A BIG YEAR’S ROUND UP AND 5 VERY GOOD SHOWS OF 2017

By Lisa Clark

In 2017 I decided to set a challenge for myself to write up every show that I saw in my Lisa’s Live Comedy Big Year Blog. Well. As you can see, it became harder to keep up with in the second half of the year, even though it seems that is when things are usually quieter, I was wrong and life stayed pretty busy and when it was not it was because I was ill. I still kept other records of my gigs and so was able to list them all, but not reviews sadly, so I don’t have reviews of a lot of my comedy experiences for the last part of the year. I also wanted to keep a pictorial record of gigs, but it’s not always possible to take photos and even in the regular comedy rooms, I was not good at taking subtle photos and got caught out and commented upon/told off. Then my flash went off by mistake. Arrrggghhh! So I gave up on my own photos and got some much better ones from room runners or friends with more experience.

Of course I spent a lot of time at my regular comedy haunt Local Laughs, but managed to visit several other rooms as well. I have had a lot of wonderful comedy experiences this year, especially during the trip to the UK which included seeing Daniel Kitson’s Something Other Than Everything at the Roundhouse in London and two weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where highlights included seeing The Doug Anthony Allstars still making jaws drop in their home away from home, new discovery Jayde Adams just blowing the room away at The Pleasance media showcase with her surprising vocal talent and the hilarious story that goes with it, seeing Yianni do his best work in some time because it came from his life and his heart, Adam Vincent slaying packed rooms with deep dark tales of suburbia and playing interactive Wifi Wars at midnight.

Other highlights of the year include the final shows of the debauched boutique comedy legend that was The Shelf and in particular the performance of Fringe Wives Club who brought the house down and made everyone rush out to see their show.  Andy Zaltzman did the searing political comedy, Plan Z, that everyone had expected from  Ex Bugler John Oliver when he last toured and finally I adored Sammy J’s Magnum Opus – Hero Compex for a 2nd time, to find it had evolved, as the story had in real life and it was joyful to watch everyone’s jaw dropping and howling with laughter as the story unfolded, knowing where it was going. Under the radar: Not enough people were talking about UK comedian Kieran Hodgson at MICF but my goodness Maestro was a gorgeous show and the joyful weirdness of Aussie duo The Lioness who’s show  Peggy Babcock, Peggy Babcock, Peggy Babcock had a much too short run in an out of the way venue.

Its always hard sorting out a shortlist of the best comedy shows. I have picked out 5 outstanding experiences and they are set down in the order that I saw them.

 

5 VERY GOOD SHOWS OF 2017

Wil Anderson Fire at Wil at The Comedy Theatre, Melbourne. January 22

Lineup: Wil Anderson, Supported by Justin Hamilton

Wil Anderson

January’s highlight was definitely seeing Wil Anderson and Justin Hamilton in a theatre full of excited fans. Both consummate comedians at the top of their game.  Am determined to see Wil’s solo show this year and looking forward to it. I’ve been missing seeing Justin around the traps since he moved to Sydney but am hoping to see more of Wil Anderson, now he’s taken a job in Melbourne breakfast radio.

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette April 6 

Hannah Gadsby

Hannah’s final festival show was indeed a showstopper. It was a show about the Zeitgeist, about equal rights, about truth – in life and in comedy, about standing up and being listened to. It was powerful, moving and of course funny. A masterpiece of Standup. During her interview on Comedian’s Comedian at MICF, Stuart Goldsmith shrewdly asked what would happen if this amazing show won all the awards, like The Barry and even the Edinburgh Fringe Best Comedy award?

Would she still quit comedy? Well all of those predictions have come to pass (including a Helpmann Award along the way) and Hannah is still going strong. Having sold out many shows at the Victorian Arts Centre and The Sydney Opera House she is adding further shows this month to the Opera House, followed by Perth and then a month from February in London at the Soho Theatre. They are selling out.

All comedians should go out on this sort of high. The world is her oyster and she’s certainly making the most of it all. Whatever she chooses to do next, I wish her all the happiness.

My review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11198

Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson – The Craig Ferguson Show, Gilded Balloon @ Rose Theatre, Edinburgh. August 7 

Craig Ferguson’s quirky tonight show was a staple in our house and I’m missing his Peabody Award winning interviewing style on late night TV. I’ve been hoping he might at least tour his standup comedy here in Australia, as he has happy memories of performing here in the 80s (as do I), but sadly there is no sign of this, especially as he is now busily hosting a successful drive time radio show. Craig decided to record some of his radio shows live from Edinburgh, taking advantage of all of the gathered performers from around the world to appear as guests, and all of the Squirrels were lucky enough to attend in the wee hours of the Festival. The Rose is a lovely old theatre in the New Town with a great atmosphere and the packed audience had an awesome time.  The live radio broadcast lasted for 2 hours and consisted of two very entertaining in-depth chats with performers who were often old friends of Craig. In our case an old close friend impressionist/comedian Jan Ravens and Scottish writer Iain Rankin. Ron later saw the show with guests Daniel Sloss and Tommy Tiernan and Craig had Aunty Donna on the show towards the end of the run. Its a pity there is no podcasts of these recordings and that the radio show is not broadcast outside of the Americas.

Childproof the Podcast Recording at The Bella Union Bar, Carlton. September 20-22 

Tony Martin, Cristina Laria, Damian Cowel, Roz Hammond, Gerraldine Quinn

Episodes 1 to 6 over three nights – written by Tony Martin & Serina Rowell

Performed by Tony Martin, Geraldine Quinn, Roz Hammond, Andrew McClelland, Damian Cowell, Lachy Hulme, Djovan Caro, Simon Rogers, Casey Bennetto, Serina Rowell, Cristina Laria, Sam Petersen and Jay Mueller as the Narrator.

A brilliant sitcom in 6 episodes about a couple who chooses to be childless while they navigate the changing, diminishing, modern workplace in radio and book publishing and their changing, diminishing friendships as their friends succumb to parenthood and all that entails. The episodes are easily as entertaining & funny as other recent Australian ABC comedies, so it’s surprising that they were knocked back for Television broadcast. The talented performers were all having a ball playing the various characters and Jay Mueller made a brilliant honey tongued Narrator. This was a unique and special experience this year.

These shows were recorded for podcasting and so you can listen to them all here.

Tessa Waters and Laura Davis

Frocking Hilarious at The Comedy Theatre, Melbourne. November 17th 

Denise Scott, Cal Wilson, Fiona O’Loughlin, Anne Edmonds, Celia Pacquoa, Demi Ladner, Tessa Waters, Laura Davis, Kelly Fastuca, Geraldine Quinn, Double Denim.

A fundraiser for Action Aid curated by the inimitable comedy goddess Janet A Mcleod. All of the performers brought their A Game and there was not a weak spot on the night. It really felt like a Comedy Gala and we were all pretty privileged to be there laughing our arses off. Great to have a majority of women in the audience too. It wasn’t just some of the best Australian women in comedy it was some of the best Australian comedy on stage.

