2014 Gig Eighty Five: Tea Tree Gully Hotel

The last two nights have been interesting gigs to host because they have been for audiences that are definitely not your usual comedy going crowd.  In a way the audiences have been throwbacks to the type of audiences you might find more often at the turn of the century.  It is easy to take for granted with social media and the ubiquitousness of YouTube that people now see stand up comedy on a more regular basis.  This lends itself to a more a comedy savvy audience and in the process means that; as comedians, we can use a certain amount of shorthand in our delivery to keep our jokes tight and snappy. Over the last two nights I've had to dial that down a little to help get the audiences up to speed. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.  After last week's gigs being a dream run it has meant that in changing gears I've had to really work as the host.  I would be a liar if I said that I prefer these types of gigs.  You always enjoy shows more where you can freely move about the stage performing almost by instinct than anything else. Yet that way can also lead to laziness.  When an audience knows you so well you can rely on tics and in jokes to find your way out of any comedy cul-de-sac.  If the audience doesn't know you well enough or doesn't see enough comedy to be aware of these little tricks then you just have to dig deep and get back to your performance and joke writing skills.

It is also about picking the correct type of material.  I've had in my back pocket a fan fiction piece I wrote about the movie "Noah" but have shelved it (g'day!) the past two nights because I'm not certain how to introduce the idea succinctly enough.  I don't want to lose the audience in an explanation of an idea that some people are just not going to get their heads around.  For the majority of us I say the term fan fiction and you nod your heads knowing exactly what I'm talking about.  Over the past two nights I think I would have had at the most a quarter of the audience understand the concept and even that might be a too high a percentage.


Here are the set lists:


Set List One


Partying During the Week

Hen's Night

Mt Isa

Word In Scrabble

Turning 40

Car Crash In Adelaide

Invite To Parties

Hairy Baby

Little Boy Joke


Set List Two


Watching Movies Out of Context

Glitter In Invitations

People Wearing Your Glasses

Tripping and Farting



Set List Three


Coughing Snot

“I Don’t Give A Hoot”

Hushed Angry Conversations


I threw in a few different looks with these sets.  There was more talking to the audience and it is nice to get that skill back up to scratch.  I wouldn't say my audience banter has been brilliant but it has done well enough to warrant me continuing to get back into the swing of things with that particular skill.  Also at the top of the third bracket I pulled out an old routine that has quite a bit of audience participation to help get the crowd involved before bringing on George Kapiniaris.  I thought it was important to manufacture some back and forth before finishing that set off with some routines that helped set the stage for their head line act.

I thought the Adelaide acts all did an excellent job last night.  I know one of the acts was a little down on themselves after their spot but I enjoyed watching them work and seeing their gears shifting onstage.  I think they were being a little hard on themselves but then again it is better to be a little hard than walk off thinking, "nailed that!"  I recognised their reaction because it is the same way I would have talked about my set when I was at the same stage.


Graham Self performing for the packed audience.


All in all it was a successful night and a good show but one that made you work. George is bringing in an audience that doesn't see a lot of live comedy and I'm enjoying the fact that I'm having to work to make the show succeed.  We've discussed on this blog before that hosting is a thankless task but I like that it keeps my ego in check and works me like a dog onstage.  It hopefully means that when I headline I'm a better comedian for it. Tonight at the Rhino Room is going to be an interesting one. For a lack of a better term the Rhino Room feels like my home court and with a brand new audience coming in it might feel like the Adelaide Crows playing at Adelaide Oval when Port Adelaide are the home team.  After last week's stellar show at Rhino I'm guessing I won't be able to rely on any residual goodwill from the previous week. I'm looking forward to that challenge.


Justin Hamilton

30th of May, 2014

Croydon, Adelaide