David O’Doherty – Big Time

By Elyce Phillips
DOD Big Time

The world has become a bit crap lately, but David O’Doherty wants to save us all. One big show to fix everything and make it all okay again. Well, Big Time may not solve the many problems that surround us, but it will certainly make you laugh and help you feel better about the state of things, even if it’s just for a moment.

O’Doherty is an MICF staple and is always a reliable go-to for clever quips and silly songs. This year is no different. The little keyboard is here, as always, but Big Time is more stand-up than song. We hear stories about O’Doherty’s misadventures as a Twitter influencer, going shopping with his niece and dealing with hecklers at children’s book readings. The musical interludes are quirky and occasionally a little dark, covering topics from the great minds of the world to specific apologies to one woman he wronged while in Melbourne last year.

Running throughout the show are themes of chaos and perspective. We all get caught up in our own dilemmas and they feel like the end of the world, but then you take a step back and suddenly things don’t feel so bad. It’s the sort of theme that could easily drift into the maudlin or the sappy, but O’Doherty navigates the territory deftly. He’s a talented stand-up that can venture into risky territory and still keep the audience onside. The songs acted as a perfect punctuation, pushing the show from great stand-up into something just that bit extra.

Big Time is a tonne of fun for both fans and newcomers. O’Doherty is an absolute delight. There’s a good reason he keeps packing out big venues year after year.

David O’Doherty – Big Time is on at The Forum Upstairs until April 23

Simon Munnery’s Fylm School

By Elyce Phillips Fylm School pic

Armed with a projector, several cameras, a mirror and a big screen, Simon Munnery creates avant-garde cinema on the fly in Simon Munnery’s Fylm School. It was a one-night-only special event, with a dream team of a guest cast keeping the eager crowd laughing.

Simon Munnery’s Fylm School is an absurdist delight. While Mick Moriarty provided improvised musical accompaniment on guitar, Munnery amused and befuddled the audience in equal measure with his musings on Melbourne’s architecture, Venn diagrams and racism. The projector set-up was used to great effect, particularly with a series of brilliantly lo-fi animations created from paper and various moving pieces. Munnery plays with language and makes it feel effortless. Each little comedic snippet has a musical quality to it, beyond the backing track. Munnery’s words ebb and flow, kick and dart, then smack you across the face with something hilarious. He truly is a unique presence on the comedy scene.

Performing alongside Munnery and Moriarty were a selection of comedy festival guests. Adam Hess flipped through a book of assorted stick-figure drawings on the projector screen, firing off witty one-liners that had the audience in stitches. Alex Edelman told the story of the year his Orthodox Jewish family did Christmas – a tale that was both painfully funny and awfully endearing – using a selection of props and iPhone photos to illustrate the narrative. David O’Doherty rounded out the evening with some business pitches, throwing out some bizarre rapid-fire app ideas accompanied with illustrations.

Simon Munnery’s Fylm School is outside-the-box comedy that plays at the height of the audience’s intelligence. If you’re after a sophisticated dose of silly, hurry to book in should it ever return to Melbourne.

Simon Munnery’s Fylm School was a one-night-only event. Munnery’s other show, And Nothing But, is on at Melbourne Town Hall until April 17.


Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award Nominees

On Monday morning at the Spiegeltent the Nominees for the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were Announced with the aid of Guest Barry Humphries. You may have heard of him, The Barry Award is named after him.

Congratulations to all the phenomenal Nominees!

The Golden Gibbo 

Asher Treleaven & Gypsy Wood – Peter & Bambi Heaven – The Magic Inside

Luis Brown – Lessons With Luis

Tommy Dassallo – Little Golden Dassallo

Zoe Coombs Marr – Dave Trigger Warning

Best Newcomer Barry Announcing the Barry's

Demi Lardner – Life Mechanic

Guy Montgomery (NZ) – Guy Montcomedy

Tom Walker – Beep Boop

Rose Matafeo (NZ) – Finally Dead

The Barry Award

Zoe Coombs Marr – Dave Trigger Warning

Damien Power – Sell Mum into Slavery

Luisa Omielan (UK) – Am I Right Ladies?!

Tom Ballard – The World Keeps Happening

Anne Edmonds That’s Eddotainment

David O’Doherty (IRE) – We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At David O’Doherty

Rhys Nicholson – Bone Fide

There are more Awards that will be announced next weekend.

