Gig 40: The Shelf

Our second night of The Shelf was a sold out affair and another show where I decided that I would like to be brought to the stage by a six foot ten man.  This is my preferred method of travel these days at The Shelf.  Check out last week's post here to see what that might look like. The setlist was another crazy night of ad libbing and improvisation.  I always start the very beginning of the show off with some more straight forward stand up to set the tone before unleashing with the anarchy that the night devolves into.  Last night I talked about my Lord, Saviour and surrogate father David Bowie.  This tied into some older yet fun material about Mum and what it is like to be from a single parent background.  I also threw in the time I met George Clooney.  The setlist looked a little like this:


Six Foot Ten Man Entranace

Burying a dead hobo

Mum and Atheism

George Clooney

What I was like as a kid

Making David Bowie laugh

Bowie waved at me


It was a fun set and I enjoyed being able to tell not only a story from my 2005 MICF show "Oh Father, Where Art Thou?" but also a routine that would only work in certain rooms. Other than that it was all improvised from there.  That is one of the things I love about The Shelf.  I can bring to the table a couple of ideas and then just wait to see where they go, bouncing gags off my friends and peers.  Whether it was Adam Richard and I ripping into Tegan Higginbotham for her brilliant Herald Sun Review, Luke McGregor being awkwardly informed onstage that he wasn't booked, U.S. comedian Hank Ruby realising just how alone he truly is or Doctor Professor Neal Portenza coming in at the very end and making a mess of things, it was just a really fun night.

I like to think The Shelf is the TV show that you wished they'd produce for free to air television but nobody is ever going to allow a show like ours to thrive.  We'd be sacked after the opening twenty minutes!  I honestly believe comedy thrives onstage in front of a live audience. There is a kinetic energy where comedians and audience bounce off each other and I truly love how informed and excited our audience is every week.



We had Celia Pacquola and Kate McLennan ripping out great new stand up sets, the delightful Heidi O'Loughlin from Fan Fiction Comedy reading a story about video games and snakes, Deanne Smith bringing an unassuming charm to the show, the Siberian Husky boys nailing some excellent sketches and we also finally managed to find a night where Claire Hooper could join us for a chat.  With Wil Anderson stalking the room like the phantom of The Shelf, it was one of the highlights of the festival so far.  I know it was a highlight because I did not get to bed until much later than I would have liked.  It is difficult to leave a party when it is just so much fun.

Only two more shows to go and they're both close to selling out so check out here for more details.


Justin Hamilton

2nd of April, 2013

Fitzroy North