No laughing matter as Aussie comedians rock up PJ

PETALING JAYA, 29 July 2017:

The recently concluded Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow promised stand up, sketch, silliness and slapstick. And it delivered on all four counts.

Australia’s largest comedy festival ran from July 27 to 28 at PJ Live Arts at Jaya One and from the host Susie Youssef to the four international acts she introduced, the cast had all comedy bases covered.

Of Lebanese descent, Youssef began by trying to convince the crowd that she was the “fun aunty” to her 10 nieces and nephews because she is “all about sugar and swear words”.

Still on the subject of her cultural background, she told of how once at her cousin’s wedding – where there were some 300 guests – cousin Tony thanked her for her “performance at my bachelor party last night” – and how this naturally drew some awkward states from at least half the people who didn’t know what she does for a living.

Then it was on to last year’s best newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, Nathan Valvo, who was ridiculously funny.

He made fun of mums who know EVERYTHING (using his own mum as an example, he revealed how he was just two when she figured out he was gay – just by watching him make his first crawl across the floor! This was, he added, 20 years before even HE discovered he was gay!)

He made fun of Dads (who know NOTHING), he made fun of couples, (his mantra being that one of you can always do better), he made fun of aunties who think they’re cool and hang out with the youngsters at weddings; and he made fun of himself.

Touring with the motley group in Singapore, Hong Kong and now Malaysia, was Penny Greenhalgh, the physical comedy dynamo.

Completely uninhibited, flaky and kooky, she invited a member of the audience on stage to ‘ice dance’ (she was wearing roller skates, of course) with her.

The results were hilarious, as she faked various goofy figure skating poses, taking the mickey out of her unsuspecting, but very sporting, victim.

Next up was the 6 foot 5 Daniel Connell – whose observational, dry, often unanticipated comedy was delivered dead pan; even as he spoke fondly of being in Malaysia and loving it for the humidity, highways and motorcyclists.

As a closing act, Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez aka the Pajama Men – international sketch superstars from the US – were superb, not least because as the ‘two-headed monster’, they were able to field impromptu questions from the audience, coming up with identical answers and impeccable comedic timing.

The character comic comedians’ brand of physical comedy and split-second character changes appeared all the more wacky for they performed in their pyjamas.

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