Also RAW Comedy Award for 2016 was won by Danielle Walker from Victoria


David O’Doherty Will Try To Fix Everything

By James Shackell

Now that’s an ambitious show title. And although O’Doherty admits, on one of his trademark whimsical ramblings, that world-peace and the solutions to life’s inherent mysteries are probably beyond the powers of a 38 year-old man and his keyboard, we don’t begrudge him some lofty ambitions. For God’s sakes, this is the man with Very Mild Super Powers, the DOD, the D-Dog, official leader and spiritual focal point of Team O’Doherty.

Yep, it’s fair to say that O’Doherty’s trademark “Very Low Energy Musical Whimsy” has built around it a certain professional mystique over the years. At one point during the show he even asks the audience for any requests of their favourite DOD tunes. For a comedian, that’s gangster.

One of the festival stalwarts, O’Doherty is not your typical Irish comedian. For those that haven’t had the pleasure, he resembles a bearded man-child that, depending on the context or the lighting, could either be a hat-less Steven Spielberg or a friendly, loveable vagrant. He’s got that lilting accent that makes things automatically 20% funnier, but if you can keep up with the scatter-brained rapid-fire delivery of his monologues, there’s some serious smarts going on too.

O’Doherty’s style is lamentation and observation in one; there’s that ‘But why Me?’ undercurrent on which we, as the audience, love to bob along. And hearing him wax lyrical about Lance Armstong’s drug betrayal (he’s taking it personally), getting his bike set on fire during a gig (“How do you even set a bike on fire?”) and the essential wankery of the people on Grand Designs, all while hammering the poor keys of his Yamaha keyboard like some demented organist, is nothing less than pure comedy gold.

David O’Doherty Will Try To Fix Everything is on at the Forum Theatre – Upstairs until April 20

David O’Doherty presents Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarctica

By Annette Slattery .

What Rory Sheridan did, he did for love. And you won’t regret what he did for love.

So who is Rory Sheridan and how did he come to be the leader of an Antarctic Expedition. That is the story that David O’Doherty tells in Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarctica.

Rory Sheridan is the son of a tent salesman who falls in love with Kate, the daughter of a long underwear salesman. It is Rory’s destiny to travel to the Antarctica to advertise the underwear of his lover’s family dynasty in order to win Kate’s fathers approval. From Ireland to Boston to Buenos Aries to Antarctica, a series of bizarre accidents leave Rory Sheridan in charge of the HMS Pelmet, a rabble of high risk sailors and an ever increasing slew of ‘pack cats’. Now Rory Sheridan must find a way to keep his crew occupied whilst the Pelmet is trapped in pack ice for two years and he must somehow figure a way out of his dire circumstances.

It is from some of the distractions that we get some of the greatest comic moments of the show as Sheridan invents some of the most popular group games that we know today. It is here that we also get my favourite phrase of the festival; “cat and kitten care”. Rory Sheridan’s diatribe of venomous hatred of penguins is another highlight. Of course pointing out highlights in this show is a bit like trying to identify the best bits of the world’s most delicious cake.

I’ve seen the DOD perform low key stand-up comedy, occasionally from atop a chair, I’ve seen him gently rock my world on his electric organ and I’ve seen him run around in his pyjamas with Maeve Higgins. Once I even saw a bit of his bum crack, but that’s another story. However none of that was as impressive as this, this captivatingly funny and deeply loveable character comedy.

David O’Doherty presents Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarctica is on at the Melbourne Town Hall. There are two shows left in this short run, Sat 21 Apr 5pm, Sun 22 Apr 4pm


Squirrel Comedy Writers list our Top Five Favourite Shows at the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It’s impossible to get out to see every show at the festival. Especially for the Squirrel writers, as most of us have full time jobs in the real world. In the past when we were The Groggy Squirrel we gave an award for our favourite Australian show but it was always difficult for all of us to see the shows on our shortlist.
This year we’ve decided that each reviewer can list their Five Favourite  Shows of the Festival instead. It’s still a really difficult thing to do and some of us have seen more shows than others. We may even see a show that changes our list in the next few days, but this is what we have so far.

Hopefully these insights might help you plan your final few days of the festival.