 

LISA’S LIVE COMEDY BIG YEAR 2017 – http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?page_id=10666

Tony Martin – The Arse/Elbow Equation

By Elyce Phillips Tony-Martin-Arse-Elbow-Equation

There are few people in the Australian comedy scene more revered than Tony Martin. Since his early days with the D-Generation, he has earned a reputation for hard work and incredible wit through his output on TV and radio. The Arse/Elbow Equation serves to confirm that Martin is well-deserving of the hype. It is an utterly hilarious hour of storytelling, filled with clever prose and fantastic character work.

In this new show, Martin tells tales of getting older. He turned 50 last year, but still finds himself muddling through life. The only thing that has changed is the unexpected introduction of invasive medical procedures. The Arse/Elbow Equation highlights Martin’s fantastic skill at turning everyday occurrences, like a trip to the bank or the video store, into incisive works of comedy genius. There are no gimmicks here – most of the show is observational humour – but it feels fresh and insightful. Martin may not feel like he has mastered life, but he has certainly mastered this medium.

The stage is clearly his natural habitat. Whether it’s a personal story or a pitch-perfect impersonation, Martin delivers his material with complete ease. The audience was kept in fits of laughter, with barely a chance to catch their breath.

Martin is a comedy legend that has lost none of his spark with the passage of time. He’s the comedian that other comedians come to see, and for good reason. If you get the opportunity to see this show, snap tickets up as fast as you can. This is dizzy stuff, folks.

The Arse/Elbow Equation is on at the Fringe Hub – Meeting Room until October 3, however tickets are currently sold out for the rest of the run.

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/8f88eea7-bc23-4556-9258-258020dd779b

Damian Cowell Hara-Karaoke

By Lisa Clark Damian Cowell

In early 2015 it was announced that for the first time, for some inexplicable reason, Australia was going to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. There were lots of ideas for who should represent our great and distant southern land but one name rose out of the throng. “Send TISM” the people cried and despite the fact that TISM hadn’t performed together since 2006, a petition was created and signed, by thousands. Unfortunately it looks like TISM has not been chosen, but in Hara-Karaoke ex TISM (This is Serious Mum) singer Damian Cowell imagines; what would happen if they were?

The answer to that is a low fi dystopian sci fi musical set in the distant future of 2525. Damian is giving us the hour long concert version of “Eurovision Ruined My Life – The musical” and the first song ‘Where are They Now – 2015’, sets the scene. The world and Damian’s life is going into a bit of a tragic decline. Further songs describing his fall into debauchery and disgrace include an insightful attack on the gambling industry and a surprisingly romantic tune about his relationship with Danni who works at Dan Murphy’s bottle shop.  He also manages to pop in some top tunes from his current album ‘Jesus Barista Superstar’ and ‘Folk Music Turned me Into a Fascist’.

Last time I saw Damian Cowell it was a few months ago at the Corner Hotel as he debuted his current disco-themed album Damien Cowells Disco Machine with all the trimmings, a fab band that included two sets of drums (like Adam & the Ants), two gorgeous backup girl singers who played various instruments and a slew of guest performers like Shaun Micallef and Tony Martin, who appear on his album. There were disco balls, lights, costumes and screens showing lyrics and pictures. At the centre of it all was the charismatic, gracefully aging rock star Damian Cowell, occasionally fiddling with his laptop. At last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival Damian performed as DC3 with two band members and a sound and visual show that bombarded the audience overloading us with information. Hara-Karaoke is a completely stripped back affair. Just Damian and his laptop from which he controls projections of lyrics and some pictures in a small room. Everything is focused and clear which is perfect to bring his brilliant comedy to the fore.

Along with the vicious satire and the killer songs Damian often surprises with some rather adorable silliness and traditional jokes.  I enjoyed his ‘honest adverts’, not a new idea but well executed and is at the heart of Damian’s comedy mindset. A direct, angry, politically left look at the society around him. The darkest he gets is in his musings on mortality in ‘Fuck, I’m dead’ and his naff impression of Guy Sebastian singing one of TISM’s filthiest songs is definitely worth the price of admission. TISM fans will be sated by the finale created especially for them.

Damian Cowell is doing searing political musical comedy. He’s might be new to the comedy world but he’s been doing it for years and knows how to entertain an audience. Bring your brains to this one and jump into the boiling mire, you’re in the dexterous hands of a legend.

Damian Cowell – Hara-Karaoke is on at The Forum until April 19

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2015/season/shows/hara-karaoke-damian-cowell

Interview with Tony Martin.

By Lisa Clark

Tony Martin is a legend in Australian comedy with a huge loyal fanbase of punters and comedians alike. There are not many performers with fan websites lovingly devoted to previous work such as The Late Show (www.champagnecomedy.com), Martin/Molloy (www.martin-molloy.org) or Get This (http://www.rampantstupidity.net/) to name a few, years after the programs stopped airing. Tony is the dream guest for most podcasters and the dream interviewee for this Squirrel. He was kind enough to find one and a half hours for an interview during this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.

If this were an old media article, the interview would be, no doubt, significantly edited, but as space isn’t an issue here I’ve only edited it for grammar and the occasional potentially libelous content. He made me laugh throughout and mimicked most of the voices that he quotes.

Tony has been very busy recently working on Upper Middle Bogan on the ABC and is looking forward to the release in the UK of Ross Noble’s new series Freewheeling for which he was a Creative Producer. When I interviewed him Tony was in the middle of the Melbourne Fringe Festival run of The Yeti (in which he performs a whole chapter from his autobiographical book Lollyscramble) his first Solo Festival show in thirteen years, at the adorably kitschy Butterfly Club. His last solo festival show was A Quiet Word with Tony Martin in 2000. Though he did read out some stories from Lollyscramble in Tony Martin Reads Stuff Out at The Bella Union Bar in 2011 and has popped up in literary festivals and comedy rooms occasionally, such as his regular appearances at The Shelf over the last couple of years which always sets off waves of excitement around Melbourne. He gives some insight here of what may have shied him away from comedy festivals and sounds positive if a little nervous about his return.

Tony also gives us a lot of fabulous information about early live performances by him and comedy friends in Melbourne, for those out there keen to update Wikipedia or fan pages. He kindly offers up an idea for a government grant, documentary or possible PHD study, and confides in us his secret to a long career in comedy.
He also reveals that Ross Noble is actually a Superhero.

 

Lisa: How has the run of The Yeti been?

