Wil Anderson

2015 Blog 24: The Comedy Store, Free Wil and more. Gigs 147 - 154

Well that might have been the biggest week of gigs I've had this year.

It started off small and relaxed at the Enmore Comedy Club on the Tuesday night.  This was the same room that I performed in during the Sydney Comedy Festival so I felt very comfortable getting back onstage there.  It was a solid line up and I used that gig to play around with an order that I thought I might use as the support act for Wil Anderson on the Friday and Saturday night.  

At the beginning of the set I bounced off some subjects that earlier acts had been talking about. Host Daniel Townes had engaged with an American couple in the front row and since I had some thoughts on what they had talked about I used that as a springboard for my set.

 

4th of August:  Enmore Comedy Club

 

Denver Legalises Pot

Justin Bourne

New Year’s Resolution

Abs or Interesting

Happiness

Gym

“I’m Entitled To My Opinion”

Islamic Writing

Adam Goodes

Bjork CD

Scout Gig

 

I thought the gig was relatively solid but could have been a little better.  I thought the story revolving around Justin Bourne showed some promise and felt like it had developed from the first outing at the Imperial Hotel a few weeks before.  Otherwise it was good to get a handle on how long that set could go in preparation for the big event in the main room at the Enmore Theatre on Friday and Saturday.

The following night consisted of two gigs.  First up I was back at the Comedy Store headlining a fundraising night.  These can be tricky shows as the main reason the majority of the audience has turned up is to support the cause while the show is a bonus.  That means it can be easier to lose the audience or even put some people offside with your language.  It feels more like a corporate gig except they've come to your place of work instead of the other way around.  

This gig was fine though and I kept the set list simple:

 

5th of August:  The Comedy Store

 

Kid at Wedding

20s, 30s, 40s

Hairy Baby

“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

Glitter in Invitations

Watching Movies Out of Context

People Wearing Your Glasses

Islamic Writing

Spooning

 

When you know a set list comes in on time it is nice to be able to stick to that especially for gigs like this.  I'm happy that the Islamic Writing piece has found a place in this more mainstream set list though.  I did hear someone gasp when I said the punchline though thus justifying my thoughts on how easy it is to offend people at these gigs.  There is nothing offensive about this routine and I know the person was reacting to a word but not the context.  To be honest the word in question isn't offensive by itself so old Gaspy in the audience can get a grip.

From the Comedy Store fellow comic Anne Edmonds and I raced to The Roxbury Hotel where Ray Badran and friends were putting on their first night at the revamped venue.  It was a packed audience and they were 100% focused.  I'm glad we got to perform at these gigs in this order because these were definitely more my people.  I used this as another opportunity to play around with the set list that I thought I might use as support for Wil.

 

The Roxbury Hotel

 

Biker Heckle

Justin Bourne

New Year’s Resolution

Abs or Interesting

Happiness

Gym

Snacks

“I’m Entitled To My Opinion”

Islamic Writing

Adam Goodes

Bjork CD

Scout Gig

 

 

This was a great gig and a fantastic way to finish the night.  In fact I'd say it was this gig that solidified exactly what I was going to do for Wil's support. I took a lot of confidence away from this gig and it allowed me to spend the next two days just refining it in my head.   often find the gigs that I struggle at are the ones where I don't have much of a game plan.  If I know that I'm working towards something or trying a new approach etc for the most part I walk away pretty happy with those gigs.  When I go in and just perform without knowing what I want to achieve (apart from doing my job of course) they're the shows that can get away from me.  The Roxbury definitely worked on the night and then helped me push towards the weekend.

The following night it was back to the Comedy Store and a very straight forward gig.  Another packed audience helped make this a fun night and I decided to let this gig be as loose as possible since the next two nights I was going to go the opposite way with my set lists.  

