Gig 98: The Rhino Room

When a night finishes with me in an alley pretending to be Wolverine carving up my friends in the middle of conversations I know that I am definitely back in Adelaide. Last night was a great show and completely sold out.  It was so packed that I didn't have any space to stand and watch the show.  Instead I stood at a door with my ear pressed to the side like some sad, uninvited guest who didn't have the correct ticket for entry.  I actually prefer to watch the show and get the vibe of the room before headlining but there was literally no room to stand or sit without being in the way of a paying punter.

I went into last night's show with an idea of what my setlist would be and found myself mixing and matching from very early in the gig.  I would abandon routines to segue into different stories and then fold them back into themselves so I could return to the original routine I had begun.  It felt haphazard to me onstage but that was also part of the fun as I would deliberately derail where I was going just to see if I could bring it back on track. This sounds like self sabotage but in fact I was in such a good mood and having such a great time the little challenges I was throwing myself were all very playful.

There was actually one point in my set where I very deliberately changed speed to such an extent I could hear the gears crunching in my head.  I'll explain which part of the show that happened in after you check out the setlist:


Raped By a Dolphin

International Bogan

Turning 40!

Hairy Baby

Impro About The Room

Car Crash in Adelaide

Fix Your Flaws

Being An Arsehole

Adam Sandler:  Royal Baby

Little Boy Joke

Tripping and Farting

Life Is Good When You're Caucasian

Maguire and the Ape

Country Folk vs Inner City Living

Bomb Chucker and "I'm Sorry"

Can't Call An Aussie A Racist

Inspiring Women by Calling the PM Names

Reconnecting to True Feelings

Twitter and Felix

Social Media Destroys a Joy

"That Won't Get Him A Job"

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

Watching Movies Out of Context

Destroying a Nerd

Adelaide Chat

Make-A-Wish Comedian

Qantas Rant



This was a big show! The audience was fantastic and the room was packed.  I felt a lot of good energy on the stage and I knew from my ad libbed opening that I was going to have fun.  Tommy Dassalo had just performed a smart and funny piece about when he was young lad being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Dassalo and I had talked previously about how some comedians might not like having to follow that type of story. For his amusement I pretended to be pissed off with his choice of material because it was going to be hard for an audience to now love me.  That is why the opening routine is titled "Raped By a Dolphin" as it was my desperate attempt to make the audience forget Dassalo and give me their love.  I also felt comfortable using dolphins in this routine because as we all know, those little buggers are a bit rapey.  If you're not across this fact go and find a nature documentary stat.  You'll never look at Flipper the same way again.

About a third of the way into my set I decided that it was going well so I wanted to take advantage of that and I so I changed tact quite suddenly and launched into my material about racism, Adam Goodes and our behaviour towards our first female Prime Minister.  It is definitely a different flavour and listening back to the gig in my headphones today I could hear the shift in the room but it was a good shift. It felt like the audience collectively sat forward to have a listen and I felt like this was definitely the most interesting part of the show.

I was cutting and changing routines so quickly in my head that I was having to be careful that I wasn't performing any routines that needed to finish on a call back because there was a good chance I may not have set them up.  I usually prefer to structure my setlists so that there is a solid spine that I can ad lib around but this time it was so scattershot I had to think ahead while I was performing.  It is intoxicating to be onstage and know you're putting it all together while standing in front of people.  In fact I did manage to set up the final line of the night twenty five minutes earlier and when I delivered that final line it brought the headline spot together nicely.



This ended up being one of my favourite gigs of the year.  The audience was great, the comedians on the bill were awesome and it all ended downstairs drinking with friends in the cafe that has opened under the Rhino Room.  Then after a few drinks I found myself outside popping imaginary claws that helped me carve up any conversations my friends were having.

That is a story for another time...


Justin Hamilton

27th of July, 2013