Tony: It’s been good, what I’ve learnt is, it’s the sort of show I should’ve done earlier in the evening. I’ve done eight O’Clock shows and nine O’Clock shows & it goes considerably better at eight O’Clock and I’ve realised that in the nine O’Clock shows people have had a lot more to drink and I think they are expecting it to just be normal standup. I have noticed in the later shows that there are a lot of drinks on the stage and as I’m essentially performing a play I can’t really refer to too many things. The first two were at eight O’Clock and they went really well. The next three went OK but they were really only laughing at the big jokes. Then I went back to eight O’Clock last night and it was the best it’s ever gone. So I thought ‘Note to Self: only do things like this early’.

 

Lisa: What is it like saying the same thing over and over? At least stand up can be tweaked but The Yeti is a form of verbatim theatre.

Tony: I’ve snuck in two extra jokes, but apart from that, it is actually word for word.

Well the reason I did it really is because I had so many people asking me to do the story, whenever I do book festivals and things. You can’t really read it out, because it’s got all those character voices, so it demands to be acted. One idea was to turn it into stand up. Although I remember, years before I wrote Lollyscramble, I did actually do a version of The Yeti in standup and it absolutely died in the arse. I realised later that in order to get the story down a standup length of about three minutes I had to sort of accelerate it and smooth it out and I don’t think anyone believed it. People were looking at me like ‘No way that happened.’ Whereas, when you’ve got fifty minutes you can leave in all the messy real life stuff. I was thinking of actually converting it to standup but so many of the laughs are in the narration, in the way the narration is so sort of flowerily worded as opposed to the rather blunt things the characters are saying… you just learn. Franklin Ajay was in the audience last night and he was saying to me afterwards (Tony doing an impression of Franklin) “You could turn that into a kind of a sitcom like Fawlty Towers, you know all those characters living in that house” And I’m thinking, Yeah, but what he hadn’t noticed is that so many of the laughs actually come from the reaction of the narrator to the things that are said. If you stripped away the narration it’d be quite ordinary actually. So in the end I thought yeah; I’ll just perform it exactly the way it’s written and because so much work had gone into editing that story for the book, I remember thinking, well, the work’s been done.  I could spend two months trying to turn it into a more standuppy show but  at the end of that there’d be as much work as went into the actual writing of that story or the whittling down really of that material. They’re very hard stories to…

When you write you basically take everything you can remember and then you just throw it on the floor and go “Right, is there a story in all of this or is just a bunch of anecdotes? What is the difference between an anecdote and a story?” And of course because it is something that was said twenty years ago, your memory only remembers odd things. It’s funny but when you ask someone to describe ‘OK you lived in a house twenty years ago, what do you remember of that year?’ you won’t remember everything in order, you’ll remember really odd, particular things, you will have forgotten months of mundane activity. So it’s a very odd series of building blocks to try to construct a story from, as opposed to if you were writing a fictional story about some people living in a house. You’d go ‘Well I need a bit so I can get from there to there, I need a proper ending. Whereas those biographical stories are ones where you’ve got to make a story from the only available parts which are the bits you can remember.

 

Lisa: There is so much information in your stories, we get some evidence of your hoarding of keepsakes at the end of The Yeti, but do you keep a diary at all?

Tony: I don’t now, it’s a pain in the arse. I just did this big tour around England with Ross Noble and we’re working 12 – 16 hour days and the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is write a diary, but because I was in England, I actually made myself write a diary every night, sometimes for two and a half hours

Lisa: Wow

Tony: So I’ve only started doing that lately, but I don’t really keep a diary but I’ve always kept notes of things people say, because what I’ve discovered is that someone says something funny in a conversation, even if it’s hilarious, when you come to tell someone three days later, you’ve usually changed the wording, you’ve usually forgotten the wording or you’ve often tidied it up and it’s not as funny. So when I hear someone say something funny I try and write it down exactly the way they said it. Like in that story from The Yeti when Gunter say’s ‘SO BLARDY FLARSH DEM TURTS!’ he doesn’t say ‘So flush them bloody turds’ the way you would say it, he says ‘So Blardy Flarsh dem Turts!’ The bloody is in the wrong place in the sentence and but it’s more like something someone would say. So I do try with phrases and things, I’ve always kept quite detailed notes. It’s not so much keeping notes, it’s just that when something funny happens….like all the stories in those books involving my family when I was growing up, they’re stories that’ve been going round for years in our family. We’ve all told those stories. Like when Skippy came to our town and fireworks night. They are quite well known in my circle.

 

Lisa: I loved your show at The Shelf, Do you think you could turn your slide night into a show?

Tony: Laughs ‘I’ve had a few people say that to me and I’ve never considered it. It’s been so long since I did a standup show and I do want to do another one at some point that it sort of feels like cheating to have pictures. It feels lazy almost. But I notice that a lot of standups now have Dave Gorman style PowerPoint presentations. That was fun because a lot of the jokes had already been written on Twitter. In fact I think pretty much all of those photos I’d already shown on my twitter. So I had a lot of material already and I remember driving in thinking “Gee, if everyone there follows me on Twitter…but it seems like no one there did”

Lisa: Well we were laughing! Because it was funny anyway and it was a bit different and more detailed

Tony: I think you could make a show out of it, I liked the way that Adam Richard was just moving onto the next one real quick and you could have one picture and one joke and then go straight on to the next one. I thought, that’s interesting, I’d love to do a show like that where you flip through a lot of pictures really quickly. I dunno, Hammo’s (Justin Hamilton) keen for me to a bit more of that. I try and do something every time he does a series and I try to make most of them. It’s often not planned he just says (starts to do Justin’s voice) ‘Why don’t you come down?’ and it depends if I’m working or not, or if I’ve got something to do. I like the way he tries never to repeat anything on those nights. So I don’t think I’ve ever done the same thing twice, I’ve done standup spots, I’ve read out articles of mine. I did one where I read out a lot of phoney, angry letters to the editor I’d written and I’ve done a slide show. So I try and do something different every time. What I really wanted to do and Damnit, Paul F Tompkins beat me to it. I wanted to spend a lot of money and have a costume made of that bloke in Boardwalk Empire with half his face missing. Richard Harrow (played by Jack Huston) lost half his face in WW1, so he wears a tin mask over half his face and it’s a really fun voice to do. It would cost a fortune but I was thinking of having a full Richard Harrow costume made for just a one off appearance at The Shelf and then Damnit Tompkins beat me to it. He started doing it on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast and then he’s done a thing for Funny or Die where he’s wearing the full gear. So, can’t really do that now. Damn you Tompkins!

 

Lisa: I wanted to ask you about you’re early live Standup experience because there is nothing much online, it’s really hard to find out about old live comedy performances. There are no old records kept.