 

6th of August:  The Comedy Store

 

Biker Heckle

Hurt My Back

Can't Drink Anymore (first half)

Before The Internet

Kravitz Monster

Glitter in Invitations

Spooning

 

This was a lot of fun and I played around with tangents and also a bit of talk regarding the Lenny Kravitz split pants moment that was heard around the world.  If you don't know what I'm talking about click on this link here.

For Friday the 7th and 8th of August I had two gigs each night.  The early shows were support for Wil and his 2015 show "Free Wil".  Since we had performed together in January at the Sydney Opera House I thought there was a definite chance we'd have a large percentage of return punters in the crowd.  What I wanted to do was make certain that I didn't repeat any material from that gig but also use it as an opportunity to build on what I'd achieved that night.  With the confidence from the gig at the Roxbury Hotel this was my set list for the two support spots.

 

7th and 8th of August:  Free Wil

 

 

Biker Heckle

New Year’s Resolution

Abs or Interesting

Happiness

Gym

Snacks

“I’m Entitled To My Opinion”

Islamic Writing

Adam Goodes

Bjork CD

Scout Gig

 

 

The Biker Heckle story is a nice succinct story to help get me started and from there I used a section of material from my 2015 show "Snacks!"  It was incredibly heartening to have the material about Adam Goodes go down so well both nights but as I stated onstage I felt pretty confident that those jokes would go down very well with a Wil Anderson audience.  I'm sure there will be some gigs where people will take offence that I'm on Goodes' side and we'll deal with that when it happens.  On both nights it went down a treat.  

I was lucky enough to see Judith Lucy perform in the same venue the previous week and I made certain that I learned how to use that stage from watching the way Judith used it.  I had a basic idea of the sight lines and the way the lights looked from the audience.  In the Adam Goodes material I point out the hypocrisy of the AFL commentators and as I worked my way from Eddie to Sam I worked my way from left to right of the stage before returning to the middle to deliver the punchline.  I enjoyed Judith's show immensely but I also learned enough to help make my gig more polished.  I think they may have been the best gigs I've had as support for Wil.  His audience has always been generous and I think the gigs at the Opera House and the online support gave me a lot of encouragement to have the sets that I had over those two nights.

Usually when you do two gigs or more in a night you can often finish on a bit of a dud.  You'd think after performing to 1,600 people that going to a sold out 300 seater would be a let down emotionally but luckily for me I was back at the Store.  It might be one of the rare times in my career where you go from one great gig to another great gig within hours of each other. My main concern on both nights was to remember to "introduce" myself to the Store audience. Sometimes when you have a great early gig you can carry that energy onto your next spot but it can be wrong for that audience.  I've found sometimes I've been too comfortable and in the process forgotten to let me second audience know what I'm all about before launching into my set.  I made certain to stomp on the energy of the support spots and start from scratch.  For both nights the set lists were:

 

7th and 8th of August: The Comedy Store

 

20s, 30s, 40s

Hairy Baby

“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

Glitter in Invitations

People Wearing Your Glasses

Islamic Writing

Spooning

 

Both nights were excellent and the line ups had done excellent work before I arrived.  I hate not being there at the start but there was nothing I could do in this case.  Luckily for me it was a great line up of comics who had done such great work earlier all I had to do was not fuck it up at the end of the night.

I think this might have been the best week of gigs or possibly the most fun week of gigs I've had in Australia all year.  Between this week and the tour of New Zealand I've had a good trot.  Now it is time to launch into season 12 of The Shelf and some extra gigs around town before I turn my attention to working on mainly new material for the rest of the year in preparation for the festival season in 2016.  

 

Justin Hamilton

16th of August, 2015

Fitzroy North

 

 

 

2015 Blog 23: The Comedy Store Gigs 143 - 146

So what is going on up here in Sydney?  There is this yellow orb in the sky that appears to not only light up the city but also provide warmth.  I remember the legend of another orb like this appearing in Melbourne but that feels like such a long time ago...

One of the great perks of this job is the ability to travel away from Melbourne during winter and going somewhere warm to perform.  While Sydney residents might be thinking it is cold I have found it to be on the verge of a tropical paradise compared to the last few weeks of weather in Fitzroy.  I saw yesterday that it snowed in Tasmania and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at pictures of it while wearing a t-shirt in my place in Newtown.

