Gig 32: The Local

I have been performing gigs that Janet McLeod has produced for over 13 years now. When I think about that I find it slightly ridiculous.  Can that much time have really passed?  When I look in the mirror and take a hold of the slowly spreading middle aged paunch then I regretfully know this to be true but energy wise I still feel as young as ever. I might even feel better now as I drink much less and enjoy not being out until all hours of the morning.  Hello 40! I love performing for Janet and I love the Local but I felt a bit off my game this night.  I had decided I was going to open with all new material as this has always been my game plan for any of Janet's rooms.  I'll start with new and ease into established material later in the night. There were a few problems with this approach for this particular show though.  First up I am directing or helping out with quite a few shows during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival so a lot of my day was taken up doing dull admin work.

I also record TV and movie reviews for Perth's number one breakfast show Botica's Bunch on Monday afternoons and since the following Monday is the end of Easter I had to nail double the amount to make up for the lost recording day.  I also hadn't performed at the Local for about six months (which must be a record amount of time for Janet and I to not be working together) and the audience appeared to be quite new.  It appears this room has gone from having a lot of stalwarts to being a room with a high turnover of punters but I should have noticed this and changed my game plan up front, instead given them some more established material to begin the show.  I think the start of the show was fine and the beginning of the second was excellent but maybe if I'd swapped around the material I would have felt I did a better job.


Setlist one:


Comedians and the cry of "Me!"

Afghanistan:  Marching on ANZAC Day

I’m a war hero!

"Hey, be careful!"

Soldiers are funny.

Journey into Kabul

Buzz might be Batman.

Afghanistan:  The Worst Sentence Ever

Bronzing Up!


The opening of the show was my impersonation of the desperation of comedians during festival time.  This is a joke at my peers' expense and one I feel qualified to make because I've also been that comedian.  When you don't have a solo show to promote during the Festival it is remarkable how much saner you appear to be.



There was a lot of Afghanistan material and I think one of the stories (Journey Into Kabul) was actually too real for people to be able to deal with.  This happens with stories sometimes where some of the facts that I threw out there about the realities of the city were possibly a bit too much for the ensuring jokes to overcome.  I think it still worked but it could have definitely used less facts.  There's an interesting lesson for young comics:  facts are inconsequential to a lot of successful routines.

At the beginning of the second half I decided to just hit them with some established material I enjoy performing.


Setlist Two:

Tripping and Farting

Getting Angry as I Get Older

No Need to Share All Your Opinions

Glitter in Invitations

People wearing your glasses



This material hit the mark and started the second bracket off in a way that I felt much more comfortable with.  Once again Janet had put together an eclectic line up that reflects her tastes and sensibilities.  I think successful rooms reflect the producer in a positive way.  For a long time Janet was the only person in Melbourne providing a high profile gig for the more alternative comedians.  It is great to see that she is still kicking goals in her room.

Justin Hamilton

25th of March, 2013

Fitzroy North