Tony: I remember the first I ever heard about the Internet was on the front cover of Time magazine in 1994 and then I think I got the Internet in 1996. Already there was comedy nerd stuff on there, but there’s a real gap. You get comedians now who’ve done five gigs and already all of them are on You Tube. Whereas there’s this incredible gap of Melbourne comedy that’s not been preserved. I’ve been trying for years for somebody to do something with all the Espy Comedy videos. I started doing comedy there, (at The Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda) it rather notoriously ran for one month shy of ten years when Trev Hoare, the man that ran it was ousted in a rather ugly coup. There should be a documentary about it. Peter Grace, who produced Martin/Molloy, used to be the kind of tech at the Espy and he had a camera set up. I don’t think it was recording the proper sound, like through the microphone or anything. Trev Hoare used to sit in his office and behind him was a huge wall of VHS tapes. It was just thousands and thousands of hours. They ran a camera across everything for years. I think someone told me they didn’t get the first two or three years but Gracie told me it was something like two thousand video tapes and it would require a huge effort for someone to transfer them and go through them all. It’s like a government grant should be given for someone to try and corral all that material. There could well be a great documentary in it and I know there are quite a lot of legendary Anthony Morgan and Greg Fleet things there; it’s just too big a job. I see Trev Hoare every five years I go “What’s happened to all those tapes?” and he goes (Does the voice) “Aw I’ve still got the tapes Tone” but that would fill in a gap if someone could get into all that material.

I started out doing standup at The Gershwin Room (in the Esplanade Hotel) when they did this brilliant thing called The Delivery Room. It started as weekly and only ran for five months. No-one can actually pin down the date, but I know I was on at the third one. I’ve got it written down somewhere, it was early December 1990. It must’ve started around November 1990 and it went through to Comedy Festival 1991, when they did a great show called Gift from the Gobs. Which there’s actually an album of. That was the famous Delivery Room, with The Rope, where they had the rope hanging from the ceiling and you couldn’t do old material, you’d have to go over and hold the rope. People would yell out ‘Rope’ if they recognised an old joke.

Lisa: I remember that and I saw a show in Edinburgh a few years ago that did that too.

Tony: Yeah, because that’s become quite famous and often overseas comedians that would come on Get This would say ‘I’ve heard about the rope thing you used to do here’. So I think the rope thing they did in Edinburgh is probably copied from the Espy Comedy one.

What was great about those five months is I just remember so much material was generated. It was a new three and a half hour show every week. People weren’t just writing standup, they were writing sketches and there was a dance troupe that did this terrible choreography and Anthony Morgan wrote this brilliant news report every week. Pretty much The Melbourne comedy scene, which was of course much, much smaller in the 90s was fuelled for about four years by the material that was created in those five months. Then, after that Espy Comedy continued through the 90s but they didn’t have the Rope policy after that.

Lisa: There is nothing on Wikipedia about all of this.

Tony: Wikipedia is great in general but once a year I’ll go have a look at my page and it’s riddled with inaccuracies. Not that I care, ‘cause I know that if someone fixes it, a week later my name will be Penis again.

Lisa: So did you do any Festival shows as such?

Tony: Gosh… I’ve done four Comedy Festival shows but I’ve only done one on my own. The first one I did was with the D-Generation in 1991. We did a show at Le Joke called Midnight Shenanigans. That was quite a famous show at the time. Have you ever been to Le Joke?

Lisa: Yes, but I didn’t see that, I actually saw The D-gen’s very first show downstairs at The Last Laugh in 1984

Tony: Would that have been “Let’s Talk Backwards”?

Lisa: Yes, I think so!

Tony: Yes that’s the one that most of them came from, then Magda and others were in the next years one called Too Cool for Sandals. We did a show, that was with everyone from The Late Show series one, so not Judith, and then John Harrison, who was in Let’s Talk Backwards, we dragged him away from his proper job and we did a show at Le Joke. Le Joke was upstairs at the Last Laugh. I think it held about 120 people but it was really small. It was the most expensive show, I think we were paid about $500 a week to do the show and we spent thousands on really elaborate props and we had a cart system in the days before laptops and we had TV monitors and we had Santo the Magnificent. His disappearing cabinet had to be dragged up the back steps. People would come along and couldn’t believe how elaborate it was in this tiny room. So that was the first Comedy Festival show I did. Then I did one the following year in ’92, I did one with Mick Molloy, Greg Fleet and Matt Quattermaine, called The Show with No Name at Le Joke. I can’t remember a lot about that but it opened with a musical version of Cape Fear and it closed with us singing the Daniel Boon theme song but we changed the words to Jesus Christ. So it was ‘Jesus Christ was a man’. There was occasionally boos for that.

Then we did The Late Show and in 1994 I did a Comedy Festival show at the National Theatre, ‘cause that was when we were quite huge. Me and Mick & Judith Lucy did a show called Martin, Molloy & Lucy in fact. I didn’t do standup when we did Martin/Molloy and then I went all the way back.

What happens with me is that I don’t do standup for a few of years and then it’s like going back to being a tryout all over again, so I went to Edinburgh with Judith. I probably would never have done standup again after Martin/Molloy ‘cause, four years is a long time in Standup. While I was doing Martin/Molloy all these new people like Dave Hughes had come along and suddenly there was massive amounts of comics around so I was a bit intimidated. Then Judith Lucy did this great thing, she was going to Edinburgh to do her show called ‘The Show’ and I think she had a one and a half hour slot but the show was only seventy minutes, so she said to me ‘Why don’t you do twenty minutes at the top, I won’t put you on the poster’. It was quite rare for someone to have a support act in their festival show in Edinburgh. So I got to go up and do twenty minutes every night supporting her and it wasn’t advertised and no-one knew who I was which was great, it meant that the material was judged on the material and I started to build up a completely new act.

Then I did a show called A Quiet Word with Tony Martin which is nothing to do with the TV show that I did. That was in the year 2000 and that was the first solo Comedy Festival show that I did and that was actually nominated for The Barry Award. I remember Fleety (Greg Fleet) and Alan Brough were nominated as well that year for something called Interrogation but The Boosh won as well they should. But I haven’t done a show since then really which was fourteen years ago.

I did standup for about four or five years in the early nineties and then didn’t do it again ‘til what I just described. I remember there was quite an ugly…It was quite interesting when I did that Quiet Word show because there was a notorious rock journalist from Britain, I think he wrote a book about Nirvana. He  reviewed comedy festival shows for The Age that year and he wrote a really nasty review claiming my show was racist. I had to actually phone him up and ask him ‘What was the racist bit?’ and it was a fraction of a quote, an innocuous bit where I quoted word for word a conversation I’d had with this Scotsman (and in fact I’m technically Scottish, because my family are from Scotland) but it got into the papers that I was doing this racist show, although it didn’t explain what.

I always remember going to see my blood specialist who was Egyptian and he was coming into the room with my file to basically tell me if I was going to die or not, so you’re waiting for that information, and without looking up from his clipboard he just goes  ‘My ahhh, my receptionist tells me you’re doing a racist show’. 

He’s doing the Egyptian accent and we laugh despite ourselves.

