Gig 100: The Arkaba

It is so exciting bringing up the 100th gig for the year.  The fans run up out of the audience, they mob you with kisses, you're signing autographs until well into the night, you're overwhelmed with gifts...and of course none of that happens.  Nor should it! Nobody else gets a thumbs up for turning up to work one hundred times and this is definitely my "work".  In the end it is just another day on the job.  Having said that the 100th episode of "Can You Take This Photo Please?" will be released tomorrow and I have a very special guest for that...but you can wait to find out who that is. Comedy at The Arkaba gives you plenty of challenges that I love tackling.  It is a vast room that forces you to perform big so you can reach the audience wherever they may be sitting.  It is important that within every local scene you have different styles of rooms because that teaches the comedians to learn how to make their act work in different situations.  All rooms are different and therefore there are different challenges each time you hit the stage.  The Adelaide scene is very lucky that it has these different style rooms because I believe all of them help train the local comedians to be able to perform in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne etc.

It was also a 4.30pm start which is a good time for a Sunday gig.  Once again Tommy Dassalo did an excellent job of hosting.  Early in Dassalo's set he walked around and through the audience just to help create some atmosphere and to also prove to the people up the back they were not safe in any way.  It was particularly funny when Dassalo heckled a punter who was attempting to get to his seat just as Dassalo made his way back to the stage.  It may have been the first drive by heckle I have ever seen from a host of a comedy night.

The following was the setlist:


Raped By a Dolphin

Adelaide Chat

Afghanistan:  Marching On ANZAC Day

"Hey, Be Careful!"

Soldiers Are Funny

Port Power Supporters in Adelaide

Journey Into Kabul

Afghanistan:  The Worst Sentence Ever

Bronzing Up

Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

Cue Burnt Down

We're Dancin' Guy

Homeless in New York

Double Bi

Destroying a Nerd

Tripping and Farting

Laughing at a Funeral

Laughing in Greek Class

Reconnecting To True Feelings

Felix and Twitter

Social Media Destroys Joy

Adam Sandler:  Royal Baby

"That Won't Get Him A Job"

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

Qantas Rant (including Smoke Machine rant)



This was a fun laid back gig and it was a little bit revealed in my performance.  I enjoyed the gig but I felt slightly off my game and that could have had something to do with the previous late night, the early start and the fact I'm just not that used to performing so early.  As I have mentioned before in these types of admissions I doubt that anyone would notice except for possibly Tommy and Craig Egan (who runs as they would have seen all the gigs during the week.  I couldn't quite find the rhythm that I wanted but that didn't mean there weren't any highlights.

Right in the middle of my last routine (Qantas Rant) the smoke machine started pumping smoke out into the audience.  Craig attempted to turn it off but it wasn't long before I was engulfed in an "I Dream of Jeannie" scenario.  Since the last routine is a story that relies heavily on rhythm I didn't want to stop the flow but the smoke was too much to ignore.  In fact it would have been weirder to ignore it.  Luckily I found a spot in the story where I could bring the whole routine to a halt and then I ad libbed about the smoke machine for a couple of minutes.  This allowed me to squeeze some extra humour out of the situation but it also gave me the opportunity to reset the gag and subtly reboot the initial rhythm that I was building.  When I was younger I would have either been thrown and abandoned the routine or kept barreling through the distraction attempting to ignore it.  It is gratifying when you realise you have the experience to know what to do, especially when you didn't realise it before it happened.

In the end it added an extra little something to the gig.  Every show in Adelaide has definitely had a very distinct flavour, something that I have appreciated especially with all the new material I have.  It has also been a privilege to be able to rabbit on for roughly an hour each night as this has helped me get my head around what type of show I might put together for the 2014 festivals.  I don't know if I can commit to them yet but if I do I at least have a game plan in front of me that I can take advantage of when making my decision.


Justin Hamilton

29th of July, 2013