Tom Gleeson – Cheer Up

By Elyce Phillip Tom Gleeson - Cheer Up pic

Game show host and comedic sidekick Tom Gleeson returns to MICF this year with Cheer Up, a show presumably titled as a reminder to Gleeson once he wanders off-stage, because it certainly had nothing to do with the show’s content. It’s a meandering hour of twaddle, generously padded with audience banter that probably appeals to Gleeson’s fans, whoever they are.

I’d not been to one of Gleeson’s solo shows before because I am a fan of comedy. However, I crossed paths with this bloated thumb in a shirt on Hard Quiz – a show where he insults members of the public on the taxpayer’s dime – and as the saying goes, “Revenge is best served via a bitter, needlessly cruel review by a volunteer comedy critic on the internet”.

Hi, Tom. I know you’re reading this. It’s time to review you – HARD.

Gleeson’s brand of competent stand-up covers a lot of the usual topics. He’s got kids. They like annoying kids’ TV. He’s got a wife who thinks he’s boring. They argue sometimes. He owns whitegoods. Isn’t customer service crap? There’s nothing revelatory here. The final story is perhaps the most interesting thing in the show, and that’s probably because it relates a tale that Gleeson wasn’t even involved in.

The tone of the show is deadpan and vindictive. Most of the stories boil down to Gleeson hating someone or other. There’s an ease to his delivery, which makes sense. Gleeson has been doing this for a long time and is just continuing to do more of the same. He should be good at it by now. Instead, we get a laundry list of his grievances and a literal story about him watching laundry dry. Speaking of laundry, how about putting a little effort into your appearance, Tom? You look like you’re about to pop down to dad rock night at your local RSL to get yourself the cheapest possible parma and bob your egg-like conk to a bit of Steely Dan.

This show is the comedy equivalent of five-minute noodles. Sure, it looks like a meal, but it’s unsatisfying and there’s no effort put into it. If you’re into basic stand-up performed by a middle-aged man in dress jeans, go and see Cheer Up, I guess. You’d better be quick, though, as Gleeson is only bothering to do six shows, two of which he cranked out on the same day.

– Ed’s Note: Jeez Elyce, you lose once on Hard Quiz and all reviewer’s objectivity flies out the window….

Tom Gleeson – Cheer Up is on at the Comedy Theatre until April 22