After a month of working on new material and ideas I came up to Sydney with a couple of goals in mind.  One was to touch base with a bunch of friends I haven't seen in a while.  It is good to talk to people you haven't spoken to in recent times just to have new conversations and ideas bouncing back and forth.  You can spend a lot of time with the same people during the winter months of Melbourne because the cold cancels out the desire to make too much effort other than find new ways to stay warm in your place.

My other goal is that I am supporting Wil Anderson this Friday and Saturday at the Enmore Theatre and I wanted to make certain I had a new tight 15 minutes that didn't cross over with the material I performed as the support at the Sydney Opera House gigs.  I'm guessing we'll have some return customers and you don't want to let them down.

With three gigs this week at the Comedy Store I took the opportunity to change the set lists and see what flowed the best.  On the Thursday the set list was:

 

30th of July:  The Comedy Store

 

20s, 30s, 40s

New Year’s Resolution

Abs or Interesting

Happiness

Gym

“I’m Entitled To My Opinion”

Islamic Writing

Kenya West

Bjork CD

Scout Gig

 

This is a fairly tight set that takes material from the middle of this year's show "Snacks!" with a new routine that I only started working on while I was in Adelaide a couple of months ago.  None of this material was worked at the Opera House so I'm guessing this might be the set list I use at the Enmore Theatre.  I think the Kenya West material still needs some work which would make sense considering it is the newest routine.  Still I have four gigs this week before Friday night so it gives me time to work on it a little more.  

On the Friday night show at the Store I threw in a routine that my friend Josh (who runs the show from behind the sound desk) likes and basically worked it out from there:

 

30th of July:  The Comedy Store

 

20s, 30s, 40s

Hairy Baby

Can’t Drink Anymore

Before the Internet

 

The routine "Can't Drink Anymore" is a longer routine and could work pretty well on the night. I'd have to play around with this one though as it is a weird sized routine for a support spot.  All the material around it has been used in the past as support for Wil so I'd be reluctant to bring that out this time.  With the previous night I know that set list has a natural rhythm that I can rely on and it is practically ready to go.  Having said that there are some strong jokes in the drinking material and it is also fun to perform so I'll have a think about that one.

On the Saturday night the audience was pretty feisty.  They were definitely up for it but they also felt like you could lose them at any point.  As the night wore on I kept changing the routines that I thought would work best and right up until I walked out onstage I was chopping and changing my set list.  In the end it was a familiar looking set that you may have seen in the past but it was definitely the right one for the night.

 

1st of August:  The Comedy Store

 

20s, 30s, 40s

Hairy Baby

“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

Glitter in Invitations

Watching Movies Out of Context

People Wearing Your Glasses

Spooning

 

This was an audience that had already enjoyed ten comedians and had been drinking consistently throughout the night.  It was a gig where I had to keep it sharp and tidy.  Having not performed some of that material for a few weeks it was fun to come back to it.

Apart from the three shows at the Store I also managed to see Steen Raskopoulos perform his show "Character Assassin" and it was a real treat.  I'm not a big fan of audience participation (I'm sure Steen hears this a lot when some people in the industry are about to rave about his work) but what I loved about Steen's show was that he empowered the people that he brought onstage with him.  They were in on the joke and never the punch line.  Steen's gentle performance also masterfully keeps the audience enthralled and the ending to the show was just great.

I also saw Judith Lucy at the Enmore Theatre and as Adam Richard said to me as the lights came up in the theatre, "That was a masterclass".  With her body of work I feel she is the Meryl Streep of comedy in this country.  I know we can all get run over by the hyperbole bus at points in our life but hear me out.  As with Streep there might have been acts that came along and shone brighter for a certain amount of time but when you take into account the body of work Lucy is head and shoulders above everyone. Just as Streep has over time continued to produce amazing work ahead of her peers (Hoffman, Pacino, DeNiro, Walken etc) so has Judith achieved the same result over her peers.  At the end I didn't know whether to be inspired or quit.  

