Picture This!

By Colin Flaherty

Live cartoons drawn alongside stand-up comedy is an intriguing concept. Add a lively host in Alexandra Elizabeth Howell, four brave guest comedians, Illustrator Hadley Donaldson, a guest scribbler (in this case Jason Chatfield, who has his own cartoon based show), a willing audience and toasted cheese sandwiches, and you have Picture This!

Lining up to have their words immortalised visually at this particular show were Luke McGregor, Michael Hing, Claire Hooper and Celia Pacquola. Apart from Michael (who is a multiple visitor to the Picture This! stage) they performed sets that I have come to know almost word for word from seeing them often at local rooms. I was dying to see what dimension the drawings would add to their material.

The illustrators used one of two methods to work with the comedian; they either drew a literal representation of the jokes or they would toy with the performer and add their own humour to the images. Both were entertaining in their own way.

The literal method resulted in a detailed picture that grew as the routine went along and, while not always adding laughs to the source material, was a feat to behold. It was amazing how rapidly the illustrator worked as the jokes went through their life cycle. After the punchline was reached, it would have to be sadly erased (I hope copies are saved!) to make way for the next joke.

A loose cannon approach tested the comedian’s improv skills as they were forced off the script. Some performers suggested additions to the drawings to which the cartoonist would oblige with amusing results. For the most part it was an exercise in trying to embarrass the comedian with suggestive doodles (ie. lots of penises).

This is a show of sensory overload. Focusing on the screen runs the risk missing any nuances of the comedian’s performance but the words aren’t really the main focus of this show. If you are familiar with ta particular comic’s material you can see where this set goes visually while keeping an ear open for any instances of a curve ball being dealt with. Many times the comedian was surprised by what had been made of their words but usually they were intrigued by the visual representation of themselves.

It was a fun event and certainly something different from your bog standard stand up show with tight five sets. It left some interesting memory imprints to go along with the jokes.

Picture This! is on at The Tuxedo Cat


Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

By Lisa Clark

Luke McGregor has been around the Melbourne comedy scene for a while and has been smart enough to wait until he had enough excellent material to make his Melbourne International Comedy Festival debut. The material has been honed and trimmed of all excess fat with no filler. There is no grand story arch and Luke has given himself a couple of comedy props for the pre-intro jokes which are fabulous but generally he doesn’t need fancy sets, musical instruments or special effects, just the small black stage and himself.

The theme as you can gather from the title is his lack of self-esteem when it comes to the opposite sex and possible reasons why he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Luckily being a bit weird and different has paid off by making him an excellent comedian with many hilariously sad sack stories to tell.

What’s special about seeing him do his own show is that he opens up further to share a few more personal stories. As if we are his best friends for coming to see him and so he shares intimate details that he wouldn’t talk about up the pub. This includes some extra notes about his OCD which had the audience in fits, but had me being a bit too empathetic to laugh.

The comedy of awkwardness has been Luke’s speciality from the start and if you’ve seen him shine in Scumbus or Please Like Me, you’ll understand why he is being sought for these scene stealing roles. Since coming over from Tasmania I’ve seen him lose some of his genuine shyness and awkwardness to grow in confidence to the point where he easily owns the rooms he plays. Despite all the nervous tics & giggles, which he emphasises for comic effect, he is clearly comfortable in his own skin and confident in his material.

This is a superb debut from a comedian clearly on his way to making the big time. And if he doesn’t have a girlfriend by the end of this festival, then the lovely women of Melbourne just aren’t trying hard enough! Catch him before he’s a star.

My Soulmate is Out of My League is on at The Portland Hotel

5 Good Reasons to see Luke McGregor, URZILA CARLSON and Nath Valvo

5 Good Reasons to see Luke McGregor – My Soulmate Is Out Of My League

1. It’s my first solo show, so I’ll be a nervous wreck, which should be good to watch.

2. I know I said I’ll be a nervous wreck above but I don’t want you to think I won’t remember the jokes or anything.

3. Maybe I won’t be nervous? Maybe on the night I’ll be super confident (no chance).

4. Maybe if I wear sunglasses the whole time I’ll be less nervous…

5. Please come.

Luke McGregor will be performing at the Portland Hotel in the Locker Room




1. You get to listen to my dulcet tones for an hour.

2. You get to look at some eye candy for an hour.

3. You learn valuable life lessons that could save your life.

4. My show is the tri nations of comedy, a South African Kiwi in Australia.

5. It’s funny

Urzila will be performing at The Melb Town Hall in the Portico Room


Nath Valvo Almost 30

1. I guarantee you will leave my show feeling better about your own life. I am 29 years old and had to move back in with my parents last year. Do you know how it feels to cock block your own Dad?!


3. If you have ever worn a hyper colour T shirt, owned a Hit Machine CD, watched Agro’s Cartoon Connection, drank Dr Pepper … DID I MENTION THERE IS CAKE??

4. I recently purchased a pirated DVD copy of what was meant to be ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2’ …. it turned out to be illegal amateur footage of the most disturbing slash hilarious thing I have ever seen. I reveal what I saw in my show. It will blow your mind and stay with with you for weeks.

