By Sofia Monkiewicz
At the beginning of the show, Jason Pestell addressed the fact that it was his media night and kindly offered to write his own review to save us the trouble. He added that he is his own worst critic, and would not hesitate to give himself one star. Now, while he may not be perfect, it is safe to say that his 2014 MICF show is definitely worth more than that (and if we used a star-rating system at Squirrel Comedy, one measly star would simply not suffice).
Perth-born but currently based in Adelaide, Pestell is a genuine nice-guy. His personable nature and conversational tone creates a positive atmosphere where it feels as though he could be chatting to you over a drink or two, and you want to buy the next round. Let’s Go does not have a distinct theme; instead it is a series of mostly unrelated thoughts, observations and memories that are funny without being arrogant or crude. Pestell’s material appeals to all ages. He does not swear to enhance his humour, and does not resort to cheap jokes about alcohol, sex or illegal behaviour, reaching a high-level of hilarity while maintaining a G-rating.
Stories about deaf hecklers, petrol station safety and bookstore pranks are delivered with uninhibited enthusiasm, and a cheeky tale about the perks of a cancelled flight is delightfully endearing and a lot of fun. His passion for comedy developed at a very young age (we are privileged to hear proof of this during his show), and this is made obvious by his effortless ability to fill the entire room with laughter, even if performing to a small crowd. We discover that he is a high school teacher as well as a stand-up comedian, and his anecdotes about including comedy in the classroom, along with helping school-aged children achieve their hopes and dreams, are hilarious.
Charismatic, friendly and relaxed, Pestell may not be well-known or currently drawing in major crowds, but he would no doubt perform excellently whether he was speaking to 3 or 300 audience members. He is incredibly likeable but lacks any sign of an ego, although he has perfected a comical puppy-dog-eyes look in order to get what he wants. If you’re looking to take a punt on a comic you haven’t heard of before, and are looking for someone who is entertaining without being offensive, Jason Pestell is your guy. Bring the family.
Jason Pestell performs Let’s Go at The Downstairs Lounge @ The Swanston Hotel