So I've seen two great shows and been a part of three excellent nights.  All of this with the sun out. I'm up here for another week and a half so listen up Melbourne:  I don't mind winter but get your shit together or Sydney might be my new girlfriend with her sunny disposition and vitamin D rich approach to life.

 

Justin Hamilton

4th of August, 2015

Newtown

 

2014 November Gigs 179 - 184: Death Star Canteen to The Comic's Lounge

I finally get around to writing about a run of gigs that might have been the best run of the year: from Death Star Canteen to The Comic's Lounge to a little show at 1000 Pound Bend.

2014 November Gigs 172 - 178: Imperial Hotel to Wil Anderson Support

November is turning out to be a busy time of the year.  I'm always quite surprised at how my self esteem improves with the amount of gigs that I'm performing.  Even when I'm taking a break that I know is necessary there is a mild funk when I'm away from the stage. I don't believe it has that much to do with a desire to perform but more a sense that you're working and therefore earning a living.  It always makes me laugh when people tell me that I work too hard and should just take a month off.  I will gladly do this when someone offers to pay me holiday pay.  Heck, I've been doing this for twenty years, I'm owed two loads of long service leave, right? My first gig for the week was helping to fill in a gap at Imperial Comedy.  I've been performing there quite a bit lately and it is beginning to feel like a second home. With a rock solid audience who are locked into every show it has provided me with an opportunity to really play around with my material.  By changing the sequence in some of the routines I've been able to reveal more jokes and interesting asides that have helped flesh out the new material.  Here's the set list for the gig:

 

18th of November:  Imperial Hotel

 

Biker Gig

Milne and His Fine

Manson Getting Married

Abbott Shot In The Face

Liberal Government

Legal Pot

 

For those of you who haven't seen the material just enjoy the heading of "Abbott Shot In The Face" and extrapolate from there where that material might go.  It was another fun night at the Imperial Hotel but I had to leave early as the next day I had a flight to Darwin to support Wil Anderson on his tour.

My tour manager Claire and I managed to upgrade to business class for our flight and I'll be honest, it is brutal when you have to return to economy.  Big seats, real cutlery and staff that just want to keep serving you booze are just some of the joys of sitting up the front of the plane.  I love drinking on flights as I find the air pressure in the cabin combined with the booze ends up making me a little teary.  I'm made for a weepy flight moment and anything can set me off.  As an example I watched the trailer for "True Detective" (a series I have watched stacks of heaps of times already) and found myself getting a bit weepy watching that.  Hang in there Rust, everything is going to be ok!

 

Between shows hoping I don't have a bald patch showing up in any mirrors.

 

Our first show as part of this tour was at the Darwin Entertainment Centre where a thousand Ando fans came along to see the big man in action.  As a support act I feel you have to go out, warm up the audience, get them in the mood and don't outstay your welcome.  They're not there to see you, at best you're a bonus.  Do you job and hit it hard. This was the set list:

 

19th of November:  Darwin support for Wil

 

Kid At Cap

Turning 40

Before The Internet

Fix Your Flaws

“I Don’t Give A Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

 

This was a great start to the tour except we had some major sound issues.  With a cordless mic that was feeding back throughout the first five minutes it made it difficult to land punchlines.  Also for some reason the smoke machine had a mind of its own and was spewing out the type of smoke that even the makers of "I Dream Of Jeannie" would find excessive.  At one point with me dressed all in black surrounded by smoke and a mic that was making lightsaber noises I must have looked like a "Be Kind Rewind" version of Darth Vader.

Funnily enough I was so relaxed with this happening about me that I was actually finding it quite funny.  When I was younger I think I would have had a mild nervous breakdown but knowing there was nothing I could do until the techie fixed the problem was in a way quite liberating.  Also I feel as the support act this is the type of thing I'm there to help solve.  It is better for the sound to be a mess while I'm onstage so when Wil comes out for his show everything is sorted.  In a weird way this is part of my job. Still the audience was great and the gig was a fun one despite the tech problems.