So it was quite ugly, because the reviewer was writing for both The Age and Inpress, so I had The Age and the Inpress calling me racist and yet at the same time I was also nominated for The Barry Award, so it was an odd experience and I didn’t do standup for a few years after that.

I’ve mentioned Trev Hoare before, cause I’m such a fan of his, but he started up a room in Milano’s Tavern Sandringham do you remember that?

Lisa: No!

Tony: Every now and then he’ll just start a comedy room in a bizarre place. He was the one who did comedy at Young & Jacksons a few years ago on Monday nights.

Lisa: I remember that, I went to that

Tony: I used to go there and do spots. What was great about Milanos was that it was just out of town enough that there were never any comics in the audience. There would often be only twenty five people in the audience but it was a really good place to try out new material and if it went badly no-one would ever hear about it. So I think I went there every night for months and that was again like going all the way back to the beginning and starting all over again.

Lisa: I’ve heard this from another comedian; do you find it a bit intimidating sometimes having the comedians in the room, like they used to be up the back at The Prince Pat?

Tony: Well, it depends how many there are. Up the back of The Prince Pat was fine, because then you’d have, maybe 200 punters as well, but I remember (I’m not going to name any rooms) but I remember there was a couple of rooms that I used to go to in the early noughties where there would be forty people in the room and twenty of them would be comedians. Of course there’s no tougher audience than comedians for comedy. So I’d go ‘I don’t want to go try out new stuff with twenty comedians there’.

 

Lisa: I heard that you put up Internet Movie Data Base pages for obscure Aussie TV comedies that didn’t have their own page?

Tony: Well mainly New Zealand movies. I think Karl Chandler, seems obsessed with this, but in fact most of my IMBD work has been New Zealand movies. When the Internet started the IMDB only had two New Zealand movies in it and I had a project in the nineties when I first got the Internet to try and get every single New Zealand movie on it, which is something like four hundred and fifty, so it took me three and a half years and I did it.

Lisa:Well done.

Tony: So when I finished I started adding obscure Australian comedy shows like Brass Monkey and things like that.

Lisa: It’s obvious that you love movies but I suspect you have a particular, possibly goulish love for really bad/trashy films. Is that true, or do you just love movies in general?

Tony: Yeah, well, I like good and bad movies. I remember that when I was in Edinburgh, I was watching so much comedy and so much great comedy that eventually you go ‘Let’s go and see some BAD comedy’.

 

Lisa: I was impressed that you spent your money from Martin/Molloy to make your own films.

Tony: It was always something we used to talk about. It was something we used to do on the breakfast show. It all came about because we did these pilots for The Late Show in 1990 and we went out to the car park with home video equipment, which no-one ever did, and shot sketches. We shot test sketches, we thought, we’ll film it on home video and if they’re any good and the show gets up we’ll re-film them again properly. But there was just some kind of quality to these crappily low budget, shot on home video in a car park sketches, they looked like shit, but they had this life to them! What we found is that, when we were doing sketches on the D-Generation they would spend so long lighting them and they would do eight or nine takes and they’d use take nine because that was the one where the camera moves were perfect but it was probably the one where the actors were exhausted and not funny. Whereas when we shot the stuff on home video we went aw well let’s just use the takes where it’s funny. Who cares if it looks like shit.

That was such a lesson to us, so when we did The Late Show on TV we spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of our own money shooting our own sketches and films and post producing them ourselves. That’s how Frontline came about, that’s how they ended up being able to direct Frontline themselves on really small cameras.

Lisa: Some of those Late Show sketches still stand up today on line

Tony: So I thought well that’s a really good lesson, investing in yourself. You know, we were young, we didn’t have any children. Occasionally I’ll go, maybe I should’ve hung onto some of that money. With the film Bad Eggs, if I hadn’t invested my own money I don’t think I would’ve been allowed to direct that myself. I didn’t have any directing credits up to that point, apart from doing sketches on The Late Show and the Mick Molloy Show. Yeah, I put three hundred grand into that film and it sort of opened doors. I think the head of Village Roadshow said ‘Woah we’ve never had someone offering to put their own money into their film’. It’s a cliché but it’s one you hear all the time, “The first rule of the film industry is never put your own money in because you’ll never see it again”. Although Bad Eggs has actually slowly but surely finally recouped all its money. Of that three hundred grand I think I’ve made about fifty grand of it back and I wasn’t expecting to see any of it, so that’s been a bonus.

Lisa: Well I liked it

Tony: It’s not for everybody, that film, but it does have a following. It was very popular in Germany, like David Hasselhoff’s music. It got rave reviews in Germany where it was known as Mit vollem Einsatz! which means ‘With Extreme Force’. [though literally translates as With Full Use]

 

Lisa: I read how hard you worked on Martin Molloy – basically from the moment you woke til going to bed, was it the same with Get This?

Tony: It was and possibly Get This even more so. Well we don’t have writers or anything. With Get This because I was paying everyone, (my company was making that show), I felt I wasn’t paying Richard and Ed enough to demand that they give their entire lives over to the show. So I was the one writing the sketches for that show…oh no no, that’s not fair! Because Richard and Ed would often write their own sketches, but not everyday. Martin/Molloy was very scripted, although now, ‘cause we’ve said that so much in interviews, I think people think that everything was scripted. Obviously when we were talking to callers or interviewing people that wasn’t scripted, and some of the mucking around in the second hour obviously wasn’t scripted. That whole first hour where we would do those long rants and things; that was all written.

For Martin/Molloy we’d get in at 10am and work all day ‘til 4 and then the show would go from 4 – 6pm then I’d go home and write ‘til, midnight and you’d be up first thing reading the papers. You’d have to read all the papers, there wasn’t the online aggregate, where the whittling was done for you. It was just a huge amount of work and the production was… now you can build an elaborate sketch quite quickly on a computer, but computers where much more primitive in the 1990s. So Vicki Marr who was the Matt Dower of Martin/Molloy would spend hours on it, I remember being there ‘til midnight some times. Mick putting down a sketch that probably only went for two minutes fifteen and was probably only ever played twice. That was all kind of part of what we were trying to do.

We weren’t interested in being ‘radio personalities’, that’s not why we were doing the show. We just wanted to do a comedy show. We wanted to do a radio show that was like a TV show where you wouldn’t want to miss any of it. As opposed to a radio show that goes for three hours but you know ‘I hear about twenty minutes of it’. We’re going No No, we want people to listen to the whole thing like they would watch a TV show. So that was our rather pompous sort of declaration. The standard we set for ourselves.

Some of it sounded a bit stilted because we were sitting there reading off spirax books, but because there was nothing else like it, the novelty got us through a lot of the time. Whereas by the time we got round to Get This that style, that read out style had become a bit out of fashion, so I would write things, but I would try to do them from memory or use point form lists so that it wouldn’t sound as stilted. There was still just as much, or even more work that went into Get This as Martin/Molloy.

