Gig 47: The Shelf

So far this has been my favourite gig for the festival. The Shelf can be so much work in the lead up and this one in particular was quite annoying 48 hours prior to the show as I had to juggle not only the line up so it worked on the night but also make certain people were on at the right times before they had to run off to other gigs in the city.  It is like spinning plates and to get the balance right you really have to keep an eye on everything all at once.

Since the producing of the show was taking up a lot of my time I decided to use some material that I had been performing at The Comic's Lounge to start off the show before inserting some routines that had been a part of my headline spots at the end of last year.  I keep a record of the material I use at The Shelf so if I decide to use a routine I've used there previously I can see how long it has been between drinks.  The material I used last night hadn't been performed at The Shelf in six months so that felt like long enough between airings.

The beginning of the show had me riding my six foot ten friend dressed as a horse.  I'm not going to attempt to explain this ongoing joke, you really had to be there.  My setlist was as follows:


Horse Riding

Tripping and Farting

“You’re An Ugly Hooker!”

Twitter and Felix

“That Won’t Get Him A Job.”

No Need To Share All Your Opinions


This was a tight start to the show and from there everything else was improvised. Whether it was calling Celia Pacquola onstage to do her Lehmo impersonation for Lehmo or having an emotional moment to even out the vibe in the room, all the hosting of the show after the opening set is improvised on stage.  Last night our line up included regulars Adam Richard, Wil Anderson, Tegan Higginbotham and Eli from Fan Fiction Comedy.  Guests included Celia, Tina Del Twist, Asher Treleaven, Denise Scott, Ben Lomas, Luke McGregor, Jack Druce, Lehmo, Abigoliah Schamaun and Kel Balnaves.  It was a big show.

We also had Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney put on some bonus show by doing a reading of the pilot to their TV series before The Shelf actually started.  This was like finding a bonus song on a CD that is hidden before the first song listed on the casing. Their read through was a massive hit for all the people who came in early to check it out and made for a fun start to the night.

The only problem we encountered was Moshtix printing the wrong time on the tickets for when the show began.  Instead of 7.30pm it read 8pm and our publicist Jodi had to deal with a lot of people who were very confused by this.  Jodi did such a good job dealing with it that I didn't know any of this occurred until after the show finished.  We have been in touch with Moshtix and subsequently fixed the problem.  As far as mistakes go it is definitely an annoying one and we apologise to anyone who had their night thrown out because of it.

Luckily the show was so much fun, I haven't laughed that much in a long time.  I really enjoyed everyone that we have on the bill.  It is important that Adam, Jodi and I not only enjoy their comedy but also their company.  I think that camaraderie translates onto the stage.  I'm not certain what the highlight of the night was for me.  Maybe Luke McGregor's surprise helping hand?  Maybe it was riding a six foot ten horse to the stage?  Maybe it was Denise showing everyone how to perform great stand up comedy while being under the weather?

The show finished with a fake Oscar speech.  We improvised this last week and I loved it so much that I decided to use it again.  The way it works is we make an announcement for a minor award at the Oscars and the winner is The Shelf.  As many of the comedians who performed on the night come on stage and I'm the guy who is first to the mic with everyone else hoping to get an opportunity to thank someone.  I then read out the list of the comedians who were on the show as if I'm thanking close friends while the people behind me keep hoping they will get their chance.  When I finish the last name the music comes up full blast and the mic is turned off just like those horribly embarrassing moments at the Academy Awards.  What I enjoyed the most about last night was that good friend Tom Gleeson came down after his solo show to meet up for a drink.  We had him come onstage as part of the group and then when I said the last name he was the person who grabbed the mic hoping to thank someone just as it is turned off.  It makes me laugh a lot to know that people today can say,

"Tom Gleeson appeared last night."

"What did he do?"




It is that quality of comedian committing to that silliness that makes The Shelf pop in my opinion.  I loved everyone who was on the bill and thought they all did an excellent job when it came to their time to shine.


Justin Hamilton

8th of April, 2013

Fitzroy North