things about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is that you get the chance to see shows like ‘The Little Dum Dum Club’, where comedians from around the globe are brought together in a more informal way and you get to see them mucking around and enjoying each other’s comedic stylings.

‘The Little Dum Dum Club’ is a live recording of the popular podcast. The setup is much like a talk show. Tommy Dassalo and Karl Chandler do their thing as hosts and then three guests are brought out one at a time – by no means do you have to be a regular listener to the podcast to enjoy the live show.

The boys have had some great guests on in the past and opening night of this year’s live show was no exception. Dave O’Neil was first out. As always, he appeared to be effortlessly funny, telling a story about how he dropped Rove home from a gig when he was just starting out.

US guests Pete Holmes and Eddie Pepitone were great additions. Holmes near took over the proceedings, but it was certainly fine by the audience – the man is hilarious. Indeed, Holmes and O’Neil made for a great pairing – O’Neil’s laidback style was the perfect foil to Holmes’ manic energy.  Pepitone was a little more restrained, having just flown into the country. He did impress, however, with his non-existent improvisation skills, letting the entire audience in on what floor he and Holmes were staying on at the Medina.

Dassalo and Chandler work together brilliantly as hosts, Dassalo asking the questions and Chandler chiming in with perfectly-timed barbs. Of course, the show will be different every week, but if the quality of guests continues to be as good as opening night, ‘The Little Dum Dum Club’ is well worth checking out.

‘The Little Dum Dum Club’ is on in The Powder Room at Melbourne Town Hall, Mondays until April 15. The recording of the April 1 show will be available on Libsyn

Shows at 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival that have previously been reviewed by Squirrel Comedy.

By Lisa Clark

Waiting for reviews to come in to make a decision about what shows you are seeing this year? Well we’ve already reviewed quite a lot of shows that are on at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Of course some of the shows reviewed here may have been reworked, improved or changed in some way. Hang the DJ has a new DJ, Eddie Pepitonne’s show isn’t called Bloodbath and some of these shows will be different at every performance. Hopefully the past reviews that you will find linked here in alphabetical order will give you an idea of what to expect and help you work out what you are going to see this year. Look out for our new reviews from this years comedy festival, coming soon to Squirrel Comedy!



Aunty Donna’s first show Aunty Donna in Pants Suits got them nominated for a Golden Gibbo Award, this new show, originally performed at Melbourne Fringe 2012 made them winners of the People’s Choice Award. Aunty Donna are a sketch troupe of four guys performing very adult humour. Cathy enjoyed it and thought it was ‘a very slick production. It’s tightly scripted and well-performed.’

Aunty Donna will be late at The Portland Hotel



Ben’s show is a collaboration with the audience to explore the nature of putting on a comedy show. Elyce thought the show was fun and that’ the more the audience puts into this show, the more you will get back’.

Ben Pobjie will be on at Gertrude’s Brown Couch



I adored Eddie when I first saw him in Edinburgh at the recording of Stuart Goldsmiths’  Comedian’s Comedian podcast. I knew I had to see his solo show Blood Bath and was not disappointed. I described him as ‘arse-achingly funny’.

Eddie’s solo show is on at 11pm on April 5th at Victoria Hotel – Banquet Room

He’ll be doing seven shows as part of Headliners

and there will be a showing of his documentary Bitter Buddha is on at the Hifi Bar 4pm on April 6th



Felicity’s only appearance at this year’s comedy festival will be a reprise of her stunning, hilarious and moving show The Hedgehog Dilema. She’s filming it for prosperity and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was one of the first shows I saw last year and her story stayed with me for a long time. ‘Her ability to keep the audience in stitches throughout all of this is a testament to her stunning talent.’

The Hedgehog Dilemma will be on at the Atheneum Theatre on April 15



Cathy thought that it was criminal that Louise Joy McCrae and Nicolette Minster don’t have higher comedy profiles on the Australian Comedy Scene in her review from Melbourne Fringe 2012

They’re performing at Portland Hotel in the Portland Room



This now has a different DJ to the one reviewed at Melbourne Fringe 2012. But Andy is still there in a show where he gets to share his passion for music and hilarious tales of being a DJ. Colin said ‘This fusion of comedy, music and dancing was a brilliant way to end an evening.’

Hang the DJ is on late at Trades Hall in the Quilt Room<



Originally directed by Julia Zemiro for the 2012 Melbourne Fringe, I thought this one woman play was ‘a  pretty light and fluffy soufflé of a show that would suit a girls’ night out or hen’s night’

Aleisha will be performing at Trades Hall – The Meeting Room til April 7th



When I first saw Live on Air it was really a work in progress but I still found it very entertaining and Telia was ‘able to consistently create new ways to make her audience laugh with her clever poetry and personas.’ She’s apparently put a lot of work in it since so it should be a pretty fabulous show.

Live on Air will be on at The Northcote Town Hall



Based on his own true experience appearing on Today Tonight and Cathy thought it was ‘a cracker’

Today Tonight, Tomorrrow the World will be at Comedy on Collins at The Scots Church Assembly Hall



In the tradition of Alan Partridge and Dame Edna amongst other purveyors of Theatre of Cruelty, Rob Hunter’s interview show satirises chat shows while being pretty mean to the guests, who are mostly in on the joke. Our reviewer wasn’t when he saw it at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival and did not have a very good time as he explained ‘ The MICF blurb about this show being “uncomfortably tense” and “not for the squeamish” was a freaking understatement for me personally’ Well if Rob Hunter is hoping to provoke strong reactions, it certainly worked with Andrew who gifted Rob with the poster quote ‘I fucking hated this show’ . We’ll be giving another reviewer a go at it this year.

Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter is on at Melb Town Hall  in the Cloak Room



Simon Munnery has been around a long time is always up to something creative, original and silly. We think Simon is a comedy genius and this was the highlight of Colin’s 2012 Edinburgh Fringe. He describes it thusly; ‘Broadcast via video link from the middle of the room, he performs sketches, monologues, puppetry and songs to camera using all sorts of video trickery to create a unique and hilarious show.’

Simon is performing at The Victoria Hotel in the Vic’s Bar



This was a show that blew the minds of everyone who saw it at last year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival. You came out wondering ‘What the hell was that?’ and ‘Why am I still still laughing hours later?’ Beautifully designed, sharply written with clever catchy songs, surprises and lots of rude bits. Colin said ‘It’s a sick, twisted and perverted play that’s gutbustingly hilarious.’

Slutmonster will be Strutting her stuff at the Northcote Town Hall



Alasdair gives us two shows for the price of one in what Cathy describes as ‘some entertaining and delightfully original comedy’

Trying Hard is on at the Forum Theatre – Carpet Room



Victoria Healy is not very comfortable with her body but manages to spend an hour exploring it for laughs. Elyce described Healy as ‘a quick-witted and talented comedic performer, who is only getting better and better at her craft.’

Victoria is on at the Imperial Hotel

Set List: Stand-up Without A Net. The TV Series.

By Jayden Edwards

“Set List- Stand up Without a Net” the international hit show that has comedians shitting themselves the world over, is coming to our TV screens.

Set List invites willing comedians to jump up on stage and tackle a never before seen list of topics and spin out a fully improvised routine in front of a live audience.

The original concept is the brainchild of US comedians and film makers Troy Conrad and Paul Provenza. After experimenting with the show in comedy rooms in and around Los Angeles, Set List has set up shop around the world in front of sell out crowds, including London, Edinburgh and at our own Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The show has attracted some of comedies biggest names and delighted audiences, giving them the clearest possible view of a comedians inner-most workings. All this hype eventually attracted the attention of UK Television network Sky Atlantic, who commissioned the 14 part series, showing here on ABC2.

The TV series was filmed in the US and the UK last year and sees the likes of Robin Williams, Ross Noble, Drew Carey, Tim Minchin, Rove McManus and more, take on the Set List challenge.

Episode one, premiering 9.00pm Thursday January 24 on ABC2, sees Robin Williams, Matt Kirshen and Eddie Pepitone step up to the mic. All very different comedians, it’s great to see how they approach the task in their own style. Robin, as you’d expect, pulls out some wacky voices and whimsical tales to get him through, while Eddie employs a lot of swearing and yelling to keep the laughs coming while he’s thinking. Yeah, some of the jokes miss, but the fun in Set List is seeing the comedians find the hits, it’s like a spectator sport, everyone loves a car crash as much as a triumph!

The TV format adds another layer to the successful live show by mixing the comedians performances with behind the scenes footage and pre and post show interviews, so you really get to see the acts sweat and panic before jumping up on stage, and their reaction straight after their set. The camera gets right in the comedians faces during their set, showing their gears turning and brows sweating. These are all great techniques that puts the viewer on the other side of the fence, it feels like it’s you and the comedian vs the audience, a whole different experience to being an audience member at the live show.

Set Lists transition to television was always at risk of losing it’s edge and underground live room feel, but the doco style filming, basic set and lack of host ensure none of that is lost, no glitz, just raw stand up inprov.

The show is produced for the UK, so there’s a few names that may not be so familiar with Aussie audiences, but plenty that will. Hopefully they’ll film some in Melbourne in the future!

Set List the TV show is a highly entertaining, nerve-wracking journey into the unknown, make sure you check it out.

Starts 9.00pm Thursday January 24 on ABC2

Eddie Pepitone’s Bloodbath

By Lisa Clark

There’s been a bit of buzz about town about Eddie Pepitone being a “Comedian’s Comedian” and there were certainly a few up the back the night I saw him. Eddie’s not sure how to take this as comedians can be a weird lot, often taking joy in another comedian’s self destruction. I think the reason that he stands out is that his act actually has a style and structure that goes back to the comedy of the great lounge style American comedians such as Bob Hope, Don
Rickles, but pairs this with the modern style self mocking and deprecation of Larry David, then throws in some surreal stories about made up characters and versions of himself that are silly and scary and arse-achingly funny.

There is an overall sense of Jeckle and Hyde about Eddie’s performance of taking us to dark places and shouting obscene, angry thoughts but then he always turns it around to show us the daggy, silly man behind the cloak, giggling at his own nerve. It’s a deconstructional side that hints at some of Daniel Kitson’s work and is just as endearing although there are times when I feel a bit disappointed that Eddie keeps pulling back as if afraid the audience won’t go all the way with him into the darkness.

The reason Eddie’s style is connecting with a modern audience is that it all comes from a real place. He’s not a political comedian, though he’s angry at society and he’s not an observational comedian, though there are a lot of things that happen that he can’t stand, the stories are all about himself, his feelings and experiences. His comedy comes from random ideas from his daily life and he works on them, often in front of an audience to build them out into a solid routine. Older style comedians often had gag writers create the jokes for them, Eddie’s act clearly comes from his heart and soul and luckily they’re both highly amusing.

Eddie Pepitone’s Boodbath is playing at Just the Tonic at The Caves