The next day we flew to Perth (back in economy...no upgrade for Claire and I this time...booooo!) and had a day off before getting back into the swing of things.  Over the next four shows (including our show in Kalgoorlie) my set list remained the same. When you know it is not only working but coming in on time you don't want to mess around too much in case you throw everything out of order.  So the set list was:

 

21st – 23rd of November:  Perth and Kalgoorlie support for Wil

 

Kid At Cap

Turning 40

Before The Internet

Fix Your Flaws

What A Woman Likes About Me Now

“I Don’t Give A Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

 

In fact I tell a mild lie.  I dropped the "What A Woman Likes About Me Now" after the opening show in Perth.  I just thought it messed with the flow of the set ever so slightly. Not that anyone would have noticed but I wasn't 100% happy with it.  The audiences were incredible and very giving.  Considering I was the support act I felt very much like they were rapt to have me there.  This is also helped by the generous introductions that Wil gives at the start of the show that lets them know in no uncertain terms that I'm there because of him.  I thoroughly enjoyed these gigs and it is a massive buzz to perform to roughly 6,000 people over such a small amount of time.  If you'd told me when I first started out that one day I would have that opportunity I would have been rapt as I am now.

 

Wil in action in Kalgoorlie.

 

There was one other gig tucked in amongst these shows.  On the Saturday night Wil had two shows at the Perth Exhibition Centre and after the first gig I was booked for a corporate gig that was in the same venue at exactly the perfect time.  What are the odds? I can't remember having that type of luck before and have been very thankful that it turned out the way that it did.  It was for a company of three hundred and I was booked to knock out 20 minutes at their end of year Christmas party.  I didn't perform any material at this gig but instead did audience work instead.  It was that type of gig where they enjoyed seeing someone from their company feel awkward more than they wanted jokes and I was happy to provide!

 

Adam Richard and I turned up to see Rove's secret gig at the Imperial Hotel.

 

Monday it was time to fly from Kalgoorlie to Perth to Melbourne.  What a great way to wipe out a day but after a fun run of gigs and a fair amount of travel it was nice to not think for a while.  I'm relatively happy with the new material as it is getting to that comfortable stage where it feels like the material I've been performing all along, a natural part of my regular set lists.  That is a good sign heading into some down time before the new year begins.

The following day Rove was headlining the Imperial Hotel and I went down with Adam Richard to just watch the show.  It is important to go to gigs and just sit back and enjoy the night.  It was a perfect way to relax before the next run of gigs here in Melbourne.

 

Justin Hamilton

28th of November, 2014

Fitzroy North

2014 October Gigs: 154 - 157 From the Imperial Hotel to the Opera House

Four gigs covered in the latest blog that begins in Melbourne at the Imperial Hotel and finishes with a gig at the Sydney Opera House.

2014 September Gigs: 144 - 149

A new format for the blog covering my gigs at Five Boroughs, Spleen, The Imperial Hotel, The Public Bar, The Local and the debate for the Essendon Football Club.

2014 Gig Seventy One: Set List, Gig Seventy Two: Victoria Hotel and Gig Seventy Three: Live TOFOP

The final Saturday of the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was also the final night of my solo show "Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994".  With only the Moosehead Gala tonight I am very close to having a proper week off from everything. It has been a great run but I haven't really had a day off since before I flew to India so I'm looking forward to seeing movies, reading books, catching up with friends and thinking about loads of things that don't revolve around comedy.  Business will kick back in probably before I'm ready but while I can I am going to enjoy this time away. I wandered into the city early so I could stretch some comedy muscles at the open day for Set List.  It was a great way to start the day and there was something quite interesting about it being my first gig for the day.  Usually when I have attended Set List it has been at night after my solo shows when my brain in engaged in performance mode.  To start the day with this show was like jump starting your car with a nuclear reactor.  Here is a photo taken from the show with one of my topics:

 

Finally someone brings up something I can relate to.