1 Justin Hamilton – The Goodbye Guy
What a way to go. A stunning show about tying up his career, putting his effects in order and stepping out into the future. So Long & Thanks for all the Funny, Hammo.
2. Sam Simmons- About the weather
This was definitely better than last year’s award winning show. It had everything he’s famous for, plus a delicate structure and sweet romance.
3. Daniel Kitson – Where Once There Was Wonder
He makes shows for audiences who like to use their brains though he makes us do it at nearly midnight. A show about self growth and doing & thinking things you never thought would be possible. The reason I’ve not ranked it higher, is that, as much as I adore being in His presence, I felt it could have been edited down a little. (OMG did I criticise Daniel’s gorgeous work? EEK)
4.Felicity Ward – The Hedgehog Dilema
She just seems to get better and better every time I see her and she’s only been doing this for a few years. Seeing her break down on stage talking about her mum this year was achingly lovely. More importantly she’s the kind of comedian that can really make me nearly fall off my chair laughing and that’s happening every time I see her lately.
5.Hannah Gadsby – Hannah Wants a Wife
Hannah used one of my favourite paintings The Portrait of the Arnolfini (& other great art) as the basis for her show about gender throughout history. Great to see her tying her passions together to create an inspiring show. Her stage presence gets more relaxed and playful and better for it.

Runners up: Lessons with Luis, Plus One, Sarah Kendall & Tie her to the Tracks

Shows that I loved that were not Festival shows as such: The Shelf, Somebody To Love – The annual musical benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre at Trades (this year it was the music of Queen) and Puppet Slam at St Ali

1. Dr Brown – Befrdfgth
Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before but so, so funny. The man’s a genius.
2. Simon Amstell – Numb
He’s so clever, so hilarious. I would marry him in a heartbeat if only he liked women. I must find out how he feels about sham marriage …
3. Paul Foot – Still Life
Absurd, silly humour but a very fun show.
4. Slow Clap – Truth
A great production from some very talented Melbournians. Totally original.
5.Hannah Gadsby – Hannah Wants a Wife
A funny but also very interesting show. Hannah is really likeable and has that natural comic timing that makes it all look so easy.

1. Tom Ballard – Doing Stuff
Tom is the future of comedy in this country, and tearing the present to shreds.
2. Dave Thornton – The Some of All the Parts
Stand-up just doesn’t get much better that this. Just straight, witty, accessible stand-up.
3. Sam Simmons- About the weather
Sam just keeps getting better and better. One of the best experiences of the festival, year after year.
4. Tommy Dassalo- Pipsqueak
The little buddy that could! Tommy is quick, witty and so damn likable! Comedy with big soul.
5. Triple J’s Good Az Friday
Quickly becoming a major highlight of the festival! And great value… FREE!

1. Lessons with Luis – Kidney Kingdom
Three daggy, naive characters executed perfectly. It’s a shame that the run was so short.
2. Daniel Kitson – Where Once There Was Wonder
His first stand up show in years was a masterclass in how to hold an audience captiv(at)e(d) for about 2 hours.
3. Justin Hamilton – The Goodbye Guy
A brilliant wrap up for all those who have followed Hammo’s Festival oeuvre.
4. Ronny Chieng – The Ron Way
Ronny keeps you laughing all the while he talks down to you. Some serious comedy chops from this guy.
5. The Underlads – Living On Limbo Lane
A high energy show of extreme silliness. Seriously crude, clever and fun.

1. Daniel Kitson – Where Once Was Wonder
Kitson’s stand-up is incredibly thought provoking, and then cleverly undercuts every thought it provokes.
2. Asher Treleaven – Troubadour
Treleaven’s shows just get better every year. I think the main improvement this year was the inclusion of sexy diabolo. All shows could use sexy diabolo.
3. Mike McLeish and Fiona Harris – Plus One
Hilarious, poignant, and the closing musical number was my favourite thing this festival.
4. Sarah Kendall – Persona
Always intelligent, occasionally cringe-inducing, with a bedtime story at the end that is morally ‘grey’ at best.
5. Victoria Healy – Independent Women Part 2
Wonderfully nostalgic, uproariously funny and full of bogan charm.

1. David O’Doherty presents Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarctica
This adorable and hilarious show contains my favourite phrase of the festival: “cat and kitten care” (say it out loud…in an Irish accent)
2. Justin Hamilton – The Goodbye Guy
Wrapping up a decade of shows – it’s a hell of a way to say goodbye!
3. Celia Pacquola – Delayed
Hard to believe – but she just keeps getting better each year.
4. Josh Earl is XXX
Awesome tunes and rocking stand up, looking forward to seeing him at XL.
5. Nick Coyle – Me Pregnant
This peculiar and touching story isn’t getting nearly the kind of attention it deserves this festival.

Also recommended: Danny McGinlay Learns Ukrainian; Michael Chamberlin – Joy & Despair; Simon Amstell – Numb; Dr Toby Halligan is Not a Dr