Yes, it's comedy festival time again. You can probably tell by the way I pop up in LiveJournal to tell you what I'm doing.

This year it really is crazy. I'm involved in at least six shows, possibly more. The definite ones are listed below. This really is the year of geek comedy, though, even more than last year. Even the festival knows it: they have an iPhone app, and the first daily message on it was titled "Set phasers for laughter." Not very funny, I agree, but their heart's in the right place.

The big geekfest really kick off with four shows I'm producing: +1 Sword, the Dungeons & Dragons comedy show; Dungeon Crawl, a late night improvised Dungeons & Dragons adventure, featuring guest comedians from the festival; the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour, now in it's third year and looking better than ever - what's more I'm not conducting tours this year, so there will definitely be all-new dinosaur jokes!; and new to the museum, Melbourne Museum Lunchtime Comedy, a Saturday, well, lunchtime show in the museum's Age theatre featuring guest comedians talking about science, nature and history, all MC'd by me. The museum comedy stuff has grown enough to deserve its own web site, which you can find at

On top of that the monthly political comedy room of which I am a part, Political Asylum, is doing a one-off Comedy Caucus special, with all of our regulars and a couple of special guests. And then there's Trade Aid, for which the Anarchist Guild Social Committee, my old sketch group, are doing another one-off show, the second Annual General Meeting, with proceeds going to charity. I'll be performing something there, though I'm not sure what it will be yet.

As usual, I won't post public reviews, even here on this blog; it's not really appropriate as a fellow performer. Suffice to say there's a onne of great stuff on this year, and most of it isn't at the Town Hall, though a few of the things there look very exciting too. But if you're stumped as to what to see, drop me an email or a private message of some sort and I'll be happy to help you figure out what will make you laugh.
No-one in my family ended up in any of the wars of the past century, as far as I know; they were always too young, or too old, or (in the very early days) too Irish. On the other hand, the one Italian branch of the family could have veterans in it. But regardless, today is a reminder of all wars, throughout time and place - specifically a reminder that they can - and should - be brought to an end.

I know I haven't been here for a while, and today seems an odd day to resurface. It's been hot (mid 30s!) in Melbourne, and I've been busy. My first proper stand-up spot in years turned out to be a pretty great tight five (that's comedian lingo for five minutes of very good material), and the character piece I performed at the same gig went down well too, though being in a suit in this heat in the small front room of the Brunswick Green, crowded with nearly 80 people... That was suffering for my art, I can tell you. Great to do some more comedy acting, though, and I'll be coming back. If you like political comedy, be sure to check out our room - Political Asylum is the name, and there's even a web site (there might be video footage of my spot on there, eventually!).

This week and next are full. I'm doing some extra training work for my main day job employer, which is good because I get to charge what I used to earn while training - and I need the extra cash for my upcoming trip to New York (I'll be in the US and Canada from November 23, and NYC from December 5 to 15). This does mean that, while coming down with some kind of throat infection and hayfever, I did a gig on Sunday night, then talking all day about Word 2007 on Monday, and then yesterday talked for half a day straight to a camera and then just a microphone about the evils of fast food (it was another education video job).

So, things are good, but I'm feeling a bit rough. This holiday will be just what  I need - assuming I can figure out exactly where we're going between our first few days in Boston and our last week and a half in NYC... (I'd like to do a circuit of Montreal, Toronto and Niagara, but I'm not sure it's practical.)

Oh, one last thing - I have a climate change related gig on November 20, at Trades Hall, titled Laughmageddon II: The Copenhagening. It's raising money for the ACF's "Towards Copenhagen" campaign, and I've been assisting the main brains behind it, Dan Walmsley, in giving it some shape. Should be a good mix of comedians presenting a comedy version of the "an inconvenient truth" presentation, so if you're free, come along!

Contact lenses are weird. Especially when your prescription is something like -3.5 (for astigmatism, my short-sightedness is minor and my long-sightedness in the other eye apparently more or less insignificant), and the highest prescription you can get for trial disposables is -2.25. So everything is much clearer, but still not quite right. I'm not sure I like how they feel on my eyes, either; I'll give them a few more wears for proper testing, but I'm still tossing up whether to get them.

Now, others (hi [ profile] p_cat!) have already pointed out that Alan Jones has been axed from Channel 9's Today programme (The Age), but I think the worrying thing is that the spokesperson refers to him as "a voice of authority and an integral player in the setting of Australian's news agenda". How does someone come to wield influence that, rightly or wrongly, can be described in such terms? He's not a statesman, or an expert in an important field, or an established leader of a community. He's just opinionated and aware of public opinion - at least where it strongly agrees or disagrees with his own. That's my reading, anyway; but then I thought for years he was Alan Jones the racing driver, whereas he's actually an ex-rugby (union) player. The list of his offences is long, though, and an account of any background or experience that justifies his exalted media position (at least in Sydney) is severely lacking.

It's a little reassuring to know that he only made it as high as number 78 on the Reader's Digest list of Australia's most trusted public persons, though he's just in front of Julia Gillard and five spots ahead of Bob Brown, which is less comforting. Still, I'm heartened to see several doctors and scientists in the top 20. (Not that I take the whole thing too seriously; the 100 mentioned were the only ones asked about, to "a representative sample of 750 Australian adults" who ranked their trustworthiness out of 10. Still, John Howard was rather lower than Kevin Rudd or the other politicians I mentioned, so perhaps that's pleasant support for the possibility of "annihilation"...)

I love numbers assigned to random properties. According to the analysis behind the cut, my "weirdness level" is 22 (lower than the LiveJournal average of 27) and my writing style is "intellectual". It's fascinating; there's even a pie graph!
Do you want to know more...? )
...or not. A massive power outage has apparently caused all kinds of chaos about the state of Victoria, including slow trains (not they need this kind of excuse, but 20-40 minute delays are something new) and the traffic going mental as people try and do hook turns without the benefit of traffic lights. Strangely my building - or at least my floor and/or office - is unaffected. Looking down on the city traffic is somewhat freaky, though I was pleased to see some kind of negotiation of turns at the nearby intersection of Lonsdale and Russell.

If you're in the city, be careful going home, yeah?

Glass House

Nov. 1st, 2006 01:12 pm
I agree the reasons for cancelling The Glass House reported in the news are bollocks, but it's not a revelation. I'd been of the impression that the last series was going to be the last series for a bunch of other reasons, not least the presenters not wanting to do it any more. If I found any of them consistently funny then I might also feel worse about it, but I'm afraid I don't; the humour on The Glass House is rarely political in any sense but the topical, and generally not that clever. (The same can be said for much of what goes on on The Daily Show, but it still has moments of incisive satire amongst the stupidity. I looked in vain for examples of such on The Glass House.)

Still, that's one less locally produced comedy show, and it was still miles funnier than The Wedge. It's also curious that The Glass House is targeted for "anti-government bias" (as [ profile] hnpcc says, questioning the government is part of an independent media's remit, no matter who's in power) and yet The Chaser boys have apparently not even rated a mention... Perhaps they don't rate highly enough.

February 2012

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