Asaf Gerchak – The Only Happy Man in Sadtown

By Lisa Clark

Canadian standup comedian Asaf Gerchaf has lived in many cities in the world, including Melbourne at one point, but he’s not been here for a few years and it’s great to see him again. He’s been going through a rough time, but you have to read between the lines to realise it.

Asaf’s style is less breezy, cheery, charm and more bullet train cheery charm. He’s loud (which can be important when there are musical comedy acts in the venues on either side) and fast, so keep up. This is not a relaxed rough round the edges type, late night act, this is carefully constructed storytelling comedy.

Early on Asaf tries to suggest that Canadians are not as nice as their preceding reputation and then throughout the show goes on to completely refute this by describing the lovely relationship he has with his arts loving family, how much he likes public transport because he sees how beneficial it is to society and in his refusal to go into any detail about the break up that has left him lonely and Sleepless in Toronto.

Big cities don’t normally make him feel isolated, but a broken relationship and new friends who don’t know him well enough to help have left him suddenly emotionally isolated. Asaf is determined not to wallow, but it would be nice if he shared a bit more about his feelings. Maybe it’s too soon to joke about it. The section on politics is not the strongest part, but again shows how nice Asaf is, that he can see from the other point of view. We learn a bit about his family but very little about the inner workings of Asaf, except that he is trying to stay positive and avoid the clichés.

There is a warm up act for some reason; tonight’s is Nick Quon who, in complete contrast to Asaf, mostly did some relaxed crowd work, and was pleasant, but not up to Asaf’s level of experience. I always say, a festival show that runs a bit short is always superior to a festival show that runs long, especially late at night. So a warm up act to fill time is not necessary but I guess it can be a good way for audiences to get a taste of other comedians at the festival. I’m sure Asak has over an hour’s worth of material but it speeds out at such a mighty pace, that he has room for Nick to open.

If you are looking for some friendly, storytelling comedy later in the evening (earlier on Mondays) without props, audience participation or a single dick in it, Asaf Gerchak is a pretty good choice.

The Only Happy Man in Sadtown is on at The Imperial Hotel until April 22

5 Good Reasons to see Claire Hooper, Asaf Gerchak and KARL CHANDLER


1. It’s got literal stone fruit, and metaphorical testicles, together in a show at last.

2. There is a story about Don Burke.

3. There is a story about a man whose plums fell out.

4. It’ll make you feel less alone. (Especially if you’ve ever had your plums fall out.)

5. You’ll find out why I would write a whole show about plums and why my husband can go stick that in his plums.

CLAIRE HOOPER – Plums is on at The Cloak Room, Melbourne Town Hall


5 Good Reasons to see Asaf Gerchak is a Terrible Stage Name

1. I’m like what would happen if you combined Batman, George Clooney,
a vicious mountain lion, a friendly bearded guy and a great sense of
humor, then took out Batman, Clooney and the lion.

2. I am not a serial killer, which is sweet for you from a
personal-safety perspective. See that? I’ve got your back.

3. I have been nominated for a number of prestigious comedy awards,
which indicates that I am quite good at comedy. On the other hand, I
have never actually won any of those awards, because… I don’t know,
I think I’m too Rock n’ Roll or something. Probably, I mean. Look,
it’ll be fine.

4. You like the kindly tone in which I address you, Gentle Reader.

5. I can do… THIS! (I know you can’t see what I’m doing right now,
but trust me, it’s pretty wicked.)

Asaf Gerchak is a Terrible Stage Name is on at The Horse Bazaar from 26 Mar – 6 April



1. It’s on at 9.45pm, which is heaps better than it being on at 9.45am. Because then you’d have to get time off from work, and you’ll probably get back to work just before lunch, then you go to lunch, and you’ve lost half the day on some stupid, shitty comedy show. I mean, amazing show. You’ve had a great day. Let’s go again.

2. Which other show’s name tells you how many jokes they have in them? None. They’re running scared. They probably don’t even have ANY jokes in them. They’re probably dumb plays. Who wants to see a dumb play? NOBODY. Who wants to see a show with the number of jokes in the title? EVERYBODY. (Everybody that’s cool, that is.)

3. It’s at the Forum Theatre, in Flinders Street. Which is the home of the ghost of Tony Barber. If you listen closely, you can still hear him inside the theatre at night, wailing, “I’m not dead. I’m actually Tony Barber. The cleaners locked me in here! And the 25 dollars was behind Collette Mann.”

4. Everyone who attends the show gets a prized bull. That’s right, an Angus or a Hereford of your choice, weighing upwards of 900 kilograms. You get it after the show. That’d be pretty stupid, giving you a bull BEFORE the show. There you’d all be, sitting in a tiny theatre, each with a bull! I’m no idiot. You get it after the show.

5. I’m diabetic. But instead of insulin, I need crowds at my show. Or else I go into a fit. Not an epileptic one or anything. More of a hissy one. It’s not great.

Karl Chandler has (Literally) 1.5 million of his finest new jokes is on at Forum Theatre – Pizza Room

Karl will also be appearing in the Little Dum Dum Club Live Podcasts  Mondays at the Town Hall