By Lisa Clark

I’ve got to give it to Gavin Baskerville for having the best opening gag at the festival this year. He had the geared up audience cheering from the start. He also handed round a pack of potato chips and promised we’d all get a pack at the end. Way to get an audience on side!!

Gavin is a ‘seasoned’ performer, one of Australia’s best joke ‘smiths and a compelling storyteller. From the guilty joys of potato chips and family who have become food snobs to reality TV, he is a genial observer of modern mores and misbehaviour. He ‘peppers’ his observations with crowd pleasing puns, the occasional grinning groaners, clever call-backs and seamless segues.

Things become serious as he takes his theme down the wider path of politics, the world economy and how people are generally screwing up the Earth for short term gain. Light hearted observational jokes at the beginning of his show take on deeper meanings, and as he gets more serious, the jokes gradually become harder to find. He brings it back before the end, like a trooper, and never fails to be entertaining, but if he could have kept serving up more of the dark wisecracks during the serious part it would have been a lot stronger.

Gavin is that sort of intelligent, jovial, warm-hearted bloke you look forward to chatting to at a ‘barbeque’. I’ve always thought of him as a bit of a Tasmanian Dave O’Neil in that way and I worry that he’s been around so long that he might be taken for granted. His ability to pop out  ‘rib’ tickling zingers can run ‘rings’ around a lot of younger comedians and is really worth going out of your way for.

Last year Gavin’s awesome show turned out to be one of my favourites of the festival, but because I saw it in the last weekend, it was pretty much too late to get the word out about it. This year I made sure I got in early and am still impressed with his ability to make highly skilled comedy seem effortless and am urging everyone along to see one of the most overlooked comedy talents in Australia. Crunch Time is a scrumptious delight.

Gavin is performing at Three Degrees