 

Lisa: Do you think you’re a bit of a workaholic?

Tony: Oh, not really. I think of myself as quite lazy. I’ll try and get out of work whenever I can. It’s just fear, with radio it’s just this beast that eats up every idea that you’ve ever had. So you put in a really big day’s work then you go home and you’re back to zero and you go, right what’ve we got for tomorrow? You want it to be good, sooo…. but it’s not through any desire to be a workaholic. It’s just that, this is how much work you have to do to make a show like that any good.

Lisa: Not everybody would say that.

Tony: Well I’m not saying it’s the only way to do a radio show. I mean someone like Marty Sheargold, (now I’m sure Marty does a lot of preparation) he’s got the genius of sounding like it’s all coming off the top of his head. A show that’s had a lot of work put into it can often sound like that and it’s hard to listen to, whereas radio, especially FM radio is at its best when it’s relaxed casual and you just go ‘Well here’s something I found in the paper’. The problem is that the radio year is a long year and by August most people are fucked. So if you can think of a way to do a show where you don’t have to kill yourself every day, well Done!

 

Lisa: Do you think you might do another stint on radio one day, maybe even the ABC?

Tony: I don’t know if I really fit in on The ABC. They have a bizarre rule where they only have one host and so they have a man or woman in a room talking to themselves. Whereas the kind of radio I’ve always done is talking to an actual person.

 

How has working on 3RRR been?

It’s great! Obviously you’re not being paid, it’s volunteer radio, but I remember after the sort of quite unpleasant last few months of Get This, I remember going and doing shifts with Tony Wilson and talking quite uninhibitedly for long amounts of time about obscure things. He’d go to a song and the door would burst open and Mick James the station manager would come in and I’d think ‘aww… we’re going to cop it!’ and he’d go ‘GREAT! Do more of THAT!’ So that was great, but you can’t make a living, although that’s not fair, I think the Breakfasters get paid a very small amount of money to do that show but really it’s all volunteer radio and I love doing it but I can’t do it full time.

Lisa: Is there any chance you might do some more episodes of ‘A Quite Word With’ on the ABC? Are there more people you’d like to interview?

Tony: We did pitch a third series, there were budget cuts at the ABC and they didn’t want to do another series of that. There were hundreds of people I would’ve liked to talk to but we did two series of it and for the second series I got to go to England which was quite exciting, though we were only there for four days. We got Rob Brydon and Richard E Grant and a few people who we wouldn’t have got if we’d just waited here for people to come. You don’t get as many people coming out here anymore, unless there’s a festival on and obviously you’ll get some comedians. It was a very cheap show really, it was mostly just shot in a bar. I’d love to do some more. I’ve often thought of bringing it back just as a podcast, but finding the time…

Lisa: I don’t know if you can make much money out of podcasts either

Tony: There are so many podcasts and people are always saying ‘Why don’t you have a podcast’ but it would be like a radio show. It would take up so much of my time. I have to say, we already have some good ones, I mean Justin Hamilton does a great one [three in fact, but I think Tony is referring to Can You Take This Photo Please?] and The Little Dum Dum Club and I love Green Guide Letters. We have some really good comedy podcasts in this town. I’m not sure if we need another one. I ran this website called The Scriveners Fancy for just over two years and that started out as a hobby while I was out of work. It was only one day a week but by the end of it, it was three days, sometimes four days a week work because I was having to be like an editor of a newspaper and try and call up people and beg them to write me something for free. That was great when I had time to do it, but eventually I just couldn’t keep going because I had to go and do some actual work. I do quite like the idea of doing a podcast at some point but trying not to just do… It’s like every single comedian in the world has a podcast where they interview every single other comedian in the world. It’s what I feel like the world’s podcasting is and I think, do I really need to add to that? I don’t know, if I think I can think of a slightly different way of doing it, may be.

 

Lisa: So what about this show you are doing with Ross Noble in the UK Called Freewheeling? (starting on Oct 29th on Dave). How did it come about?

Tony: I just got an email from him. I’ve known Ross for quite a while, well, I’ve been a fan of his since 1999 when I saw him in Edinburgh and he was the talk of Edinburgh in that year. I don’t think he was even nominated for the Perrier, but he was all everyone was talking about everywhere you went ‘Have you seen this amazing guy’. Then he started coming on Get This and he was a huge fan of Get This

Lisa: He was brilliant on it.

Tony: When you watch that show he made in Australia in 2007, though it didn’t get shown ‘til a few years later, Ross Noble’s Australian Trip. He said whenever you see him riding his motorbike through the outback, he’s listening to Get This on his headphones. So he was quite the fan. He was almost like a fourth cast member, in a way, sometimes. Then he did A Quiet Word with me, then I had a really good reaction from a podcast I did with him on the ABC’s website. Then earlier this year I got an email from him out of nowhere (in Ross’s voice) ‘Do you want to come and spend Summer chasing me ‘round England?’ It sounded great. I was picturing Brideshead Revisited. Then a week before I went over I’m calling up the production office and they’re telling me that it’s the coldest recorded Summer since records began in 1813. It was pretty full on, it was a great thing to do but it was really strange because there were no other Australians there. It was just me and all these English crew members chasing Ross around the country for a few months in a van. In three vans in fact. He was on a motorbike and there were fourteen of us in three vans. My official role was called Creative Producer and I had to think up… well it was whittling down the tweets more than anything. Ross would tweet ‘What should I do here?’ and there would literally be about 200 tweets in thirty seconds. So I would go through them and say ‘What if we did this?’ and ‘You could go there’ and ‘We could do something like that.’

Ross and I wrote a huge amount of material, because one of the original ideas for the show was that in addition to us following him around England, the format of the show would be like a send up of travel shows, because there are so many of them. So we wrote all these sketches and phony history reports and these scenes where the narrator version of Ross was arguing with the real Ross. So we wrote a huge amount of material but in the end we didn’t use any of it because the stuff with him just following the tweets was so great and there was so much of it. It’s only a six hour series and we probably shot enough material for three times that. So in the end all the written stuff has been stockpiled and Ross is talking about doing another series, where we just use the written stuff. So I’m possibly going back to do another show which will be quite different.

Lisa: That’s cool.

Tony: He’s brilliant to work with. I spent all day and night with him, ‘cause he doesn’t sleep, there’s no off switch. I would see him every day and you get to see how he operates up close. He’s not cheating, he is literally making it up as he goes along!

Lisa: Wow, so after all that time together you kept enjoying working with him and want to work with him again?