 

After Set List I had planned on seeing a couple of shows but all the people I had in mind seeing were sold out.  I was rapt for them but it left me up in the air.  I checked the board and I was completely overwhelmed as to what to see.  I suddenly understood how punters must feel and how a smart comedian with a little flyer skill can really help you out.  In the end I grabbed a bite to eat and then attended my final solo show for the Festival.  It was another sold out show and the set list for the final (for the immediate future anyway) time was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

After the previous night being so fantastic this show was more than fine but lacked that electricity I had on the Friday night.  I think it was my fault too.  I was feeling fatigued when I walked out onstage and I think it was due to the fact that I walked into the city earlier than normal, had a gig and then way too long in between my first and second show. My adrenalin had dropped to a crawl and I was almost in snooze mode before my venue was ready.  There was a bit a of jumping around and shaking of limbs to get myself back into performance mode and while the show was fine I lacked the vitality that I had the night before.  I did manage to remember all the little changes I had made in the previous week so I was glad that I recorded that show.  I'll be taking this show to Edinburgh so it is important to have a record of where the show ended up so I can listen back to get it back to speed.

After my show I was up in the Supper Room in the Town Hall as a guest on Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen's live T.O.F.O.P. podcast recording.  Charlie has been absent from the podcast since he scored the job on Home and Away and it was great to see the reaction the audience gave him when he walked out onstage.  The way the night worked was that the show revolved around Wil and Charlie and then they brought some guests on who had filled in for Charlie over the time he's been away from the podcast.  The guests were Greg Behrendt, Felicity Ward, Lindsay Webb and Scott Dooley.

 

From the start of the show.

 

This was taken while I was one of the guests.

 

I took this straight after I was finished my spot on the show.

 

The show was loose and fun.  It is great to have so many people in the audience who are in on the jokes that we have thrown around without thinking too much.  I especially enjoy the audience getting into the "I've never had a bad gig" comment I once made to Wil on the podcast.  It feels like it has become a "thing" that we're all in on together. I'm not certain what I can say about this gig other than it was fun.  I enjoy the thrill of walking onstage and having nothing organised.  Just riffing with friends that are all amazing at their jobs is a lot of fun and at this brain dead stage of the festival I'm glad that it is all it is.

After the show I was thrilled to learn that the consistently brilliant Denise Scott had won the Barry, Wil won most popular, Ronny Chieng had won the Director's Award, Sarah Kendall had won the Piece of Wood Award, Stella Young the best newcomer and Fancy Boy the Golden Gibbo.  I don't think I've missed anyone out but I'm big fans of everybody on the list and that is a triumph right there.

I'm tired today.  One last gig tonight and then a couple of weeks off from the podcast and the blogs.  Thanks to everybody who attended the solo show and/or The Shelf. You've truly made it a fantastic season and who knows if I'll be back with a solo show next year but if I am I'll do my best to bring you something that will hopefully enjoy even more.

 

Justin Hamilton

20th of April, 2014

Fitzroy North

 

 

 

 

2014 Gig Sixty Four: The Shelf

The final show for The Shelf Season 9 took an hour longer than expected and that seemed just about right on the night.

2014 Gig Fifty Four: The Shelf

Did you miss The Shelf last night?  If so you missed this line up:  

Wil Anderson

Hannah Gadsby

James Acaster

Cal Wilson

Claire Hooper

Justin Hamilton

Adam Richard

Lehmo

Tegan Higginbotham

Corey White

Lessons With Luis

Wizard Sandwiches

Alice Fraser

Tracey Cosgrove

Fan Fiction Comedy featuring Joseph Moore

 

 

The calm before the storm.