5. I will murder a puppy for every ticket not sold at my show.

Nath will be performing at Trades Hall in The Annex

Interview with the team from ‘NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT’ – a new comedy panel show on Channel 31

by Lisa Clark

Not a Lot of People Know That is a new comedy panel show coming to Channel 31 on Thursday night at 10pm and will be on for six weeks. This takes the show through the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but smartly they have pre- recorded it, because just about everyone involved will be performing in a show. We realise that everyone has their minds on the Festival at the moment, but it’s nice to rewind at home occasionally in front of the TV, so this show could be a relaxing way to keep you in the Festival mood.

Three of the performers were lovely enough to give us an idea of what to expect.

N: Neil Sinclair
V: Victoria Healy
A: Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall

Tell me about the people involved, was it someone’s project or a collaborative effort?
N: Luke McGregor played all the parts.
A: And it turns out in the final episode Luke was played by 75 different people.
(All laugh)
N: It was very much a collaborative effort.
A: Neil Sinclair, Emma Sharp and Andy Matthews got this project up and running.
V: Alasdair became interested in this show when he realised he could just turn up and fail.
N: And I got Vic on board by accident because I just cruised around the St Kilda streets for hours asking anyone on the footpath but they all asked for money, but Vic said she’d give it away for free.

How long have you been working on it?
V: Yonkers
A: The idea germinated about 8 months ago
N: Yeah, The drunken conversation I had with Emma happened about 8 months ago.
V: We started writing in August 2012

How do you get a show up at Channel 31 anyway?
N: With practice, or is that Carnegie Hall?
V: Or ask Lessons with Luis. They are a great example of Channel 31 success.
N: Bully Emma Sharp into doing it. She’s a great producer.
A: Go through the Channel 31 protocol as found on their website
V: That’s very practical, Al. Are you a Virgo?
A: No I’m a Logician – a person who studies logic

Are you frustrated that commercial TV doesn’t want to give these types of shows more space?
N: Don’t they? This would be a really cheap show for them to make. I wouldn’t cost much at all.
A: I think they do, we just need to show them how good community produced shows can be.

How does this differ from other trivia panel shows?
V: I think it’s different because we are showcasing local comedy talent. We’ve had Michelle Nussey, Sam Petersen, Xander Allen, Rob Hunter, Hayman Kent and Luke McGregor on the show, just to name a few.
A: And we’ve also introduced people to other amazing talent in Melbourne – stunt women, a local politician, and writers.
N: And it’s funny.

How many episodes are there?
N: Six in this first season
V: But there will be more. A second season is in talks. High level talks. The UN might be involved.

Are you relieved the episodes are all pre-recorded before the series goes to air so you can relax and concentrate on your own live MICF shows?
N: Yeah, my show Neil Sinclair: Phoney is a lot of work.
V: He’s lying! I can tell! He taught me how to lie in his show about how to like. He’s saying this while he’s touching his anatomy. I know this because I am well aware in what an anatomy looks like cos I’m doing a show about the anatomy called Victoria Healy’s Anatomy.
A: And I’m going to try hard to work my show into this question. My show is called Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall in Trying Hard

I hear you had to re-record some of the episodes, tell me how that came about?
N: Some git stole our hard-drive

How was the re-recording experience?
V: Great, it made the show better
A: Once I knew the answers to the questions, it made it even more difficult to get them wrong the second time round.

Is this show just an elaborate promo clip for your Festival shows?
A: This show is completely unrelated to Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall Trying Hard and has nothing to do with promoting his comedy fest show at the Forum 9:45pm (everyday except Monday).
N: No, it’s a calling card for our writing skills and our ability to make a professional panel show on a small budget.
V: It’s not a promo because we can’t mention our shows on the program, that’s community TV for ya! Everything has to be non-commercial. I should’ve just told them that no one makes a profit from an MICF show.


Rob Hunter – Late o clock with Rob Hunter

By Andrew Holmes, 

This is my second attempt at a review of “Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter” and his side kick LukeMcGregor. The first was a frontal assault akin to storming the beach in “Saving Private Ryan” on the shows lack of containing anything that resembled Comedy but after careful consideration and reflection, I have come up with the following.

I fucking hated this show – and that’s me being kind.

The whole thing was disjointed and at times felt like pulling teeth. The jokes (and I use the term lightly) didn’t flow into each other and the guest Comedians looked like they couldn’t get off this train wreck fast enough ………… But that is what this show is all about. It’s a well scripted and crafted performance that is meant to shock and amaze people but it simply wasn’t my cup of tea.

Lehmo was the first guest. He came on, pitched a bit of his routine which was pretty good and then sat down to be interviewed “Late Show” style with Rob. The concept of the interview was to payout on Lehmo and ask abrasive questions in Hunter’s ‘nervous character’ style.

Mike Wilmot came on as the second guest. He did a couple of lines of his routine as well, swore heavily at the audience then sat down to be interviewed. Wilmot then proceeded to tear shreds off Rob and Luke for their bullshit questioning and then exited the stage. The whole thing was so aggressive it completely missed my humour receptors but others in the audience were in stitches.

“Anyone for Tennis” were up next. They looked nervous while they belted out a couple of songs, said thanks and left. I was still recovering from Wilmot to appreciate their tunes.

The front row were in hysterics the whole way through the show and so were some others so this show has some credit. Knowing that this was all planned and scripted does make it a great show and would be worth a viewing. The MICF blurb about this show being “uncomfortably tense” and “not for the squeamish” was a freaking understatement for me personally.

Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter has 2 more shows on Monday night’s through the Comedy Festival – make up your own mind.

Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter is on in The Powder Room of The Melbourne Town Hall.