Tony: Oh yeah, he’s like a kind of a superhero really, what he can actually do. We would have had two hours sleep and we’d be in some dreary, depressing carpark in Manchester. It’s pissing with rain and no-one’s turned up and there’s just a sign in the corner and Noble would go over and somehow turn that sign into five minutes of comedy gold. Every time I thought ‘we are just going to get nothing out of this’, he would just pull it out of his mind. We were in a Services, they call it a Services, it was like a 7/11 / service station and it’s freezing cold and we didn’t have anything to do and there was a sign up for some charity that Terry Wogan does to help children in need and the logo is a teddy bear with an eye missing and he’s got a bandage over one eye and I remember Ross doing a three minute monologue about that picture. He was saying (does Ross’s voice) “You’d think after twenty years Terry Wogan would’ve done something about that poor little bear’s eye”. The crew was just crying with laughter. So that was just potentially three minutes of a forty-five minute episode, just belted off there.

We used to call it ‘Golden Minutes’. When we started, the production company was quite nervous wondering ‘What if you don’t get any Tweets? Or what if you get there and we can’t think of anything funny? We’ve got to do an episode a week and how are you going to fill the time?’ And of course Noble would just go up to a sign and rant on and we’d all look at each other and someone would say ‘Golden Minutes!’ The aim was we had to get something like nine minutes of finished show a day. On the first day we were worried about how much usable footage we had, because there was a lot of driving, we’d be driving to Cardiff for four hours and so there’s four hours we’re not filming. Then on the second day we got something like fifty-eight minutes of usable footage in one day. So yeah, his golden minutes.

I don’t know what the end result will be, I haven’t seen the final shows and I don’t know… I assume there’ll be a DVD and I assume they’ll have time to edit some of that extra stuff for the DVD, ‘cause Ross always does really chockers DVDs.

Lisa: Like yourself

Tony: Yeah, but he’s got one out called Headspace Cowboy, it’s got six separate shows on it! Some people haven’t done six DVDs ever! He’s done six shows on one DVD, so I’m hoping there will be a good DVD of this series.

 

Lisa: Do you think it’ll come to Australia at all?

Tony: You’d think so, he’s really popular here, people almost think of him as Australian.

Lisa: He lived here

Tony: Yeah, he lived here until the bushfires.

Lisa: Yeah that was awful

Tony: I know. Ross Noble’s Australian Trip was on TEN, although that’s got nothing to do with this, I don’t know if that means they’ll show it. It was shown kind of rather late at night if I remember. The thing about that show, by the way, is that it was never going to be a TV show.

Lisa: Oh

Tony: It wasn’t actually a series when they were making it. Ross was just on a Tour and Pete Callow, his brilliant director who goes everywhere with Ross, said ‘Why don’t we just film some stuff to put on the DVD?’ They were only filming for about twenty minutes a day, Ross told me, on that Australian trip, because he had shows to do and to get to. Then they got to the end and said, maybe we’ve got enough here for a TV series. I love that show, but it was not intended to be a show when they made it. The main difference between that one and Freewheeling is that about a quarter of Ross Noble’s Australian Trip was footage from his live shows, whereas there’s none of that in Freewheeling, because we weren’t on a tour. That was probably the main reason I was brought over, because I think Ross thought well hang on, I’ve got to do this and I’m not going to be able to cut to me doing jokes on stage, so what are we going to have instead? So we were going to write all these sketches which we did but in the end there wasn’t a great deal of need for them.

 

Lisa: About The Yeti, do you think you’ll tour it?

Tony: Well you can do a fifty minute show during a Festival but outside of a Festival it’s a bit of a rip-off. Do know what I mean? If you are on tour you really should do ninety minutes.

Lisa: Yeah I interviewed Alan Davies recently and he said you need a good ninety minutes

Tony: Yeah well, if you’re playing big theatres like he does, well, maybe two hours or something. But I wouldn’t do this in big theatres, I couldn’t fill big theatres but also it’s not really a show that…

Lisa: It’s an intimate show

Tony: Yeah, it’s a small show, and up until opening night I had no idea if this would even work at all, so I’m doing extra shows at the Lithuanian club which holds 220 people and I’m actually a bit skeptical as to whether it will work in a room that size but it’ll be a good experiment and if it works [according to those who were there it did work]  maybe I’ll do the same thing with a second story and maybe I’ll tour that. That’s one idea. I also want to get back to just doing standup, and get back on the road doing that.

But because I’ve been working on Upper Middle Bogan…

Lisa: Which is great!

Tony: We’re waiting to see if we’ll get a second series of that, so I’m in this weird limbo where I’m waiting to hear if I’m doing another show with Ross and I’m waiting to hear whether there’s going to be any more Bogan so I can’t really make any plans at this point.

It’s good to be working, that’s what I say.

Lisa: That’s what Squirrel Comedy is all about, we love to see comedians in work, it’s good.

Tony: Well the secret is…I turn fifty next year and to keep working at this age, the key is… the only bit of advice I ever give young comedians is…. just learn to do as many different things as you can, because when one thing ends I’ve always got another different thing I can do.

 You can buy Tony Martin’s books at his minimalist website

http://tonymartinthings.com/

Here’s the Freewheeling trailer from the comedy channel called ‘Dave’ in the UK. Freewheeling premiers in the UK on Tuesday 29th October  at 10pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjoON9Ds8rs&feature=youtu.be

Pic thanks to smh.com.au

Tony Martin – The Yeti

By Lisa Clark 

It’s a simple concept, a comedic author performs a chapter of his first autobiographical book on stage in a small room. Except this is Comedy legend Tony Martin of The Late Show and Get This. Shows worshiped by their cult fans who still maintain tribute websites such as ChampagneComedy.com, a Get This Tumbr and Capril. He’s also the author of some beautifully written, evocative and laugh out loud funny books of autobiographical stories. Tony doesn’t perform often and when he does his fans, including many in the comedy industry, flock because they know he’s going to serve up a diligently crafted, solid show chockers full of laughs, and he did.

The last time Tony Martin performed in Melbourne was only a month ago at the pop-up boutique of comedy nights in Melbourne called The Shelf. He treated us to a hilarious slide night, making funny commentary about photos he took while following Ross Noble around the UK filming his new, upcoming TV show Freewheeling. Tony worked as a writer for the show and it’s a testament to his talent that Ross flew him over. The Yeti was quite a different performance. While his night at The Shelf was fairly relaxed and slightly improvised, allowing for silly comments by The Shelf team, who were also on stage, this was very formal with no banter, no explanation and no introduction.

The cold opening is very dramatic and works beautifully for this monologue, which not unlike Tony himself is trim, sleek and well groomed. It forces the audience to focus from the start and the laughs are quick and constant. He has memorised the entire chapter word for word and gives us the text from the book and nothing more. Apart from something special at the end, the big bonus for a live audience is Tony bringing all the characters to life on stage and of course his rendition of the ridiculous silly voice of his eccentric Swiss/German/New Zealand landlord Gunter. A character that made the chapter so memorable in Lollyscramble because you have to read large chunks of it out loud to work out what the hell he is saying. He’s written Gunter’s speech out phonetically on the page and this show is worth coming to just to hear Tony doing Gunter’s mindboggling thick accented outbursts.

