Greg Larsen – Experience the Difference

By Sofia Monkiewicz Greg Larsen  Experience the Difference

When a stand-up show begins with the comedian dancing onto the stage wearing a bright pink hat and waving around a dildo, you just have a feeling that things are going to get a little weird.

Greg Larsen is a self-proclaimed socially awkward full-time comedian who doesn’t want to live up to any stereotypes or be placed (figuratively) into any boxes. His 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, Experience the Difference, covers a variety of topics and themes that help counteract Larsen’s concerns; it is impossible to pinpoint the ‘type’ of comedy he is all about.

The first half of the show does cover fairly typical stand-up comedian subject matter, as we hear about Larsen’s love for fast food, his dire employment history, and similarities and differences between Brisbane and Melbourne. Not to say that his jokes aren’t funny – his observations and the way he conveys his thoughts are remarkably droll – but it isn’t the most original content offered in the festival. He then throws in a poem about autumn, with some not-so-subtle political references attached to each verse, and shares his views about gender equality, women in comedy, and his resentment of limiting people based on predisposed perceptions. Larsen tells us that he wanted to be a comedian that focused solely on political material, but that he won’t because dicks and farts are just so funny; a sentiment that seems to perfectly describe the entirety of Experience the Difference.

From a revolting memory that revolves around watching a child defecate in the middle of a department store (and being forced to clean it up) to a hilarious retelling of an embarrassing situation involving sending a girl some risqué text messages, Larsen maintains a likeable and engaging personality, despite the crude nature of many of his stories. He is the kind of exceptional comic who can be inappropriate and utterly vulgar, but one that you could still probably take your parents to see.

During one part he rants long and hard about over-the-top advertising campaigns involving crunchy chips and chunky soup, and a short while later he rages over society’s obsession with labels and putting people into boxes. It is clear to see that he is a very passionate man, about both food and politics, and his enthusiasm is endearing and comical. It is great to see his passion for equality spill into his comedy. Comedians often make mention of current issues, but then follow up their thoughts with an unrelated joke, in an attempt to keep things light. Larsen pushes on, thoroughly explaining his sincere opinions about breaking stereotypes.

A final trio of short poems combines his political beliefs with his appreciation of lewd humour, which concludes the show nicely, and leaves the audience giggling like uncouth schoolchildren.

Larsen has put together a decent selection of his best work in Experience the Difference. A tight debut, with a delightful mix of crudeness, seriousness and hilarity.

Greg Larsen’s Experience the Difference is on at Gin Palace until April 19.