 

With this show I hit the half way point of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. My first show was on the 24th of March when we held a special preview of "Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994" for all of our season ticket holders.  Since then it has been work every day and gigs every night without a break.  The Shelf is the hardest night of the week because so much goes into every show including the wrangling of comics and the energy it requires on the night.  As I stated last week I haven't had time to write some new material so I went way back into the vaults for a story I haven't told in years.  The set list for my opening was:

 

Fire Trap Gives Me The Barry

Journalists Ask About Terrible Gigs

Mount Isa

"I Heard Gravity"

Biker Corporate Gig

 

I took this photo 25 minutes before the show was scheduled to begin.

 

We had a packed out audience and I riffed off the top about how if there was a fire I would not only survive but it would inspire me to write a show that would win me The Barry for best show at next year's M.I.C.F.  It is a dark way to begin a gig but our audience is so fantastic they not only went with it but understood it was more a take down of the semi serious comedy shows you might see at the festival.  Yes, I was having a crack at me and the type of show I'm performing just in case you weren't certain that I had missed the irony.

Journalists are mad for asking us about terrible gigs and that gave me a jumping off point to get into some old material.  I'm not certain whether I have performed the "I Heard Gravity" story onstage before.  I think I have but I don't have the time to go through all my previous entries to find out if I did.  Anyway it popped into my head and I figured I'd throw it out there and it fitted in nicely with the theme.

I also ad libbed a comment that I had made on Wil Anderson's podcast "FOFOP" about never having a bad gig and was surprised at the genuine and spontaneous applause of acknowledgement from the audience.  I thought it might be a nice throw away but the response was one of recognition and it took my completely by surprise.  I wasn't certain if I was going to mention it or nor in this blog but I had my suspicions confirmed by Shelf super fan Ethan Lesh on Facebook who wrote to me about that exact moment.  I'm glad I wasn't lost up my own arse with that moment and a bit thanks to Ethan for confirming it for me.

The story about performing a corporate gig for bikers with fellow comedian Mickey D occurred somewhere around the turn of the century and is a story that I haven't performed for a long time.  Between last week's "What's a bit of wrinkle..." routine and last night's story I had forgotten how much I enjoyed them in their day.  I don't know if I could find the same energy performing them on a regular basis now but they might be good to keep in my back pocket for gigs further down the track.

I was rapt not only with the audience last night but also the acts.  I had a bunch of comedians who hadn't performed at The Shelf before (Wizard Sandwiches, Corey White, Tracey Cosgrove and UK comedian James Acaster) who fitted in like they've always been a part of the line up.  Getting the balance correct between new and established comedians is part of the joy of putting the show together.  Introducing new acts to our audience is incredibly exciting not only for the crowd but also the comedian. We have such a loyal and smart following that a lot of these acts can be assured to score some ticket sales out of their appearance.

 

Thank you to Rebecca Dunbar for taking this photo.

 

The highlight of the night for me was sown at the end of the first bracket. Somehow for the first time ever The Shelf was running to time.  I made the mistake of mentioning this onstage and out bounded co-host Adam Richard and floating Wil.  We proceeded to ad lib enough that the show was now 20 minutes behind schedule.  As the night continued we became more and more behind time and ended up finishing an hour after what I had planned for.  Brilliantly the majority of the audience (and when I say majority I mean 90% of the audience) stayed around for the end.  Only one person I knew had to leave and that was one of the main instigators of getting the show behind time:  Wil.  He was out of there with about two acts to go.  Hilarious.  As we have pointed out before The Shelf isn't about a tidy night out.  Every show aims for the fence and I feel if it wasn't bloated, unwieldy and full of moments where we say things we sort of wish we hadn't then it actually wouldn't be the show we love to be a part of.

Next week's show is the final show for The Shelf for the next six months.  I'm guessing at this point the earliest it will return will be mid November so if you're keen to check it out you should head here to book your tickets.  This is well on the way to selling out and I'm guessing will be a cracking way to finish the season.

 

Justin Hamilton

8th of April, 2014

Fitzroy North

 

 

2014 Gig Forty Six: The Shelf

The first night of The Shelf for the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was a corker, possibly one of the best!