Last night was my fourth Melbourne International Comedy festival show for 2014 – ‘Laughable’ by Jennifer Wong. I feel like I need to tell you how I made the decision to see Wong’s show, because it’s important to me. After having booked my tickets to Frank Woodley and The Boy with Tape on his Face, I decided that I needed to support female comedians.
So I went through the festival website and looked for women I’d like to see. For a few of them, I’d seen bits of on the TV or on youtube and I knew I wasn’t into their style, and then there were a few unknowns. I gathered the names of the unknowns together and googled them (separately, not all together because that wouldn’t have worked).
Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I find a lot of comic’s material offensive – if it relies on an -ism to get a laugh (racism, sexism, ableism, all the -isms) then I’m not into it. I don’t mind a bit of childish humour, I mean everyone poos, so that’s all good, but occasionally one wants a more sophisticated humour. So when I found a youtube of Jennifer Wong on Channel 31 (a local access TV channel in Melbourne) where she made jokes based on her family and background, but didn’t just make fun of their accents, I was sold. I got to the Forum Theatre in plenty of time for the show, so I sit around for a bit, I go to the toilet, I stand around for a bit more, I look at the time and it’s past the time to start the show and I think ‘I haven’t seen anyone else go in, maybe it hasn’t started yet…’ so I asked the usher and he looked at my like I was stupid (rightly so), and said that the show had started and I should go in.
So I walk in, about 4 minutes late, and sit in a room for about 20 which is only half full. This is the single smallest show I’ve been to ever. Wong is very nice about my lateness, and welcomes me in as I sit in the back of the tiny room. ‘Laughable’ is a show about puns. I like a good pun, but I suspect that I didn’t show my appreciation as well as some of the other patrons because I’ve been schooling my face not to react to the terrible puns inflicted on me by my boss. I therefore apologise for any eye-rolling or sighing that I sent Jennifer’s way – it wasn’t you, it was me, honestly.
The show is interactive, as Wong takes suggestions from the audience and works the suggestions into ‘pun’chlines. With such a small audience I think it would be really hard to keep your energy up, and I have a lot of respect for Wong for standing there and being bubbly and awesome throughout. She is an intelligent, polite comedian and deserves to do well at it, so you should all go to see Jennifer Wong at the Forum. You may roll your eyes, but I think that’s probably allowed and it’s all good stuff!
Here is a youtube, which doesn’t appear to contain punning, to demonstrate:
The observant among you will notices that this post is entitled ‘Two for the price of one!’. After wandering off from the forum I went to the frozen yoghurt place in Swanston St and then wandered over to Fed Square where the Spiegel Tent is set up. Jennifer Wong had mentioned that she was appearing in a couple of other shows – Sam Simmons’ ‘Death of a Sails-Man’ and something else at the Melbourne Town Hall at 11:00pm which I’ve forgotten the name of and now can’t find a link to. I took my frogurt over to the Spiegel tent and saw a massive line of people filing in in an orderly fashion. I thought, ‘maybe I’ll see that show sometime over Easter, could be fun’. It was about that point when I was offered a free ticket to the show by a man who’s friend was apparently unable to attend and I wasn’t about to say no to that!
I vaguely know Sam Simmons because he appears a bit on Triple J, but had no idea what the show was about. Since I was on my own, I was ushered to a seat in the front row, which turned out to be both amazing and sort of frightening. The best way I can describe ‘Death of a Sails-Man’ is to call it a surreal play. It’s really very odd. And quite rude (adult content and swearing). And sort of genius. Maybe. To be honest I’m not really sure what happened during the 60 minute show, but I laughed a bunch and came away feeling confused, slightly soiled, and with a general feeling of happiness.
It’s a good show, if you like feeling like you’re not quite sure what’s going on and there’s a slight danger that something might go horribly horribly awry. There were also lots of props.
By way of example:
I have no more words, so uh, go see some shows!