Asaf Gerchak – The Only Happy Man in Sadtown

By Lisa Clark

Canadian standup comedian Asaf Gerchaf has lived in many cities in the world, including Melbourne at one point, but he’s not been here for a few years and it’s great to see him again. He’s been going through a rough time, but you have to read between the lines to realise it.

Asaf’s style is less breezy, cheery, charm and more bullet train cheery charm. He’s loud (which can be important when there are musical comedy acts in the venues on either side) and fast, so keep up. This is not a relaxed rough round the edges type, late night act, this is carefully constructed storytelling comedy.

Early on Asaf tries to suggest that Canadians are not as nice as their preceding reputation and then throughout the show goes on to completely refute this by describing the lovely relationship he has with his arts loving family, how much he likes public transport because he sees how beneficial it is to society and in his refusal to go into any detail about the break up that has left him lonely and Sleepless in Toronto.

Big cities don’t normally make him feel isolated, but a broken relationship and new friends who don’t know him well enough to help have left him suddenly emotionally isolated. Asaf is determined not to wallow, but it would be nice if he shared a bit more about his feelings. Maybe it’s too soon to joke about it. The section on politics is not the strongest part, but again shows how nice Asaf is, that he can see from the other point of view. We learn a bit about his family but very little about the inner workings of Asaf, except that he is trying to stay positive and avoid the clichés.

There is a warm up act for some reason; tonight’s is Nick Quon who, in complete contrast to Asaf, mostly did some relaxed crowd work, and was pleasant, but not up to Asaf’s level of experience. I always say, a festival show that runs a bit short is always superior to a festival show that runs long, especially late at night. So a warm up act to fill time is not necessary but I guess it can be a good way for audiences to get a taste of other comedians at the festival. I’m sure Asak has over an hour’s worth of material but it speeds out at such a mighty pace, that he has room for Nick to open.

If you are looking for some friendly, storytelling comedy later in the evening (earlier on Mondays) without props, audience participation or a single dick in it, Asaf Gerchak is a pretty good choice.

The Only Happy Man in Sadtown is on at The Imperial Hotel until April 22

5 Good Reasons to see a show at The Imperial during MICF

We love supporting smaller independent venues away from The Town Hall during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, ’cause lets face it, everyone knows about that venue – they really don’t need any of our help. We were sad to say goodbye to the little bar Rue Rabelons as a venue in Melbourne, but we’re happy to announce a new venue for the festival up the posh end of town, opposite the Government House – The Imperial Hotel. The comedy there is being curated by Angela Thompson and Micah D Higbed. It will have 2 rooms running through the festival with a variety of young and up and coming performers giving it a great vibe. They had their own mini Gala on Thursday night where host Jimmy James Eaton and performers Tom Ward, Victoria Healy and Neil Sinclair (above) gave us a great taste of what’s to come. So with fourteen shows to choose from, a bar and some yummy pub food deals on offer, don’t forget to hop on a tram and pop up to The Imperial during the festival this year.

5 Good Reasons to see a show at The Imperial during MICF

1) There are 14 great shows on in the one venue!

1. Andy Matthews & Tony Besselink – Atchieve Nothing
2. Balderdash (Tim Clark & Liam Ryan)
3. Dave Fairclough – In Love
4. Elliot Cyngler is Too Small to Function
5. Jason Geary & Jimmy James Eaton – Sketch-ual Healing
6. Jonathan Schuster’s Chrysalis
7. Micah D Higbed – Noteworthy
8. Neil Sinclair – Phoney
9. Sam Peterson, Natalie Harris & Nick Quon – 3 Little Gigs
10. Sullivan & Bok
11. The Time Machine
12. These Kids Are Good
13. Victoria Healy’s Anatomy
14. Xavier Toby – White Trash

2) The shows are all cheap. Most are $15 full price. Some are even cheaper. Also, cheap student tickets on the door.

3) Independently produced! We’ve even kitted the place out ourselves. BYO stage? Yes siree.

4) The Imperial has great food, and they are doing even more special specials during MICF. They also have a top notch drinks selection.

5) All the shows are great. We don’t have any duds, hidden away in a smaller font. They are ALL THE SAME FONT SIZE!

Check out for updates on the shows, pics, giveaways and competitions. We’re also on @ImpyComedy if you’re in to that kind of thing.

The Imperial Hotel is at 2 – 8 Bourke St Melbourne on the corner of Spring St.

See the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Guide and website for show details