It is the 50th anniversary of Dr Who in 2013 and this would have to be one of the subtlest tributes. The title of Tony’s show is referring to a very obscure Dr. Who monster from the black & white Patrick Troughton era in the 1960s where most episodes have been destroyed. I’ve only recently seen a friend’s recorded copy of ‘Web of Fear’ with Yeti’s for the first time and they are big, lumbering fluffy and cute looking robots, but I’m sure terrifying to a young child. Tony reveals their significance during his show which is actually made up of an accumulation of smaller tales about a shared house he lived in, in Auckland and the fascinating people who lived there.

It’s a joy to watch a performer who has complete confidence in his meticulously constructed prose. He’s also an excellent comedic character actor with years of experience in sketch comedy on TV and on radio. I was in tears of laughter throughout the show and could not recommend it more highly. This is one of those ‘Not to be Missed’ comedy events in Melbourne. Shows have sold fast and extra performances have been added. See it if you can.

Tony Martin is performing at The Butterfly Club. The season is sold out but extra performances have been added.
BUTTERFLY CLUB (TUESDAY 24 SEPT) AND FRINGE HUB – MAIN THEATRE, LITHUANIAN CLUB (THURSDAY 26 + SUNDAY 29 SEPTEMBER)

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/tony-martin-the-yeti/

MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013

By Lisa Clark

Spring has sprung, Melbourne is sparkling, our eyes are itchy and that means it’s time to get ready for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Melbourne Fringe is an open-access, multi-arts Festival, that actively encourages diversity and is thus a great space for performers to experiment with new and unconventional ideas. The Festival encompasses theatre, music, circus, magic, furniture design, art and craft and more, but here at Squirrel Comedy we are nuts about comedy and thus we will be covering the comedy side of things which is pretty big. Some comedians use Fringe to reprise a successful Melbourne International Comedy Festival show (often new and improved versions) and others to give a new show a run leading up to next year’s MICF. There are wacky one off shows that can only be seen at Fringe and you never know when you’ll make a delightful surprising new discovery, as we did with Slutmonster and Friends last year. So it’s always worth going out of your comfort zone to try something new. Hey that is why Fringe exists!

There is so much comedy to choose from and it is our job to give you a hand as you make your way through the Fringe programme. Below are links to all the shows we’ve previously reviewed, many of which will have been tweaked and improved since their last outing and that’s followed by some recommendations for shows we’ve seen and/or are excited by. As usual we’ll be publishing ‘5 Good Reasons to see…’ leading up to the the festival and reviewing shows throughout.

Shows at Melbourne Fringe that Have Been Previously Reviewed by Squirrel Comedy.

Barry Morgan: Organ Is Not a Dirty Word
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3986
Barry Morgan is playing his magnificent organ at the Lithuanian Club at 7:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/barry-morgan-organ-is-not-a-dirty-word/

Lessons With Luis Famoucity!
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3372
Famoucity is playing at The Butterfly Club at 7pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/lessons-with-luis-famoucity/

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League  [Winner of The Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival]
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3389
It’s playing at The Loft, Lithuanian Club at 9.15pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/luke-mc-gregor-my-soul-mate-is-out-of-my-league/

Khalad Khalafalla – Devious
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3810
Devious is Playing Upstairs at Errol’s at 10.30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/khaled-kalafalla-encore/

Michael Burke in Cubehead
Squirrel Review : http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=4134
Cubehead is playing at The Tuxedo Cat – The Jackle at 7.00pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/michael-burke-in-cubehead/

Nob Happy Sock – Simon Keck [Winner of The Golden Gibbo at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival]
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3550
It’s on at Son of Loft, Lithuanian Club at 6.30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/nob-happy-sock/

Political Asylum
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3785
Political Asylum is on at the Festival Club (North Melbourne Town Hall) on 1/10 at 9:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/political-asylum/

Satan’s Finest Mitch Alexander & Jackson Voorhaar
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3889
Satan’s Finest is on at the Tuxedo Cat at 9:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/satan-s-finest/

Other recommended shows at the 2013 Melbourne Fringe.

Lisa-Skye – Songs my Parents told me

was a delightfully warm biographical story show that somehow missed out on a review during MICF. Lisa-Skye lovingly explores her parent’s generation and how it compares to and influences her own creative and interesting life. Lisa-Skye is just back from her first trip as a performer in Edinburgh, she should be on top form. It will be on at The Tuxedo Cat – The Jackle

Lisa-Skye will also be hosting a late night chat show at The Tuxedo Cat called Art Sex and Snacks, she will be interviewing performers about their craft.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/songs-my-parents-taught-me/

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/art-sex-and-snacks/

Sammy J’s 50 Year Show 

which is a deliriously silly idea of Sammy’s to perform one big long show in parts, once every five years, for 50 years. I attended the 1st part five years ago and it was a whole bunch of crazy fun in the packed North Melbourne Town Hall. Many projects were begun by guest comedians that will be repeated or added to and the time capsule will be opened. One Night Only! Don’t miss it or you’ll have to wait another five years.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/sammy-j-presents-the-50-year-show/

Comedy Pick and Mix 

is a one off Festival Club night curated by Melbourne comedy goddess Janet A McLeod and hosted by Andy McClelland and Oliver Clark in their personas of El Grande and Mr Nightlights. A creative mix of performers creating all sorts of mayhem and hopefully at some point El Grande will be tipping pot pouri down Mr Nightlights underpants. You won’t want to miss that.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/comedy-pick-n-mix/

The Experiment curated by Asher Treleaven. 

A late night show at The Lithuanian Club during Fringe showcasing a great line up
of alternative comedy acts encouraged to take risks. There will be an air of competition to the show and the comedians will be competing with small dogs. I will leave it to Asher to explain:

“Each show I’m inviting members of the public to bring their small dogs to compete with the acts so we can finally discover whether Melbourne’s best Alternative comedians are more entertaining than a small dog. There will be a $15 prize for best small dog and at the end of the show the audience will judge who has been more entertaining. There will be excellent comedy, sketches and music but its mainly about ze dog”

Hopefully there will be a pooper scooper on hand in case of nerves.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/the-experiment/

Tony Martin – The Yeti 

Probably the most highly anticipated show at this year’s (maybe any years!) Melbourne Fringe Festival. I don’t know if Tony has ever performed a solo festival show before and although he has recently tread the boards as a guest at The Shelf. it’s been a long time since he’s performed in his own festival show. This will be a narrative drawn from his autobiographical novel  Lollyscramble. A book that had me laughing out loud on public transport. Tony is what’s known as a ‘comedian’s comedian’ with a huge following so tickets are bound to sell out. He’s at The Butterfly Club.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/tony-martin-the-yeti/